Do you love your job?
  • Why or why not :)
  • Ben YankeBen Yanke
    Posts: 3,115
    As a part time (just a few hours a month) musician, I really enjoy the music I am able to do. Being able to see singers progress, people fall more in love with the Lord, happy priests, and of course, the satisfaction of a job well done myself.
    Thanked by 1canadash
  • I do. Because of my pastor, my choirs, my supporters, and ... my paycheck (which helps me support my family).

    I don't because of my insulters, my why-pay-musicians, my why-do-we-call-God-a-He, and my do-anything-to-undermine-church-teaching types.

    But mostly, yes. And I feel lucky, because I had a bittersweet relationship with my church music jobs for the first 12 years of my career.
  • CharlesW
    Posts: 11,674
    I actually do enjoy my work, although I tend to not say that too loudly. LOL. I have friends of several years in that choir so I sometimes serve as therapist as well as organist/DM/conductor/planner/copier fixer/purchaser and crisis manager. If I were starting over again, I might find it intimidating. Over the years I have just grown into it and tasks have developed over time. A friend asked how I do it. I said, "you just do it, don't think about it." LOL.
    Thanked by 1kenstb
  • There is a level of spiritual awareness and involvement, a sense of real friendship with God, a specific awe and love of God, a sense of doing his work, and of leading others in their praises, in 'church music' that cannot be defined. The very next thing to it would be holy orders or the religious life: there is an undoubted spiritual kinship - and, a profound love of the liturgy that, sometimes, seems to surpass that of priests, themselves. Even when things seem most irksome, one could not imagine any other life. (And, I think, some callous priests and pastors know this very well and exploit it mercilessly and without scruple.) Someone once said that when you play 'O come, all ye faithful' at midnight mass, you know why you became a church musician. Well, for some that might sum it up; for others it would well be some other aspect: perhaps chanting 'alleluia, pascha nostrum' on Easter Day, or leading one's choir through Weelkes' 'Alleluia, I heard a voice', or Palestrina's 'Haec dies', or Howells' 'Like as the Hart'. Or, it could well be that moment when one's fledgling schola of three and a half members finally mastered 'In splendoribus'. Often, it may be knowing that the parish music plays an enormous part in the 'cure of souls', and that one is, thus, truly ministering to people's spiritual health. Or, it just might be becoming suddenly aware that one's choir has magically entered into a realm of greater musicianship, or that one's congregation has made awe-filled strides in communal music-making. Whatever they may be, the particular joys of one's vocation in church music are, I am sure, in a class by themselves. We are 'they whom David set over the service of singing in the house of the Lord'. We are the successors to the Biblical Levites. An ancient and honourable pedigree is what we share. We fulfill two roles in one: we are responsible for God-oriented praises in the sacred precincts, and, by that token, we are evangelists. As psalm xxviii reminds us 'in his temple doth everything speak of his honour'. We share in assuring that it does. The Lord's temple and his praises are like unto nothing else in our daily experience. (In a just world 'choirmaster', like 'deacon' or 'priest', would be a formal ministerial 'order'. And - I think that at some times and places it was... was.)

    So, even at the most vexatious of times, our reward is knowing that we have been endowed by our heavenly Father with the gift of music, and that it is our responsibility (our, in the words of the Book of Divine Worship, 'bounden duty and service') to return it to him and share it with his people. This is for what we were put here. This is for what we were given our gifts by the 'giver of every good and perfect gift'. Stravinsky himself, who was deeply religious, once said that (in so many words) 'music is a gift of God, and when we perform it, it returns to him from whom it came'.

