When the Forum comes alive...
  • NihilNominisNihilNominis
    Posts: 439
    I just met irishtenor in the flesh today, completely unexpectedly! He was, as you'd imagine, doing something splendid for the sacred liturgy, and quite well, too. I began to describe to him who I was, and he recognized me at once from my postings here.

    It's always nice to be reminded that this is not an AI-driven support group full of liturgically conservative chatbots, but a group of real people, mostly active practitioners, whom you could meet, apart from this Forum, at any time and in many places, completely by chance, simply by doing the things that most of us already do to beautify divine worship and glorify God.

    Thanks to all of you for the community and camaraderie you help build on this Forum.

    And glory to the Providence of God, the master who sends his two servants on separate errands to the marketplace at the same time, knowing that they will meet.
  • irishtenoririshtenor
    Posts: 1,069
    It was my great pleasure to meet @NihilNominis this morning! Yes, it was quite unexpected, but also quite welcome! It was too bad we didn't have enough time to spend together, but that's life, I suppose.

    Thank you for your kind words, @NihilNominis; I hope our paths cross again one day soon! May God bless you always!
  • Jeffrey Quick
    Posts: 1,502
    And just a note to folks travelling this summer: you have to go to Mass somewhere. If you can make it to a member's parish (or even some other parish), consider volunteering to sing. I'm sure most people here can read music. And if they say no, you would have been sitting in the pews anyway.

  • Jim_Goeddel58
    Posts: 10
    At St. Francis de Sales Oratory in St. Louis, Missouri, we will be singing Gregorian Chant Masses and Propers for the next 11 weeks. Any assistance from traveling schola singers would be greatly appreciated! Our sung High Mass is at 10am Sunday (Rehearsal at 9am!)
  • Elmar
    Posts: 143
    ... you have to go to Mass somewhere. If you can make it to a member's parish (or even some other parish), consider volunteering to sing ...
    I'd strongly discourage this if you happened to come to my home parish (contrary to my working parish), though chances are quite slim ...

    Although we have no formal rehearsal-presence rule any more, singing ability is not considered as an adequate substitute for choir membership (by the 'important' choir members, that is).

    Even worse for solo singing psalm verses and such: we have a former 'diva' (who had a really good voice 30 years ago, they made nice recordings at the time) still in the choir ... nobody should try to sing at Mass without her being asked first, and in case she refuses - luckily she is aware of her present quality - only the director himself should dare taking over when she is present.
    Thanked by 1CharlesW
  • CharlesW
    Posts: 10,033
    I also have one of those divas. She studied with a significant voice professor forty years ago. Unfortunately, she has moved into Florence Foster Jenkins territory and the gilding has worn off the golden voice. Too bad there isn't a retirement home for old divas.

    Thanked by 2Elmar ServiamScores
  • CatherineS
    Posts: 198
    I love young people. I don't like church-pop type music, but I really love the humble, sincere enthusiasm of the young people's music group who are in rotation for Mass at my local parish. They are Christians first, and genuinely kind, pious, sweet-tempered, generous, helpful and cheerful. I'd sing with them just because it would be fun and joyful. Singing great music with cranky people is very dispiriting. I know a few old people who are very tender-hearted, but many seem to come out hard and bitter and stubborn, perhaps just from having endured the sufferings of life. May I not turn out that way!
  • Carl DCarl D
    Posts: 985
    I. Am. A. Liturgically. Conservative. Chatbot.

    Beep.
  • StimsonInRehabStimsonInRehab
    Posts: 1,559
    Another example from real life . . .

    At mass today, we sang a version of Adoremus in Aeternum in the second edition of the Traditional Roman Hymnal. One of my best friends, who is the bass section leader in the choir, mentioned that he had first been exposed to this piece by the august gentleman known among us as Incardination. Lo and behold, I myself first experienced this piece singing with Incardination as well.

    Blessed be the ties that bind!
  • Blaise
    Posts: 423
    you have to go to Mass somewhere. If you can make it to a member's parish (or even some other parish), consider volunteering to sing. I'm sure most people here can read music. And if they say no, you would have been sitting in the pews anyway.


    I posted some summer choir opportunities for traveling singers over in the ordinariate news thread.

