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Reviews from the 2021 Choral Festival in Philadelphia. 


“Truly my best experience of 2021 and one that will never be forgotten.” – Anna Eby, 2021 Participant


“Attending the CSMP Choral Festival was a blessing and an inspiration. It is rare to find people who combine top notch musical instruction and Catholic liturgical formation into one mission, and that is exactly what the faculty accomplished. I left feeling not only more musically competent but also more convinced of the meaning, importance, and beauty of the Catholic liturgy.” – Audrey Drennen, 2021 Participant


“Being a part of the CSMP Choral Festival brought renewed hope for the future of sacred music.” – April Mayer, 2021 Participant


"I needed this choral festival more than I realized. I found myself being renewed in hope at meeting so many young musicians aspiring to serve our Church. And I was musically nourished through the incredible opportunity to meet and learn from Sir James MacMillan. This festival achieves a rare blend of professional development, musical inspiration, and community with the aim of giving God our very best. I will certainly be attending again!” – Colton Martin, 2021 Conducting Fellow


"The CSMP Choral Festival was the perfect marriage of artistic excellence and spiritual edification. It was an ideal balance of high-level music making, professional networking and informative interest sessions. It was a tremendously inspiring experience, and I would recommend it to any Catholic musician looking for a refreshing week of professional development." – Josh Wang, 2021 Conducting Fellow


"The CSMP Choral Festival was a beautiful week of being immersed in choral masterworks, and I will always remember the opportunity I had to conduct the festival choir for a masterclass with Timothy McDonnell and Sir James MacMillan. The choir was smart, musical, and cheerful, and the feedback I received from these two marvelous musicians was immensely helpful.  Interacting with the participants made for great mealtime conversation, and the energetic and artistic setting of downtown Philadelphia was a scintillating environment for a week of music-making.  I highly recommend attending the Choral Festival in San Francisco this year." – Dr. Mary Catherine Levri, 2021 Conducting Fellow


“The festival was thoughtfully planned and executed with excellent clinicians who were rooted in faith, knowledge and prayer.  I walked away excited to return for more.” – Ria Choi, 2021 Participant


Making music as an expression of our Faith with young Catholic musicians devoted to the improvement of sacred music made for a heavenly experience. I felt privileged to receive instruction from such renowned faculty and was profoundly encouraged in my work as a parish music director. – Yuko Unehara, 2021 Participant


“The CSMP Choral Festival has been a major highlight in my musical career (spanning live performance, score-writing, and session work in both sacred and secular spheres). The opportunity to be challenged by and work with Sir James MacMillan is an experience I will always cherish. Most importantly, though, I learned many new approaches to sacred music that I am already adapting to my own parish choir to great effect. I cannot wait to participate again!” – Nicholas Rankin, 2021 Conducting Fellow


“I am so happy that I was able to participate in the CSMP Choral Festival in Philadelphia. It was a deeply uplifting experience that enriched my love for Gregorian chant and polyphony.” – Mary Drennen, 2021 Participant


“The 2021 Choral Festival was a hidden gem of a festival that I was thrilled to participate in during my early professional career. Not only was I able to connect with sacred music professionals from across the United States, but I was also afforded the opportunity to conduct one of Sir James Macmillan’s pieces for him in a masterclass and to sing for an internationally broadcast Pontifical Solemn High Mass on EWTN. I would highly recommend this festival to anyone interested in fostering excellent sacred music in the United Sates and beyond.” – Zachary Landress, 2021 Conducting Fellow


“Through the Choral Festival, not only was I able to refine and extend my knowledge and appreciation of sacred music, but it was also a great experience meeting all of the musicians from far and wide who share that same appreciation! It is always exciting to challenge your skill, and it was awesome learning so much from everyone in just a few days!” – John Teague, 2021 Participant


“The 2021 Choral Festival provided the unique experience of meeting other church musicians who are also trying to bring beautiful music to their parishes across the country. Singing such beautiful music with these excellent musicians was an amazing opportunity for which I am incredibly grateful.” – Angie Woods, 2021 Participant


“The 2021 Choral Festival was one of the highlights of my summer. It was inspiring to work with so many other musicians who were passionate about the pursuit of excellence not just in their art but also in their faith. The work of the Catholic Sacred Music Project is indispensable for the future of sacred music.” – Monica Clarke, 2021 Participant

“The 2021 CSMP Choral Festival was an incredible experience, both musically and spiritually.  It was wonderful meeting and reuniting with other faithful, young musicians and sharing ideas, experiences, and goals with people that came from both similar and different backgrounds than myself.  I left the festival wishing that I could have that week’s experience year-round and I will definitely be participating again in the future!” – Anna Gugliotta, 2021 Participant


“I found the Catholic Sacred Music Project's 2021 Choral Festival to be a wonderful opportunity for musical and spiritual development. The world class faculty not only offered excellent, professional musical instruction, but also demonstrated a passion for sacred music stemming from deep, personal religious conviction. I would highly recommend the festival to Catholic Church musicians seeking to hone their musical craft and deepen their understanding of the Faith.” – Dr. David O'Donnell, 2021 Conducting Fellow

“I was grateful for the opportunity to study further with my former professor, Dr. Timothy McDonnell, as a conducting fellow of the CSMP Choral Festival. The festival also helped me to connect with Catholic educators, conductors, and organists around the country and discuss our approaches to choral training and liturgical planning. It fulfills the important and much needed work of connecting thoughtful and diligent leaders emerging in the field of Catholic sacred music.” – Virginia Tilley, 2021 Conducting Fellow