    To answer the question, 'do you love your job', I would, at this point, have to say that I have loved all my 'jobs'. At best, I have been able to offer just about anything imaginable from the polyphonic repertory and a very great serving of what might appear in any English cathedral choir's list of accomplishments. I have worked with members of the Houston Symphony, and with some very good (and some not so very good) amateur and professional instrumentalists. It has been my joy to direct professional choirs, semi-professional ones, and various grades of volunteer ones. And, most of the time my superiors were supportive, and, if not positively supportive, at least not at all negatively unsupportive. Currently I have not a full-time post, but enjoy very much the work I do at Houston's University of St Thomas teaching Gregorian chant, being the choirmaster of St Basil's Schola Cantorum, and being engaged there for special masses throughout the year. And, Walsingham being my actual spiritual home, I can do naught but heap praise on Edmund Murray, our choirmaster and organist, and am happy that I can reflect on having been the founding choirmaster there. Too, I remain active as a recitalist and lecturer, activities through which I can touch people spiritually and be touched likewise by them. Any form of music making that unites us in the love of God can but be a 'job' that is loved.

    There were, to be sure, vexing moments along my fifty-and-continuing-year journey in church music. I remember thinking at one point that if I heard Martin Luther's name one more time I would scream (but my Lutherans and I did, really, have a very good relationship, and mutual respect and love - and I would have to say that the pastor at this historic downtown church was and is a far finer Christian than many priests I have known). It was no fun, irksome, really, having a scold of a Dominican priest hire me to build a schola cantorum and a parish choir, and then complain before a month had passed that 'oh!, you will become so firmly ensconced that I will never get rid of you'. That lasted about three years. But, I love what I was able to do there - and, the music that I left in the choir's library. Then there was Msgr Victor di Primeo, the only really 'high church' Catholic priest I ever knew well or worked for. He took the Novus Ordo and celebrated it with the same ceremonial that he had practiced before the council. That was a glorious experience! A solemn high NO mass with three ministers on the altar, all readings sung, etc., every Sunday! In all, I have served Lutheran, Episcopal, and Catholic churches, and am grateful for my experience and spiritual growth at each of them. What other kind of work would fill one's soul with the God-given beauty that comes from practicing our Levitical role? In my imagination, the only thing that could come near it would be being someone like Francis of Assisi or Mother Theresa - being the hands of God for those who literally have nothing. (The Dominican priest who was afraid that I would become too ensconced once said that if he hadn't been a priest he would have been just as happy being travel agent. That says a lot!)

    Yes! I love my 'job'. None of us expects the proverbial 'bed of roses' in this life. Come to think of it, a bed of roses would be rather a thorny affair, wouldn't it?

    (A closing thought: we often hear, as a sort of dreadful caution, of the negative effects of, say, science playing God in people's lives. It occurred to me that, actually, we are called to play God in people's lives. What does that mean? 'Love one another as I have loved you'. It means doing Godly things for people and being Christ-like to the extent that we are able. I have no doubt that our music is a vehicle for introducing just such Godliness into people's lives... and! receiving it into our own lives!)

  • Such beautiful responses at a time when I really needed to hear them!

    Well what about vocation - does that play a role? As in, how can you know if you are "called" to do church music? Or is it just something you do when given the opportunity, no questions asked? This is something I ask myself quite often...
  • And, a little levity -

    What did the pastor say when his choirmaster asked if he really had to do an alternatim magnificat by Palestrina at solemn vespers next Sunday?

    'Do you love your job'?
  • BruceL
    Posts: 1,067
    I do! I'm very fortunate to have sympathetic clergy, wonderful volunteers, and generally good relations with my colleagues on staff. My one gripe is that, if my pay were about 20% higher, my wife could stop teaching lessons...which would make me much more efficient here! I have to work a lot from home now to accommodate that (because of small children), so that is a bit of a frustration. Fortunately, everyone is pretty patient that I have a very bizarre schedule, because it's probably the only way we could make ends meet. I imagine many of you are in similar straits!
    Thanked by 1sergeantedward
  • MJO, I think you summed up my thoughts on one sentence: "Even when things seem irksome, one cannot imagine any other life."

    I really hate my job. Hate hate hate it. The politics are frustrating, the level of commitment continuously wavering, and there are days where it seems like an uphill battle to even get myself to care. Heck, it doesn't even pay anything at this point anymore.

