Perfection and fullness are the ideas that the biblical text communicates in its numerous mentions of the number seven. Seven consecutive days and seven circles the Israelites had to make around the city of Jericho before they were ready to enter it. Later, the disciple Peter would be exhorted to forgive “up to seventy times seven.” Today, also on the path of trying to achieve perfection, we celebrate the seventh annual appointment with the sacred music of Havana.
Being a propitious time to review our steps, we dedicate the actions of this new edition to commemorate the beginning and permanence of the collaborative relations between the bishoprics of Havana and Regensburg (Germany), pillars of the creation of a Cathedra of Sacred Music in Cuba, under the auspices of the Padre Félix Varela Cultural Center and the Regensburg Institute of Sacred Music and Musical Pedagogy (Hochschule für katholische Kirchenmusik und Musikpädagogik HfKM, Regensburg), as well as these seven days in which the sacred heritage of all regions and epocas has taken center stage. Like a milestone within that link, the Most Reverend Monsignor Rudolf Voderholzer, Bishop of Regensburg, visits us in order to share the liturgical and artistic celebrations framed on this seventh occasion. It is also an opportunity to thank the local and foreign teachers who have committed themselves to the task of encouraging a taste for music made with a religious function, transmitting their knowledge to professional and / or active musicians in the liturgy. Therefore, every concert these days recognizes those teachers who have developed a systematic work for many years in our Island. Among them, Stefan Baier (organist and rector of HfKM), Claudia Gerauer (flutist), Kathleen McIntosh (harpsichord player), Alina Orraca and Ada Rabelo, the latter also with a sustained work by the Schola Cantorum Coralina and the Coral de la Ermita de La Caridad de La Habana, respectively.
The constant contribution of institutions such as the National Center for Concert Music of the Cuban Institute of Music, the Provincial Music Centers of Santa Clara and Bayamo, the Heritage Cabinet Musical Esteban Salas of the Office of the City Historian, the Higher Institute of Art (University of the Arts), the National School of Music (ENA), the Amadeo Conservatory Roldán, the Goethe Institut, and the diplomatic headquarters of Germany, Poland and the Czech Republic in Cuba. This seventh day brings with it the well-known spaces for workshops, conferences and concerts. Workshops of interpretation and improvisation to the organ, of interpretation to the harpsichord, of composition and historically informed interpretation, choirs, singing, and Gregorian chant. Cycles of lectures on liturgy – given for the first time by the priest Charles Minegal – and on sacred music, with an emphasis on contemporary repertoire. Organ concerts, such as the one Stefan Baier presents the result of his pedagogical imprint on that instrument, materialized in his students Steven Heelein and Markus Ruprecht. The emblematic choral concerts that open and close the weeks, where like-minded groups converge and to the work of the Cathedra as: Coralina (Dir. Alina Orraca), Vocal Luna (Dir. Wilmia Verrier and Maribel Nodarse), Sine Nomine (Dir. Leonor Suárez), Vocal Leo (Dir. Corina Campos) and the Choir of Chamber of HfKM Regensburg (Dir. Kunibert Schäfer), visiting Cuba for the second time.
From in this way, bearing fruit in its time, this seventh appointment aims to be the space to consolidate each of the paths that have been traced from the management perspective of the Cathedra of Sacred Music and its collaborators. We always appreciate the efforts of all those who they make each year of the Sacred Music Week a dreamed and crystallized sound environment.