09/24/2011, 00.00
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Indonesian Center teaches sacred music to young Malaysian Catholics

by Mathias Hariyadi
The Liturgy Pusat Musik (PML) is one of the most prestigious institutions in Indonesia, through music, it spreads the Word of God. For one week the directors of the centre held a seminar in Sabah in East Malaysia. They emphasize the "enthusiasm" of the over 300 participants. At the end a Choir Festival was held.
Jakarta (AsiaNews) - Animating liturgical celebrations, and through music, spreading the Word of God; this is the missionary task of the Liturgy Pusat Musik (PML), the popular Indonesian music Liturgical Centre, which in recent days "moved" the religious functions of the Diocese of Kinangau, Sabah, an eastern region of Malaysia. Fr. Karl-Edmund Prier, co-director of PML with Widayawan Paul, told AsiaNews that he had received a request from the Malaysian diocese, for an intensive seminar on choral music aimed at 300 young Catholics. "The annual event - said the German-born Jesuit priest - was attended by hundreds of young people, with lessons devoted to singing and choral music."

During the seminar in Malaysia, the aspect that most impressed Fr. Prier and Paul Widyawan was "the composition of their own music," rather than "playing sacred music composed by others." At the end of the meetings, each group in fact produced songs that recalled the atmosphere of Advent, or inspired by the Psalms, performing on stage during the choir festival, the final event which ended the week of study.

The priest stresses that the 300 young Malaysian Catholics responded "with enthusiasm" to the music festival. "They are young boys and girls aged between 15 and 25 - said Fr Prier - and they proudly displayed their musical talent and enthusiasm". Widayawan co-director, musician and longtime teacher, was delighted to "meet their expectations" and pass on his knowledge to the young people.

The study of sacred music, add the PML leaders, is the subject of increasing and widespread interest in Indonesia, because it is a means to transmit the cultural heritage of the Church and the country. We have hundreds of requests, they confirm, for the session that begins this year. Currently the Liturgy Pusat Musik (PML) includes "69 high school students, 32 from junior high and 118 from primary school level" said the priest.

The week's seminar on sacred music organised by PML was held September 1 to 5 in Tambun, about 100 km away from Kota Kinabalu, Malaysia's Sabah State. At the conclusion of the festival, several people expressed their desire to continue studying and become church music conductors, deepening their understanding at the Centre based in Yogyakarta, Central Java.
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