    But chant, polyphony - I can't get rid of them. They're like a benign addiction. Peter was right- where else can we go? Jesus has the words of eternal life. Musicians have the added bonus of having these words set to music. Where else can we go?
  • CharlesW
    Posts: 11,674
    When I was in college, there were non-organ and non-classical instrumental students in the music department. I mentioned to one long-haired, bearded, sandal-clad and tie-dyed guitarist that I get very frustrated with music at times. He said, "You have music in you. You can't get away from it." So true.
  • Yeah, I like it. I'd like it even more if I had a dozen trained singers who could read. But I have to learn humility, so I'm glad the job allows me to do that.
    Thanked by 1Gavin
  • I love my job-sometimes too much for my own good! But in all seriousness yes I do love it.

    Is it a vocation? For some, perhaps, others might wander into the job for other reasons and then choose to stay. Before I got the job, however, I did have a definite "calling" and fought against it for most of grad school. People had been making comments to me for years, heck going way back to my childhood, "You should play in church, you should learn the organ, people want you to do this." Oh but the youthful me thought pshhh that's not the kind of musician I'm going to be! I'm going to join the Cleveland Orchestra and travel the world and be rich and cultured and have a glamorous artsy life...So I practiced piano and violin to death and proudly added to my growing collection of awards and blue ribbons, memorizing Chopin nocturnes into the wee hours of morning, reading Bronte novels and Berlioz's memoirs and listening to The Cure in my free time, yes I had it all figured out, surely I was on my way to my goal.

    Then life happened. Marriage, kids, relocation, homelessness, more kids, food stamps, being estranged from family, picking up what was left of the old me and shoving it into a backpack as I returned to school. I had a violin jury during my junior year, 3rd mvt Mendelssohn concerto. I stopped halfway, turned to my professor and the entire studio and said "I'm sorry I can't do this anymore." The romantic was dead. NOW WHAT...The answer came a few months later. Early music and HIP were always lurking in the background because my husband loved Bach and irritated me by spending crazy money on the Gardiner CDs, but I'd never given it much thought. I bought some recordings of stuff that seemed interesting, including Biber's Rosary Sonatas. And to make a long story short, it went from there and all the way through my Master's thesis. I had spent enough time resisting and was in a desperate enough situation to just take the job, and so I did. I do believe this is a vocation, even if I didn't want to admit it at first! I know when God is speaking to me if my first instinct is "Nah, silly God you dont REALLY want me to do THAT! Gee I don't know God, that sounds scary." And that voice keeps saying "Yes, I do,
    Go and do it." And with all the imperfections and hassles that sometimes come up, I know I'm doing the right thing.
    Thanked by 1CHGiffen
  • canadashcanadash
    Posts: 1,481
    Yes, I do love my job, very much in fact. I'm really blessed. I have a wonderful pastor and we think a lot alike. Our associate pastor is right out of the seminary and a gem. There is a great staff at the church too. I also have a lovely choir. Most don't read music, but they are SO dedicated, so supportive... I can't imagine a better group. One of my many perks is that I'm not the organist (only if needed and that is not often PTL) and my organist is fab and he often tells the choir what I'm afraid to, and this works well.

    What would make my job better? More money! Not in salary, but in other ways. The organ could use an overhaul. Our ceiling could use some of that great enamel paint which was mentioned at the Colloquium. There are little things, which would improve with an unlimited budget (or a larger more limited one.)
  • kevinfkevinf
    Posts: 1,138
    Sadly, my job has taken a downward plunge...change of pastoral direction.

    But I love what I do. Chant and polyphony, ritual and prayer remind me of the blessings of this work all the time. And my singers I truly love. And I love all the work I do....
    So I just have to find another place to do it. And pray for me that I will....
  • CharlesW
    Posts: 11,674
    Prayers for you, Kevin.
  • Fidem, I totally would love to call life is shockingly similar to yours!
    Thanked by 1CHGiffen
  • ryandryand
    Posts: 1,640

    Good clergy. Good vision. Strange history of music here, but mostly positive (nearly unanimous) reception to anything resembling sacred music.

