By Amanda Murthy
For more than 40 years, the WA Royal School of Church Music (RSCM), which has produced some local award-winning musicians, continues to provide young musicians of all levels with a wholesome experience in sacred liturgy.
Having originated in the UK in 1927, the music school represents a national voice in church music, and aims to develop co-operative and formal links with the major church bodies in Australia.
There are more than 7000 active members and affiliates world-wide, around 1500 supporting friends in over 40 countries and in six states of Australia.
The eRecord spoke to RSCM Branch Committee, National Council member and St Mary’s Cathedral’s Director of Music Jacinta Jakovcevic, on how young musicians can fully benefit from the various programs offered yearly.
“Choral festivals, tours of local churches, camps, workshops on hymn singing and choosing music for worship are some of the programs offered to musicians from the parishes,” she said.
“These programs allow the musicians to choose between what is educational for them – reflecting on their own specific needs and giving experience to the musicians, as well as provide a wonderful forum through which to meet other musicians and exchange ideas and experiences.”
Ms Jakovcevic recognised the importance of having the young people of today encountering God and building their faith through church music as a “wonderful blessing”.
“I think that faith, like our music, needs to be practised for it be actually built and become strong – I think it’s a wonderful example to us musicians and one I think our young musicians can also easily relate to and learn from.
“I also think that experiences like a beautiful chant and reading through the text can be so nourishing for our faith – this not only helps build faith in our young musicians but perhaps also inspires them to perhaps try writing their own music too,” Ms Jakovcevic added.
WA chorister Joshua Adams received the Gold Award last year – the highest international recognition given by RSCM, through his participation in the “Voice of Life” program, and has since been working hard to complete his honours at the Conservatorium of Music at the University of Western Australia.
The “Voice of Life” program covers music theories, choral and vocal techniques, musicianship, and an awareness of how they function within a choir or music group.
When asked about some of the recent events that took place by RSCM, Ms Jakovcevic cited that a singing camp recently held during the July school holidays gained much support from various Christian denominations, and RSCM is looking forward to hosting renowned choral director Stephen Darlington from the Anglican ChristChurch Cathedral in England, at its next event on 6 October at St Mary’s Cathedral.
“At the moment, we are working on building a network of young musicians from around the country to share ideas, experiences, and invite other young people to our own liturgies to get them involved in church music and discover it riches.
“It’s important to recognise that the RSCM welcomes musicians of all levels to it events opening them up to the richness of our church’s heritage of music,” Ms Jakovcevic concluded.
For more information, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 9223 1377.