Children's Choir
  • I received an email from my priest this morning informing me of a meeting to discuss a CD recording of our Children's Choir.

    The Choir is in its infancy, just over one year old. I wouldn't dream of recording them for at least two more years.

    I feel a premature recording would be exploiting them for being children who can sing a few songs, whereas recording them in a few years would be promoting them for being a good choir...

    Am I wrong?
  • You may want to have them do a test recording, send out copies to a few trusted friends, and get their opinions...sometimes we are too close to the situation to make a decision...and the fact that the pastor is interested in such a project is something that many of us would die for.

    The CD could create an even wider support for your work with them...the best of luck with this decision.
  • Agreement with FNJ- the "making" of a CD is not the burden or momentous step that it was a decade ago. For archival purposes alone, I would take the pastor's initiative (particularly if he's going to help bankroll the project to whatever end he envisions) to a reasonable goal.
  • mjballoumjballou
    Posts: 986
    I can see both the pros and cons of this project. One point is that it takes a lot of music to do a CD. One option is to combine the children's choir, doing what songs they do well, with additional ensembles - vocal and/or instrumental. Done well (something that is no longer prohibitive), you can make a little money for music, etc. and build a lot of good will.

    And make sure the children do a couple of crowd pleasers, both Latin and English.
  • Chances are your pastor is a non-musician, and doesn't know about choirs just starting out. He likes your work, and so I would consider this a large compliment and ditch any suspicions of exploiting a cute children's group for now.

    To squash his initiative would not be in your best interest. But a full scale recording of a group that isn't ready isn't in your best interest (or theirs) either.

    I had the same idea as Mary Jane of a joint CD- but of course she beat me to it! Put your best foot forward and build good will. It can be a great incentive and occasion of learning for the choristers. If the project is to be bankrolled, it is reasonable to ask to be paid for your extra time.
  • priorstf
    Posts: 460
    capa20 - I'd ask the pastor *why* he'd like to make the recording. If he's planning to use it to raise money for the new church roof, that might be a bit exploitational. But if it's something for the choir itself, and perhaps some members of the congregation, go for it!

    I recently uncovered an old ... ancient? ... tape recording of the Charpentier Christmas Midnight Mass I sang as a boy treble and my dad as a tenor. It is, in reality, a pretty mediocre recording of a mediocre performance replete with coughing, sneezing, horrendous glissando entries, etc. It is, in my opinion, however, a relic valuable beyond all price.

    Your children's children may find it quite amusing in their day. (Provided, of course, that they can still find something to play the prehistoric "CD" on.) Maybe you could suggest recording to mp3 format and posting on a website -- with restricted access if so desired.

    Good luck.
  • Chironomo
    Posts: 29
    An open question to anybody who might be able to help.

    I may soon be "tasked" (and happily so!) with forming a children's music program in a newly dedicated EF parish. The children are between 9 -16 years old, about 20 of them all from the parish's homeschool group. The chant and liturgical music for an adult schola at Mass is no problem, but I have no idea where to start with this kind of group. I'm feeling that this group is not necessarily going to be singing at Mass, but is more of an educational program. There is a lot of support and enthusiasm... where do I begin? Anybody???
  • kevinfkevinf
    Posts: 1,063
    Chironomo,

    Email me. I can help.

    kevinfaul@gmail.com

    Kevin in Atlanta
  • Kathy
    Posts: 4,996
    Chironomo,

    I have a pretty good schola going at my parish. The kids seem to thrive on prayer, repetition, and structure. We have a Beginning Schola that does not sing at Mass yet: it's like a boot camp, with their own separate rehearsals, in which they learn a Mass setting (whatever setting we will be singing by the time they are done with Beginning Schola) and basic singing technique. After that they sing at a Mass and "graduate" into Intermediate Schola. All of the singers beyond Beginning Schola rehearse together one hour a week. After surviving a big ordeal, such as Advent-Christmas or Holy Week-Easter, they are invited to audition for Advanced Schola. Those singers have an additional rehearsal and are the "core group" that the others can depend on for the propers. In their extra rehearsals they learn theory as well.

    Next I will be developing a Leadership Schola, as some of the oldest singers have begun guiding the younger kids already.

    This structure seems to be working pretty well so far. It helps tremendously that we have robes for them already, and also that we have a Principal Organist who studied and played for liturgies at Christendom College. However, they often sing their best a cappella.

    I would mention that when they began singing every week, the quality of the singing of the propers slid dramatically, because I didn't plan for them to have the amount of repetition that they used to have, when they sang only on special occasions. So now we are beginning to rehearse each Sunday's propers several weeks in advance.