    Beauty speaks for itself.
  • Kevin’s description of his job could just about word for word apply to my own. Most of the progress that I made over 2+ years to gently nudge my parish towards using sacred music has been completely wiped away, leaving me without even the ability to select the music for my choir. The people of the parish and especially the members of my choir have been most grateful for my musical abilities, and it is an honor and a privilege to serve as musician at the Sacrifice of the Mass (but at the same time is tiring to hear the Mass described as merely a prayer and a meal - it is so much more than that!)

    I would also certainly refer to my “job” as a vocation, with its origin in a very specific event in my life. Once when I was an altar server at my home parish (I think I was an undergraduate college student at the time), the music director came to the sacristy to ask Father whether this or that hymn was the more liturgically appropriate for that particular day. His response went something like, “Well, you know, they are both the fourth option.” When I looked up the other options, I was pleasantly surprised to find that the first is chant! Since then, I have made it a priority to immerse myself in the Church documents regarding sacred music to know what they have to say about it. In addition to the several church jobs that I have held over the past several years, I have also studied sacred music and especially chant at the academic level, with a master’s thesis on chant and hopefully a doctoral dissertation on chant or a related area in sacred music (I am still working on selecting that topic). So the vocation reaches me not only as a practicing musician but also as an academic.

    Suffice it to say that there is quite a disconnect between my current job and my studies. I would be most grateful if you could add a second Kevin to your prayer list for a new job or at least the grace to accept my current position and somehow be a positive influence on those around me. Kevin, I will also keep you in my prayers.
  • @Soprano: LOL, violin is a vocation by itself! They come in pairs around here and I imagine in most places. Violinists can't function very well with others lol! I only manage as well as I do because I was a pianist first, violin came later. But many of my violin-playing friends walk similar paths.
  • Many prayers will be said for the two Kevins.
    This is sad.

    And to think that such men are called 'father'.
    It's just been a few weeks ago that our Lord asked '...what man is there of you, whom if his son ask bread, will he give him a stone? Or if he ask a fish, will he give him a serpent?

    Yet these 'fathers' take away from their people the musical bread that they have and give them a stone in its place. They substitute a serpent for that music which the Church defined as a treasure greater than any other.

    Thanked by 1CHGiffen
  • progress ... to gently nudge my parish towards using sacred music has been completely wiped away,

    tiring to hear the Mass described as merely a prayer and a meal

    These data points are related. Go. Shake the dust. In my experience (I'd love to hear counterexamples) those who will not endure sound music will not endure sound doctrine. I'm tired of catholike churches that won't be Catholic.

    Good luck, and my prayers.
    Thanked by 1CHGiffen
  • Most of the progress that I made over 2+ years to gently nudge my parish towards using sacred music has been completely wiped away,

    I'm in the same boat as you, Kevin. Very discouraging. I was going to quit, but I can't afford to (although I get paid very little and it's only part time, but every little bit counts these days).

    I really enjoy playing the organ and singing. One thing I'm very grateful for is that the church pays for my organ lessons, so even though my salary is very small, that's an opportunity that I couldn't otherwise afford. It's kind of the only thing that's keeping me there anymore.

    I guess one good thing is that since I also sing, I just do both and then I don't have to deal with any of the other musicians. So I just do my own thing and the drama is kept to a minimum.

    I used to have a schola which I enjoyed, but most of those people go to the Latin Mass now and I got tired of doing all of that work for free anyway, since for some reason the church doesn't think I should get paid for that.

    I wish I could find a different job, but there aren't many options where I live (unless I decided to play for a Protestant church, which I've considered).
    Thanked by 1Kevin Anthony
  • This is not my full-time job, but I devote a lot of time to it, and I love it.

    Are there set-backs? Yes. But the movement is generally in a good direction, and we are already in a very good place to begin (chanted propers every mass, quality choral music at the choral mass, etc.). So yes, I love it.