    If you ever see me at the Cathedral of Our Lady of Walsingham (Houston, TX), my real name is not "Blaise" as used here on MusicaSacra - that is what I use because St. Blaise is a patron of physicians, of which I desire to be. Instead, I, Paul, will be in the bass/baritone section on the choir's far left and center row in the rehearsal room of Seton Hall, which is along the same sidewalk as the chancery, Personal Ordinariate of the Chair of St. Peter, on Westview Drive - the church proper is on Shadyvilla Lane. Call time at 10:30 am in order to vest.

    If instead you wish to go to my old parish, Our Lady of the Atonement Catholic Church (San Antonio, TX), the stairs to the choir loft will be immediately to the left once you enter the main doors of the church. Go up the stairs, through the choir loft (yes, the 9 am Mass will still be going on - just be discreet) and the rehearsal room will be on the right of the choir loft. Call time at 10:20 am for warm-up.

    Ordinariate of the Chair of St. Peter news thread (see July 6 posting)
  • stulte
    Posts: 243
    If you can make it to a member's parish (or even some other parish), consider volunteering to sing.

    Please, no. I've had enough trouble from visiting seminarians who want to sing in my schola when they find out my method doesn't match what's taught at the seminary. If you're not going to be in the group on at least a semi-regular basis, you won't know the particulars and that can cause issues.
  • NihilNominisNihilNominis
    Posts: 439
    You can decline volunteers, I'm never offended to be told "no thanks." Still, I would never not ask... meet too many awesome musicians that way.

    Incidentally, irishtenor declined my offer to collaborate (which I respected and which did not sting), but I only met him because I went up in quest of a different musician, whom I had met last year by asking if they could use a baritone for the day.

    By virtue of that, I was able to sing at a spectacular liturgy this past Sunday, as he knew me. Ask, is still my advice.

  • irishtenoririshtenor
    Posts: 1,069
    For the record, I didn’t want to make music with NihilNominis because I was threatened by his prodigious beard, which puts my facial hair to shame! I’m just really insecure ;-)
  • ServiamScores
    Posts: 100
    I'd say it never hurts to offer. The worst that can happen is you're told 'no'. I'm happy to have people sing with us as long as they can warm up with us and do run-throughs first (and it's not big rep). But for things like well-known ordinaries or propers, I'd have no issue as long as the visitor took note of where we stretched things.

    For the people saying "God no" they have every right to refuse, but you also have a right to offer. Just use good judgement.
    Thanked by 1NihilNominis
  • M. Jackson Osborn
    Posts: 6,817
    It is presumptuous to put a choirmaster in the position of having to say 'no, thank you.' If one doesn't belong to a choir or schola one should not expect to be granted the privilege of singing with it unrehearsed. On the other hand, it is sometimes tempting to a given choirmaster to invite a special colleague of undisputed talent and accomplishment to sing. But, no matter the ability and friendship of the guest, it is unfair for him or her to expect such a favour, and sets a bad example for the regular choristers. The best thing such a guest visitor should do is to sit in the congregation and then shower the choir or schola with compliments. Regardless of what a choirmaster's policy may or may not be, it is the height of arrogance for someone to offer to sing, or to presume that he or she could sing, without attendance at prior rehearsals. (On the other hand, if one receives an unsolicited invitation to sing, then all is well.)
  • mmeladirectress
    Posts: 707
    >> For the people saying "God no"

    I must have missed something. There is a vast difference between "God no" (which was not posted, I believe) and "please no" (which was posted)

    I myself was the unplanned-for visitor's voice in early days (well just once), and will never do that again.
  • NihilNominisNihilNominis
    Posts: 439
    It depends on the situation. Is it a summer pick-up choir, or a semi-professional ensemble? What are its usual rules for such guests? My ensembles, entirely volunteer, are built and managed for ebb and flow, with ample rehearsal prior to liturgy, into which a certain class of guest are historically welcome to fit comfortably (college students home for the weekend, former members back on visit, etc.). The singers started this (between directors) and respect it, deferring to my judgment. The choir I sang with last summer was a pick-up choir, which I learned about after the first Mass, where I listened and showered praise, as recommended.

    Thanked by 4Carol CHGiffen Elmar bdh
  • Richard MixRichard Mix
    Posts: 1,858
    It is presumptuous to put a choirmaster in the position of having to
    define their policy? I don't think so.
  • Incardination
    Posts: 705
    Let not the perfect be the enemy of the good.

    .
    Thanked by 1NihilNominis
  • NihilNominisNihilNominis
    Posts: 439
    Did...

