Summer Chant Workshop

July 11-13, 2024

st. mary’s seminary

Houston, tx

St. Mary’s Seminary

The St. Basil’s School of Gregorian Chant 2024 Summer Chant Workshop will be held at St. Mary’s Seminary in Houston, TX on ​July 11-13, 2024. Sessions are live only. If you can’t attend the entire workshop, a free Sacred Music Social will be held on ​Thursday evening.

The St. Mary’s Seminary grounds are beautiful. The beauty of the chapel transforms the workshop into a retreat.

Accommodations are also available at St. Mary’s Seminary. ** As of July 9, 2024, rooms are no longer available at St. Mary’s ​Seminary. Only those who registered previously will be accomodated at St. Mary’s Seminary. **

Detailed Schedule

“Learn to know the heart of God in the word of God.”

St. Gregory the Great

Thursday, July 11 In the Beginning was the Word

7:00 pm—Opening Address: To God the Joy of My Youth:

Sacred Music in the Catholic School

8:00 pm—Sacred Music Social

9:00 pm—Compline

Friday, July 12 Music and The Liturgy

8:00 am—Coffee and Breakfast

8:45 am— Lauds

9:00 am—Principles of Chant

10:30 am—Break

10:45 am—Chant Notation

Noon—Midday Prayer and Lunch Break

1:00 pm—Types of Chant

2:30 pm—Break

2:45 pm—History and the Liturgy

4:00 pm—Break

4:15 pm—Repertoire for Mass

5:30 pm—Vespers

Dinner on your own

Saturday, July 13 The Song of the Trinity

8:00 am—Coffee and Breakfast

8:45 am—Lauds

9:00 am—Word, Rhythm, and Unity

Rehearsal for Mass

11:00am Sung Mass of the Blessed Virgin Mary

“I will sing with the Spirit, and I will sing with the understanding also.”

1 Cor. 14:1

which track should i choose?

This year, the workshop will feature two tracks- an Advanced Track and a Beginner Track. The 2 tracks will have simultaneous sessions at St. Mary’s Seminary.

If you have sung more complicated chant regularly, can sing in solfege, and know the names of the neumes, but are interested in more about the modes and the movement of chant, then the advanced, or rather "experienced" session is for you. If you can sing Missa de Angelis but are not comfortable sight-singing chant, then you might feel more comfortable with a refresher beginning course. If you are interested in conducting chant and are comfortable reading chant, the advanced session will specifically cover this topic.

If you are still unsure, choose beginner and discuss it with Dr. Kutarna at the workshop.



Sacred Music Social:

Can’t attend the full workshop but would still love to meet other sacred music lovers? Join us for the Thursday evening social. Keynote by Dr. Alexis Kutarna followed by a wine and hors d'oeuvres reception. Sung compline to cap off the evening. Please RSVP for the free social below.


Closing Luncheon:

Bring a guest (or several guests) to the closing luncheon on Saturday, July 13. Workshop attendees receive lunch as part of the workshop. Purchase this only for extra guests who attend the closing Mass and luncheon.


Dr. Alexis K. Kutarna


Born and raised in Canada, Alexis Kazimira Kutarna has been involved in church music ever since she was a child. Dr. Kutarna completed the Ph.D. in Liturgical Studies with a concentration in Church Music at the Faculty of Catholic Theology at the University of Vienna, where she wrote her dissertation on "The Musification of the Word: The Primacy of the Logos in Liturgical Music." She earned the Master of Arts in Liturgy at The Liturgical Institute at the University of St. Mary of the Lake/Mundelein Seminary. Dr. Kutarna holds a Master of Music degree in conducting as well as a post-graduate Performer’s Certificate from Northern Illinois University, and a Bachelor of Music degree in bassoon and piano performance from Saint Xavier University.

She has a special interest in the spirituality of liturgical music, leading workshops and retreats around the country. Dr. Kutarna has worked with musicians of all ages, having also served as a parish music and liturgy director, and as the Director of Music at St. Mary’s Seminary in Houston. As a core instructor for the Master of Sacred Music program, she also teaches courses on the liturgy, liturgical music, and Gregorian Chant at the University of St. Thomas in Houston, TX. She is co-author of an award-winning book from Ascension Press, “Solemnities: Celebrating a Tapestry of Divine Beauty.”

Dr. Kutarna is Head of School and a founding faculty member of Cathedral High School as the founding Director of Sacred Music. Dr. Kutarna is a frequent speaker at parishes, conferences, and sacred music workshops. Most important is her vocation as wife and mother of two beautiful daughters.

Mr. chris bearer


Chris Bearer is currently the Director of Music at St. Thomas More Catholic Church in Houston, TX. He received his Bachelor of Music from the University of Texas at Austin and his Master of Sacred Music from the University of St. Thomas in Houston. At UT, he studied conducting with Dr. Suzanne Pence. At UST, he studied conducting with Dr. John Yarrington, organ with Dr. Jeong-Suk Bae and chant with Dr. Alexis Kutarna.

Throughout his career as Director of Music in various parishes he has conducted parish choirs in several major works for choir and orchestra including Dubois’ The Seven Last Words of Christ, Rutter’s Requiem, and Faure’s Requiem. He has offered many classes on basic music theory and seminars on the renewal of authentic Sacred Music in the Catholic Church. He is a composer of Sacred Music and has been published with St. James Music Press. Several of his works were commissioned by churches and schools around the country, including the Cathedral School of St. Mary in Austin, TX.

In 2023 his first concert length piece, Requiem for the Unborn, was premiered in Houston, TX which prompted him to form, with his wife, Mary, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization dedicated to creating new music and assisting musicians in their missions called The C Major Project. Its first project was the commissioning of a new setting of the Magnificat text to benefit St. Thomas More Catholic School, which premiered in December 2024. TX to do just that! He currently lives in Klein, TX with his family.