    I had much more responsibility for the music at my former parish, where I was 'nudging' as others say, basically as a volunteer, but with some autonomy. Then they hired a DM who thinks that electronic drums make a wonderful addition to the music on Sundays. (Believe it or not, this woman has a degree. Didn't seem to help...) I do not really know what the priest (whom I admire in many respects) there thinks, though I told him what I think and soon thereafter left for my current situation.
  • electronic drums

  • melofluentmelofluent
    Posts: 4,160
    At this point I'm intending to retire ASAP. I love my job, but I'm wondering where the lions are (oblique Bruce Cockburn reference.) As I've intimated many other occasions, perhaps the vocation of Director of Music (short-lived it may have been) is now officially an endangered species.
    My only recommendation, be conversant and philosophically okay with a spectrum of modalities.
  • Ally
    Posts: 227
    I do love my job and will shout it from the rooftops! I saw the title of this post, and just HAD to respond...YES!

    I am so very blessed to be able to direct music at a seminary. The environment is like nothing else in this world. It can be difficult of course, as anywhere. And be here, where future priests are formed, has been incredibly formative for me (even as a laywoman!) I am so thankful for the priests I work with (especially Fr. Earthman! Shout out to you!) and for the faculty here. I am also very thankful for the men I get to make music with every day before the Lord, for their sacrifices, their gifts and talents, their struggles, and this beautiful vocation to which they are called.

    I certainly pray for those in difficult situations. Blessings and prayers for a new opportunity to share your gifts and serve the Church.

    St. Cecilia, pray for us!
    Thanked by 2CHGiffen canadash
  • This forum encourages people to go into jobs that, if you are competent or better, you will be ousted from.
    Posts: 175
    This forum encourages people to go into jobs that, if you are competent or better, you will be ousted from.

  • CharlesW
    Posts: 11,674
    I am not sure I understand how this forum "encourages people to go into jobs...they(you) will be ousted from." This forum and CMAA encourage music and liturgy that is, let's face it, not the norm anymore. Neither is it widespread in the grand scheme of things. There seems to be great exultation over new parishes that adopt good sacred music, but they are not the majority of parishes out there. How this will all shake out 30 years from now is anyone's guess. If you are in a parish that values good sacred music, give thanks.

    I suppose I am resistant to both encouragement and discouragement. I have a distressing tendency to do as I please and have reached the age where that seems a good thing.
    Thanked by 1CHGiffen
  • CharlesW, this does not suggest anything about your longevity in your position, of course...

    But, this music IS the norm. Anyone that believes otherwise has drunk the Kool Aid.

    All that is going on now is an aberration that will cease, as it has over time, once again. Because of the internet, that change will happen quickly instead of slowly as these church musical cycles used to take.
    Thanked by 1eft94530
  • CharlesW
    Posts: 11,674
    All that is going on now is an aberration that will cease, as it has over time, once again. Because of the internet, that change will happen quickly instead of slowly as these church musical cycles used to take.

    This "aberration" has been going on for better than 50 years. It may change in the future, but none of us will be around to witness it. It is just as possible that it may not change. The music being proposed as the "norm" by CMAA is anything but. Don't misunderstand since I love that music. It has, however, been pushed into a corner and is not normal usage in most parishes. The reason music has remained relatively constant in my parish is because it meets congregational expectations. Add to that the longevity of pastors. The pastor before last was there for 38 years while the recently retired pastor was there for 17 years. This is unusual. We are considered so conservative and traditional, most of the trendy priests avoid us like the plague.
  • Charles,

    Clarification. Something can be a norm without being normal.

    The USCCB used that confusion to claim that the norm for receiving Holy Communion in these US of A was standing, and in the hand, when the universal norm is kneeling and on the tongue.
    Thanked by 1eft94530
  • CharlesW
    Posts: 11,674
    As a Byzantine layman, we are not allowed to touch the sacred mysteries. The cavalier handling of the holy in Roman circles has always baffled me and I freely admit I don't understand it. However, the Roman authorities seemingly have not exceeded their jurisdiction by allowing it.

    Clarification. Something can be a norm without being normal.

    Yes there is a distinction between the two. It seems the norm has become the new normal and very few want to go back to the older normal.

  • In some ways, I think directing a schola or parish choir (while trying to also move the parish toward using Sacred Music) is a vocation. I have often thought how easy it would be and how much it would simplify my life if I just sat in the pews each week and went to Mass. But, at least in my neck of the woods, I am the only one who knows what we "should" be doing and has at least some of the skills to make it happen...

