Chironomy on the EWTN Daily Mass
  • Greetings Friends:

    I have recently caught the EWTN daily mass on television.

    I'm rather intrigued by the chironomy of the gentlemen who conducts the choir.

    It is not familiar to me as anything I've experienced either at the CMAA Colloquium or at St. John Cantius in Chicago.

    Has anyone who has seen his conducting know anything about it? Is it another method of conducting chant? Is he making stuff up?

    I'm just curious as recently I have dedicated myself studying more chironomy, as chant is now a large part of my music program.

  • This isn't the fella who played the title role in a local production of Jesus Christ Superstar, was it?
  • Is it either of these guys? (almost 10 year old photo)
  • dad29
    Posts: 1,890
    Start here: DOES IT WORK?

  • BruceL
    Posts: 1,021
    Speaking not as any official representative, but as a colleague of Derek's and someone that's sung for him for quite some time, I wouldn't say it's "chironomy" per se, which would indicate a particular way of thinking of the chant (that is, something specific even in a larger division of "chant conducting"). I don't think that's what Derek is going for. He just has a particular way he wants things on air.

    It works for what he does; in a very different way, we have a blended approach at the Cathedral in Birmingham. There would be a lot of pitfalls and unmusicality in what we do if we slavishly adhered to "old Solesmes", in my opinion, just as there would be if we took a more radically semiologically rooted performance style. So, I try to take the best from the various approaches, also considering the tastes of the clergy and people (and the strengths of my singers).

    I know this probably clarifies nothing! But, I think it's accurate all the same.