Musical training is a more potent instrument than any other, because rhythm and harmony find their way into the inward places of the soul; on which they mightily fasten, imparting grace, and making the soul of him who is rightly educated graceful...; and also because he who has received this education of the inner being will most shrewdly perceive omissions or faults in art and nature, and with a true taste, while he praises and rejoices over and receives into his soul the good, and becomes noble and good, he will justly blame and hate the bad, now in the days of his youth, even before he is able to know the reason why; and when reason comes he will recognise and salute the friend with whom his education has made him long familiar.
Plato, The Republic
Contained within one of the seminal works of political philosophy, and originating from the founder of the world’s first “University”, this statement conveys the power of music to change hearts and minds, to impart beauty, and to transform cultures. Combined with education, this power is at the very core of the Academy of Sacred Music, a charity dedicated to:
- restoring sacred music to the heart of our culture;
- promoting the inherent values of sacred music- oneness, goodness, truth and beauty;
- Unleashing its transformative power in a new generation of young people, on our churches, and on society at large.
“This world in which we live needs beauty in order not to sink into despair. Remember that you are guardians of beauty in the world”, counselled Pope Paul VI in his 1956 letter to all the Artists of the World.
50 years on, sacred music - one of the primary channels of beauty - has been relegated, to some degree, to the cultural sidelines, particularly in Western Europe.
Academy of Sacred Music is therefore embracing the challenge of re-opening this vast, untapped, treasury of beauty to a new generation. In practical terms, this means:
- Providing tuition in the various disciplines of sacred music for young people - voice, stringed instruments, organ, composition, and direction, led by professional musicians and based on repertoire that reflects the liturgical seasons of the Church;
- Providing a grounding on the history and philosophy of music – in collaboration with the U.S.-based Classical Liberal Arts Academy; • Offering performance opportunities - the Academy recently performed Elgar’s Dream of Gerontius, in its first major collaboration, alongside the Scottish Sinfonia, Glasgow University Chapel Choir and the Bearsden Choir, in Glasgow;
- Providing access to recognised qualifications, accredited by Trinity/Guildhall School of Music;
- Offering competition experience – the Academy Choir won 1st prize (and the Presbytery of Glasgow Award) in a choral section of the Glasgow Music Festival in March 2012, with a performance of Palestrina’s Alma Redemptoris Mater.
- Promoting self-giving, and societal change, through works of charity – through our close links with local and international charities, the Academy will be offering opportunities for students to engage in life-changing work with refugees, the elderly, homeless people and other vulnerable groups.
The Academy’s official charitable aims are recognised by the Office of the Scottish Charity Regulator as: the advancement of education, citizenship, the arts and culture.
The Trustees and Director of the Academy of Sacred Music would like to acknowledge the generous support of the following funders, many of which chose to support the Academy from an early stage in its development:
- The AMW Charitable Trust
- Archbishop Eyre's Charitable Trust
- Baird Trust
- Bellahouston Bequest Fund
- Miss Jeanne Bisgood's Charitable Trust
- Columba Trust
- The Ernest Cook Trust
- Gannochy Trust
- Sir Pierce Lacy Charitable Trust
- The Maple Trust
- John Mather Charitable Trust
- G A Moncrieff Charitable Trust No2
- Robertson Trust
- Saint Andrew Society Charitable Trust
- Souter Charitable Trust
- Thomas Tunnock Ltd