    I just cannot sit by and do nothing when I have the opportunity to do something... the speed of change in the hearts of those in the parish seems glacial at times... but I do think we make gradual progress when we try to educate and illuminate the parish with charity and patience.
  • lmassery
    Posts: 351
    I can't say that I love my job. I like certain parts of it, and certain people that I work for/with. I am grateful for the job and am happy for the most part. But often I feel alone in the pursuit of something beyond the particular tastes and demands of the parishioners. The staff's official position is to have "something for everyone." But our smorgasboard of musical styles hardly includes any chant, Latin, or polyphony, because no one is asking for that, except for Holy Mother Church and her vote doesn't matter that much to people.
    Thanked by 1noel jones, aago
  • CharlesW
    Posts: 11,674
    I just cannot sit by and do nothing when I have the opportunity to do something... the speed of change in the hearts of those in the parish seems glacial at times... but I do think we make gradual progress when we try to educate and illuminate the parish with charity and patience.

    One of our posters usually gets annoyed when I mention I don't do church music for the money - I don't need it. Why the annoyance, I don't know, but that's his problem, not mine. It is a case of not being able to sit by and do nothing when I can do something. It is a vocation, I agree.
    Thanked by 1noel jones, aago
  • melofluentmelofluent
    Posts: 4,160
    As much as it pains, I concur with Noel that the new normal/norm (in this case, the same and let's just agree on that to move on) is ensconced in our Western cultures. It is also wise to agree that this cultural byproduct will evolve or devolve, we hope the former. But back to reality- the real issue that friend Imassery implies does contain a third way beyond entrenchment in the false dichotomy: tradition/contemporaneous.
    I credit musical stability for the situation I'm now facing, that of a long tenure directing and managing a large, multi-church/idiomatic parish music program while planning to retire. Since becoming involved with CMAA I have labored to educate music leadership at our parish and re-orient (pun OK) different strains of styles towards the inclusion of Propers, chant, and studied choices for Mass Ordinary settings into the more popular repertoires. Some would decry that proper Propers means the Latin Graduale, Liber etc. I don't think everyone ought to die on that hill. The Musica Sacra resources page is living proof that may be for a majority of American RC's a deal-breaker. This is why the Fords, Bartlett, Rice, Oost Zinner, Esguerra, Weber, Kelly's and others' innovations are welcome. A recent thread here deals with chant in Afrikans, if that's not an indicator I don't know what is. On each side of the equation "Propers = chant" the medium is still the message.
    So, if a director can't or won't employ the medium through, say, the SEP at the Ensemble Mass, they're willfully ignoring spreading good seed on the ground in the middle consciousness of modern PIPs. No pastor should flinch at the chanting of an Introit or Communio within the "sandwich" approach. Is there really scandal attached to chanting an SEP before launching into a parish fave liturgical song? Not if both choices are well reasoned and performed well. And we have to give ground that we'd rather accept the use of Pluth/Tietze hymn version, or Ainslee's multi-emulative antiphons, or Macek/Tate's "popular" versions of Propers as stand alone and/or augmented (stuffed) entities.
    I'm mirthfully reminded of the scene in "YOUNG FRANKENSTEIN" Gene Wilder's "Victor" has pondered his grandfather's treatise and exclaims "!"
    The upshot is a beneficial growth in the congregations' exposure to the native forms of the Church. It could even include some modest forms of polyphony in addition to chant and hymns. The point is to by stealth or wealth, sew the seeds of that growth.
    Example, we simply chant "Lord hear our prayer." Scale degrees 7-6-7-1 as like the Litany of the Saints. It is now commonplace, acquired and fully taken up. What's been a pleasant surprise is when I "cover" Masses usually led by others who don't use this little device, is that their congregations respond naturally and likewise fully. There's no cognitive dissonance among the PIPs. And you know what? That's the sort of simple adjustment that Mahrt's been evangelizing his whole career.
    The problem I see as most detrimental to vital worship practice is stasis (Homer Simpson just blurted "Doh!"), which obviously is antithetical to growth.
    The Dial-a-Mass option is antithetical to that growth, it relegates musical styles to ghettos essentially. Good ol' Msgr. Mannion in Salt Lake excoriated this strain, Eclecticism, in his paradigms. Well, our congregations are blended now aren't they.
    Discretion, wisdom, purpose have to be applied by pastors and their musicians.
    And that's probably what our pastor will want, in addition to consistency from regime to regime, from the DM who follows my time.
    PS. For credibility I will state we do keep a Novus Ordo sort of Solemn Mass aided by a schola as the principal Sunday Mass among the churches.
    Thanked by 1MichaelDickson
  • lmassery
    Posts: 351
    No pastor should flinch at the chanting of an Introit or Communio within the "sandwich" approach. Is there really scandal attached to chanting an SEP before launching into a parish fave liturgical song?

