February 28, 2012. (Romereports.com) Just by walking through these doors, it becomes quite obvious that here, music is a way of life. You can hear the piano, clarinet, violin the organ and choirs singing in the background. It's the Pontifical Institute of Sacred Music, founded back in 1911 by Piux X.
For more than 100 years, students have come and gone. Currently there are 150 of them from all over the world. Many of them actually live in the school's residence halls.
For the last 15 years, Spaniard Alfonso Luna has managed the institute, welcoming about 600 students in the process.
Mons. Alfonso Luna Residence administrator, Pontifical Institute Sacred Music “All the young men and priests who come to study sacred music can also use this residence. It trully is an international school with people from all over the world. The young students and priests are mostly from Mexico, Korea, Africa, Central Europe, Spain and Italy. I think I've had students from all over the world.”
There are all types of music courses, from Gregorian chant, to organ, musical composition and choir. Students have access to a library with 32,000 books, magazines and of course records, including this treasure-a Franciscan antiphonary from the 13th century.
Even though teachers and students are from all over the world, they all share the same language of music.
Walter Marzilli Professor of Choral (Italy) “Since 1991, we've offered choir directing courses. For more than 20 years, I've taught this subject to students from all over the world. Every year, more enroll.”
Theo Flury Professor of Organ (Switzerland) “Students who come here do so with great pleasure. It's a great sacrifice, coming from another country and dealing with all the finances. All this means that they are very motivated to study.”
The institute is a place for some of the most talented music students. Most already have their degree from their country and come to Rome to broaden their formation.
Francisco JosÚ Carbonell Student Membership (Spain) “The thing that sets this institute aside from other conservatories is precisely the religious background it has. That is, there is a reason why music is made, a reason why it's addresses, composed, written and played. It's a way to praise God and serve the liturgy.”
Veneziano Marialuisa Student Body (Italy) “By studying the works of Palestrina, or that of Tomas Luis de Victoria or other great polyphonic composers of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, one's spirit rises to the understanding of infinity. It's something that students from another musical institute, of equal standing, but with a different agenda, would not be exposed to.”
Rene Javier Hernandez Student of Gregorian Chant (Puerto Rico) “It is amazing how students come here from very distant countries with very different traditions. They don't even know Latin, but they're interested in learning Gregorian chant so they can take it to their homeland like China, Japan, Singapore. There are also many students from Africa and around the world who are specifically interested in Gregorian chant.”
Sacred music is constantly played here. Even on the weekends, there are different courses and concerts. While there are students like these, teachers say the future of Sacred music is looking bright, loud and clear.