The Winter Intensive is in full swing here at Old St. Patrick's in New Orleans. Dr. Mahrt is teaching an advanced workshop in the ground floor of the parish hall, while upstairs Scott Turkington is putting the neophytes through their paces in the beginning workshop. Those of us downstairs can hear them singing away, pounding through the modal scales, belting the Sanctus, etc.
By happy coincidence for me, Dr. Mahrt has been talking a great deal about the role of memory in the evolution of the chant. I've been preoccupied with music and memory of late, both vocal and instrumental, so I'm delighted with his experiments where we learn an antiphon by rote and see how much we remember – first right away and then the next morning.
We have a good crop of seminarians and clergy on board for the workshops – always a gratifying sign. And I'm happy to see many of my good CMAA colleagues and have a chance to catch up on national-level gossip.
And by the way, there are some fantastic restaurants in this town. Last night at Feast, I had pork rillettes, crispy pork belly with red cabbage and potato cake, Eton Mess for dessert – all accompanied by an excellent Rueda. While I'm looking forward to today's learning, I'm also looking forward to this evening's gastric discoveries.