    Yes in my case there is - even if I did one chant amid a sandwich approach, or did a hymnt-tune introit, it would be ok for one week, but if I did it consistently, it would be met with resistance and suspicion.
  • melofluentmelofluent
    Posts: 4,160
    I'd be lying if I didn't realize that your experience is a common one, one I deeply lament. And as I've already said vis a vis Kevin's ouster in KY, it will likely remain so. I really don't have any surety as to what amounts to a solution. But I'm very skeptical that any entrenchment, especially a banal static one, is likely to sway public and "shot caller" opinion. How many of us have the real opportunity to solely change the course of regular parish worship? God bless everyone who's been provided the opportunity to minister and worship at a Cantius, a Basilica IC, an FSSP parish (which doesn't always work out so well) and so forth.
    It can't hurt a DM's resume/CV to be both dedicated and versatile. And I truly don't believe that being so is a necessary evil that demeans both the Church and the DM. Integrity can be found in many ways, and I'm uncomfortable with statements that charge such folk with apostasy.
  • SarahJ
    Posts: 54
    YES! Best job I have EVER had. By far.
    I work for a communicative, knowledgeable and appreciative priest.
    The people in our choir are lovely and I honestly like every single one of them. (It is a small choir ;) )
    I have the freedom to choose organ repertoire that I love.
    I get to be part of a big and important transition, moving from not-so-great liturgy, to as-it-should-be liturgy.
    I get to sing praise to the Creator of the Universe.
    Every week is a great anticipation towards Sunday, Sunday morning is the climax, and then Sunday afternoon I'm sort of left in a happy daze.

    There are stresses, not all of it is hunky-dory, but that bad stuff pales in comparison to the good.
    Thanked by 2CHGiffen canadash
  • SalieriSalieri
    Posts: 3,102
    On the whole, I do like my job, though, selfishly perhaps, I enjoy it the most when I can just open up the Graduale and play an organ Mass (Low Mass), and don't have to worry about fifteen things simultaneously (are the sopranos in tune, are the basses singing the right piece, my shoe's untied and I have a pedal obligato coming up, cue the altos, ...).

    Though there are times when I wish I had considered a profession with fewer problems like astrophysics.
    Thanked by 1CharlesW
  • ryandryand
    Posts: 1,640
    my shoe's untied and I have a pedal obligato coming up,

    Play in socks
  • yes I love my job, though I don't get paid.
    Whats not to love about teaching music to children?
    Yesterday one of the four year olds said to me ; Have you ever heard of a saxamaphone?' I said yes, i had. He said 'well its just a trumpet'.
    If you are getting beat up working with immovable choirs, congregations and clergy, just make it your priority to work with the next generation of choirs congregations and clergy. I would rather be training the bishop of my diocese from the age of four than trying to change the current bishops mind who is probably fairly set in his ways. Just because i won't live to see it play out does not mean it is not real, not meaningful, or not worth doing.
    Thanked by 1eft94530
  • SalieriSalieri
    Posts: 3,102
    my shoe's untied and I have a pedal obligato coming up,

    Play in socks

    This is why I got some of these.
  • matthewjmatthewj
    Posts: 2,678
    My shoelaces!
  • ryandryand
    Posts: 1,640
    I hate tying shoelaces. I'm speechless.