    Did Incardination just?

    Yellow card & a period?! At the same time?
  • ClergetKubiszClergetKubisz
    Posts: 1,895
    I met Stimson at my first colloquium in Indianapolis. We have been good friends ever since.
  • KARU27
    Posts: 106
    Maybe you music directors could have a secret signal for visiting choristers to indicate whether or not they would be welcome. A yellow ribbon tied around the church door handles?
    Also,
    The best thing such a guest visitor should do is to sit in the congregation and then shower the choir or schola with compliments.


    Wouldn't it be even better to shower the priest with compliments, on having such a wonderful MD, choir, schola etc?

    Thanked by 1Carol
  • JonathanLCJonathanLC
    Posts: 52
    This is something that I really look forward to. I would love to meet a few people here. The comments on this forum are often hilarious and I find myself learning something valuable every day. It would be a real treat to put the names and faces to the avatars. Thank you all!
  • Maybe you could introduce yourself to the choir director before Mass as a CMAA Forum member and just say that afterwards, you'd love to chat and maybe meet the singers. That way you may very well get an invite to sing; if not, no offense on either side.
    Thanked by 2Elmar Carol
  • GambaGamba
    Posts: 184
    I propose a simple test for visiting would-be singers.

    1) Invite them into the gallery.
    2) Ask which chant faction they belong to: Team Old Solesmes, Team Equalist, Team Semiologist, Team Bel Canto, Team Accompany It With Serpents, etc.
    3a) If they say: "I don't know;" ask them to keep quiet and turn pages.
    3b) If they profess adherence to your team, give them the best robe and a ring, kill the fatted calf, and let them sing.
    3c) If they profess adherence to another, heretical faction, throw them over the railing to their death.

    By this method, you reward those who, holding to the truth, hand on the catholic and apostolic faith. Or else, you save the Church from those who "tamquam leo rugiens, circuit quaerens quem devoret."
  • Gamba,

    I notice you carefully avoid identifying which team claims your allegiance. How are interlopers supposed to cause chaos if you won't give them a crib sheet in advance?
  • GambaGamba
    Posts: 184
    I notice you carefully avoid identifying which team claims your allegiance.

    I like not being harassed.

    How are interlopers supposed to cause chaos if you won't give them a crib sheet in advance?

    Someone who says what they think I want them to say is probably wrong.
  • Jeffrey Quick
    Posts: 1,502
    I never thought my suggestion would engender so much passion. Clearly, if you have a great choir, you don't want to take any risks. As for myself...my guys work hard and sing their guts out. But I'm sure that almost every one of you is a better musician than the best singer in my group.
  • Elmar
    Posts: 143
    Clearly, if you have a great choir, you don't want to take any risks.
    Clearly, if you have a weak choir, you don't want to take any risks.

    I've got both (on my level of expertise, that is). I'd rather admit an external singer to my great choir (which I did once) than to the weak one. If the singer is good, great! If (s)he isn't, the choir members will carefully silence him/her in an appropriate way. Only if (s)he messes up completely in the warming-up, I would be forced to remove hem/her before Mass.

    If I had a bad guest singer in the weak choir, I would have to remove him/her during warming-up in order to avoid distraction of the members. In the opposite case, chances are that this singer suddenly mutates into the section leader (even against his/her will), causing confusion.

    If the guest is THAT goed that (s)he can lead the section in the direction that I am steering them, without having assisted at rehearsal, my only option is to offer him/her my place and go sit in the pews myself ...
    Thanked by 1Incardination
  • stulte
    Posts: 243
    I never thought my suggestion would engender so much passion.

    The forum came alive.
  • Carol
    Posts: 470
    I totally agree with JonathanLC about learning from the forum and enjoying the witty comments of many of you here. However, I recall coming face to face with a radio personality once and I infinitely preferred my imagined person to the actual flesh and blood I met. That would NEVER happen with you all, of course.
  • Incardination
    Posts: 705
    That would NEVER happen with you all, of course.

    I don't know... I've been told that I have the face for radio and the voice for silent movies.

    I'm still trying to work out whether that was intended as a compliment or not...
    Thanked by 3CHGiffen CharlesW Carol
  • they were comparing you to Sinatra's face and Harpo's comic genius? not too shabby
  • Liam
    Posts: 3,781
    Gamba is obviously on the best team of all: Team Emo Philips.
    Thanked by 1StimsonInRehab