CRMSS Pacific 2023 Course Description

Tutor Team

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Greg SkidmoreSharang Sharma, and Jonathan Stuchbery.


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CRMSS Pacific 2023 Theme

At previous CRMSS courses, the repertoire has conformed to a given theme, usually based around a national style or a particular composer. The one exception to this was at our very first CRMSS course, back in 2018. At this course the repertoire was selected to represent as wide a range of styles and composers as possible, and to fit the singers who attended CRMSS 2018.

At CRMSS Pacific 2023, we will take this approach again with respect to including music from all composers and national styles. Instead of focussing of a certain type of repertoire, will instead gear our efforts toward preparing the music for High Mass at St. Helen's Parish, our host, which will take place on Sunday, May 7th 2023 at 11:30am.

We will learn movements from a Mass Ordinary setting (Kyrie, Gloria, Sanctus & Benedictus, and Agnus Dei) as well as some motets that will be appropriate to the time of year.

We will perform music by some of your favourite composers, namely: William Byrd, Tomàs Luis de Victoria, Giovanni Pierluigi da Palestrina, and Orlando di Lasso. There were so many great composers writing during the Renaissance all over Europe, and we hope also to include music by Henricus Isaac, Thomas Tallis, Cipriano de Rore, and others.

What types of singing will happen at CRMSS Pacific 2023?


As mentioned above, a major focus of our weekend together will be singing together as one choir, preparing sacred a capella music from the Renaissance for performance during Mass.


While the majority of our time is spent preparing ensemble music in choral and small group contexts, good solo vocal technique is of course essential for good
singing. This applies to music written in any style and from any time period.

Solo singing and good vocal technique are core parts of any CRMSS course and we will be offering individual and small group vocal technique sessions to all participants who request it.

We were very lucky have Jonathan Stuchbery, one of Canada's most promising young professional lutenists, with us for the weekend. Jonathan will be working with some lutenists on the Saturday of our weekend, but he will also be available to work with solo singers accompanying them on the lute.

Participants are enthusiastically encouraged to bring their own solo repertoire, and we suggested works written before 1675.

Consort singing: one and two per part vocal chamber music

Any serious amount of time spent getting to know the music of the Renaissance must include small-ensemble singing. While this music won't be performed at the Mass on the morning of Sunday the 7th, it is nonetheless an important part of the CRMSS experience, and will be included in the weekend's schedule.

It is in these small group settings that we can best explore secular repertoire from the Renaissance, and we will choose relevant secular repertoire to sing in these contexts.


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Mass at St Helen's Parish

On Sunday, May 7th 2023 at 11:30am the participants of CRMSS Pacific 2023 will provide the music at High Mass at St. Helen's Parish. This will be the main public performance associated with the course and will be our chance to share with our hosts what we have accomplished over the course of the weekend.

Daily evening church services

On our three evenings together (Friday the 5th, Saturday the 6th, and Sunday the 7th) we will sing a Compline service at the very end of the day. Compline, sung in English, is a simple service and is largely made up of plainsong, with a few simple motets included for contrast. It is designed not as something pressured or necessarily to be worked towards, but rather as a way of bringing our day together to a peaceful close - precisely as the service was designed to do in its original monastic context. These three services will allow us to come together as a course and to experience the daily rhythm of liturgical music making that formed the wider context for most of the music we will be studying, even if only for three days. Given that CRMSS Pacific 2023 only lasts for one weekend, these three Compline services will have a special meaning for us.

Internal 'sharing' concert for CRMSS participants

On the afternoon of Sunday, May 7th 2023, after Mass has finished and we've had some lunch, we will hold an informal and internal concert open only to CRMSS Pacific 2023 participants. It will be here that everyone who has participated will have a chance to perform any of the music they have worked on over the course of the weekend. This will be your chance to show off what you've been able to achieve in your small groups and also perhaps a time for us to revisit some music that we would like to sing again.

Lectures, Symposia, and Round Table discussions

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There will be a panel discussion, led by Greg Skidmore, entitled "Renaissance Music Performance in Canada: Past, Present, and Future". Our panel will include:

Proposed Schedule

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Below is a proposed schedule for the weekend.

Friday, May 5th 2023
Registration opens for participants
Welcome and first rehearsal
Break (20 minutes - tea / coffee / cookies / snacks)
Rehearsal finishes, with refreshments provided
Saturday, May 6th 2023
Arrival, tea & coffee
Warm up and tutti rehearsal
Lunch (45 minutes)
Small groups sessions, perhaps a lecture, and more tutti rehearsing
Dinner (90 minutes)
Tutti rehearsal
Sunday, May 7th 2023
Arrival, tea & coffee
Break (15 minutes)
Sung Mass
c. 1:00pm
Lunch (60 minutes)
Final small group rehearsal sessions
Final tutti rehearsal session
Informal internal 'sharing' concert
Dinner (90 minutes)
Rehearsal for Compline
Break (30 minutes)


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($150 for current students)

$250 is our standard rate for a singing participant at CRMSS Pacific 2023. Anyone who is enrolled in full or part-time education at the time of the course (May 5th to 7th, 2023), studying any subject, qualifies as a current student.

Our instrumental offering at CRMSS Pacific 2023 is still being finalised. If you are an instrumentalist with experience playing music from the Renaissance and would like to get involved, please do get in touch with us. The cost for you of participating in CRMSS Pacific 2023 will depend on the nature of how you get involved and as our plans firm up, we will publish more information on this website.

You will need to cover your travel to Burnaby and your accommodation, if required, during the weekend. While CRMSS doesn't bear these costs, we do try to help as much as we can with your logistics.


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CRMSS Pacific 2023 will be held at St. Helen's Parish in Burnaby, British Columbia.

The address is: 3860 Triumph Street, Burnaby BC, V5C 2A6

You can find directions to St. Helen's Parish on our contact page.

Participant Information

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We have prepared a web page with information on food and travel options.

CRMSS Pacific 2023 Participant Information