This year's conference features two internationally acclaimed composers and liturgists. They will present three Keynote Presentations, a combined Plenary Workshop, a Showcase of music for the liturgical year, and a Workshop on the importance of the flow of liturgy and music.

Tony Alonso

Tony is a theologian and composer whose work is animated by the diverse needs of the contemporary church. 

His compositions embrace multicultural musical expressions and reflect a commitment to strong ritual song. Tony’s music appears in compilations and hymnals across Christian denominations throughout the world.

He holds a Bachelor of Music in choral conducting, a Master of Arts in theology and a PhD in religion from Emory University. Tony is Assistant Professor of Theology and Culture at Candler School of Theology at Emory University where he also serves as Director of Catholic Studies.

Diana MacAlintal

Diana is the cofounder of TeamRCIA and an acclaimed author and speaker on Catholic liturgy, music, and the catechumenate. 

She has written or contributed to numerous books and articles on liturgy, music, sacraments and RCIA and has served as an editorial advisor to GIA and Liturgical Press. Diana has had compositions published by WLP and is an accomplished cantor and presider for lay-led liturgy.

She holds a Bachelor of Arts in Music and a Master of Arts in Theology, and has served in campus, parish, and diocesan ministries for 30 years, including 15 years as the Director of Worship for the Diocese of San Jose in California.

Keynote Presentations and Plenary Workshop

Listen to This! A Not So Universal Language
Tuesday 1 October 9:30 - 10:30 am

The phrase "music is a universal language" is invoked so frequently in conversations about the expressive power of song that it often passes without a second thought. But any pastoral musician or liturgist who has experienced the diverse passions that the selection of a particular hymn can elicit among members of our assemblies knows that the multivalent way in which music is received is far from universal and can even be quite divisive. This keynote will engage emerging work in neuroscience and music to deepen contemporary conversations about musical styles in worship to encourage us beyond polarized conversations to ones grounded in pastoral understanding.

Becoming What We Sing: Liturgical Reflections from the Heart of Pope Francis
Thursday 3 October 9:15 - 10:15 am

For many decades, we have expanded our understanding of the relationship between liturgy, belief, and daily living. But in separating these categories out for reflection, we often create stark divisions between them that miss their porousness in the practice of everyday life. This workshop will explore the fluid relationship between liturgy, belief, and daily living through the mandate of Pope Francis, grounding us in a vision that sees all of life eucharistically.

Singing the Seasons: Music for the Liturgical Year
Wednesday 2 October Breakout C-8 11:15 am - 12:30 pm
repeated Wednesday 2 October Breakout D-8 1:30 - 2:45 pm

In this reading and repertoire session Tony will share a range of psalms and songs for use throughout the liturgical year.
Liturgical Participation: How We Learn the True Christian Spirit
Wednesday 2 October 9:15 - 10:15 am

We all know that liturgical participation is important. But it takes more than just showing up and doing a liturgical ministry to genuinely embody the true Christian spirit. It takes openness, discernment, and conversion. To put it bluntly, we need to ask ourselves what good is it if the bread and wine change, but we don’t? Together we will explore three levels of liturgical participation for music ministers that will help them enter more deeply into the life-changing encounter with Christ who invites us at every liturgy to be formed by the Spirit to give glory to the Father by our lives.

Liturgical Flow: Understanding the Key to Excellent Liturgy
Tuesday 1 October Breakout A-8 11:15 am - 12:30 pm
repeated Thursday 3 October Breakout E-8 11:15 am - 12:30 pm

Becoming Leaders of Sung Prayer
Tuesday 1 October 2:15 - 3:15 pm

When psalmists and cantors lead an assembly in song, we do more than just sing. We lead people in prayer and proclamation. This requires us not only to hone our musical skills but also to foster a life of deep prayer, faith, and, most of all, love for God’s Word and the people who announce that word by their lives. In this plenary workshop, Tony and Diana will highlight spiritual and musical habits that will help us become true and credible leaders of sung prayer for the church.