Category Archives: Yale Institute of Sacred Music

Yale Institute of Sacred Music (ISM) is an interdisciplinary graduate center at Yale University that engages broadly with sacred music, worship, and the arts in diverse religious traditions and in civic life. The ISM podcast series focuses on different disciplines and perspectives that touch upon these subjects.

Dr. Carla Neuss on the Transformative Power of Theater



ISM Fellow Dr. Carla Neuss explores education and the transformative power of theater, medieval and modern, asking “When theater accomplishes something, or does something within us or within the audiences, how does it actually DO that?”


African American Womanist Preaching: Word in Conversation with Sound



ISM Fellow Dr. Melanie R. Hill explores how African American literature mutually influenced and informed Black womanist preaching. “Literature, music and theology . . . all of these elements have really been the heartbeat of who I am — not only of my research, but of who I am as a scholar and an artist.”


ISM Fellows in Conversation: Ep. 4: Music Research and Ecological Activism in Haiti



The ethnomusicologist Rebecca Dirksen discusses Haiti—a nation particularly vulnerable to climate change and subject to dire injustice in the aftermath of natural disasters—and the concept of Mizik Angaje, socially or politically engaged music within the context of Voudon traditions with Ben Bond, a Master of Divinity student at Yale Institute of Sacred Music and Yale Divinity School.


ISM Fellows in Conversation: Ep. 3: Channeling Christianity in Kenya



The African musicologist Jean Ngoya Kidula talks about the multi-layered musical and religious landscape of Kenya, a crossroad of musical influences from Tanzania, Zimbabwe, the Congos, and South Africa with Ben Bond, a Master of Divinity student at Yale Institute of Sacred Music and Yale Divinity School.


ISM Fellows in Conversation: Ep. 2: Dancing through the Sacred



Christopher-Rasheem McMillan, scholar and choreographer, talks about Christianity, dance, gender, color, and queerness with Clare Byrne, a master’s degree candidate at Yale Institute of Sacred Music and Yale Divinity School.


ISM Fellows in Conversation: Ep. 1: Interdisciplinary Approaches to Studying Augustine



Marie-Ange Rakotoniaina, a liturgical scholar whose work focuses on early Christianity, discusses how Augustine re-envisioned the Sabbath in a wealth of spiritual imageries with Jake Cunliffe, a Master of Divinity student at Yale Institute of Sacred Music and Yale Divinity School.


Composers Reflect on Their Work: Ep. 4: A New Arrangement of the Brahms Requiem



Conductor David Hill talks to composer Iain Farrington, who has made an arrangement of the Brahms Requiem for chamber orchestra. We will hear a movement from the work as performed by Yale Schola Cantorum in a recording on the Hyperion Label.


Composers Reflect on Their Work: Ep. 3: A 19th Century Translation of Bach’s St. John Passion



Conductor David Hill talks to ISM faculty members Markus Rathey and Jimmy Taylor about Robert Schumann’s little-known arrangement of Bach’s St. John Passion. We will hear a movement from the work as performed by Yale Schola Cantorum live in Woolsey Hall in 2018. The whole performance is available on the ISM YouTube Channel.


Composers Reflect on Their Work: Ep. 2: A “New” Work by Palestrina



Conductor David Hill talks to two members of a team that newly transcribed and edited a Palestrina Mass that had been gathering dust for more than four hundred and twenty-five years. We will hear a movement from the work as performed by Yale Schola Cantorum in a recording on the Hyperion Label.