New Schola Cantorum -- Dayton / Huber Heights, Ohio
  • At St. Peter Church and the other Region XII parishes of north Dayton and Huber Heights, Ohio:

    We are starting a Schola Cantorum to study and sing Gregorian chant. Members of the schola will learn traditional chant notation, Latin and English chants. No prior knowledge of music notation required, just willingness to learn. With sufficient singers, we hope to undertake some polyphony as well. Contact Gregory Weber, chantdaytonxii@gmail.com

    This is a "garage schola" which is being formed in an effort to restore the forgotten treasure of sacred music in this community, with the approval of the pastor and the St. Peter (largest parish's) music director, but with the understanding that we will not be singing regularly at any mass any time soon. We hope to build an awareness and love of chant in our community through other activities, which might include:

    - Sunday Vespers (Evening Prayer)
    - Singing for the sick and shut-ins, in their homes or in hospitals
    - Youth outreach, chant camp
    - Funerals, for any who desire the traditional requiem chants
    - Singing at masses for special days -- Christmas, Pentecost, etc.
    (invited by the St. Peter Music Director)
    - A sacred concert (suggested by the Pastor)

    [Even] if you can't sing with us, please pray for us.

    I'm sure I will be asking for much advice in this forum.

  • Best of luck from down the road in Cincinnati!
    Thanked by 1GregoryWeber
  • Best of luck from Columbus!
  • And I wish you success and joy from down here in Houston.
    (All of you up there please throw a snowball for me this winter.)
    Thanked by 1Incardination
  • CHGiffenCHGiffen
    Posts: 5,000
    Best of luck and prayers for this noble undertaking from Hudson, WI, across the St Croix river from the Twin Cities, MN.
    (I'll throw a snowball - or three or four - for Jackson, since we already have plenty of snow!)
  • Salutations and prayers from the other end of the state!
    Anything you want, just let me (us) know.
    Thanked by 1GregoryWeber
  • I am curious, how many voices you are starting with? We are hoping to start something similar, but I am a bit nervous to do it with too few singers.
    Thanked by 1GregoryWeber
  • Petrus, I don't know exactly how many voices we will start with. We have about 6 to 8 people expressing various degrees of interest, but after we examine schedules and other commitments, I don't think all of them will be participating. We will be recruiting through mid-January and hope to have our first meeting by Feb. 1.

    In Arlene Oost-Zimmer's "How to Start Your Own Garage Schola," I have read, "The schola can be one more person" (total 2) "or it can be 20. And there's no need to commit to a future performance. The only benefit promised should be a private one. Make it exciting and fulfilling, and they will come."

    So I think you should just do it!
    Thanked by 2StimsonInRehab Elmar
  • If you haven't already - contact Amanda Gulick at Holy Family in Dayton. You can find her contact info on their bulletin. Lady has a mad skill set.
    Thanked by 1GregoryWeber
  • StimsonInRehab: I had been thinking of doing that, so thank you for reminding me and encouraging me. I haven't met her, but I know she has a wonderful choir and wonderful parish.
  • A belated update to my answer to petrus_simplex: At our first meetings, we had about 20 voices. After about two rehearsals, COVID-19 struck, and all events were canceled. When the pan-panic ended and events resumed, about 6 singers (7 counting me) came back.

    To my delighted astonishment, the I and the schola were invited to lead the music for First Friday Masses starting in Advent, 2020. This in a parish where the music is largely from Saints Marty and David and companions! The organist for First Fridays had resigned, and the priests took it as an opportunity to do something new and better.

    One of our singers had been the cantor for First Fridays, with the previous organist, and she continued in that role with the schola. She later resigned from the schola, not in frustration, but to lead a new Bible study group; she could not find a meeting time for her new group that didn't conflict with our rehearsal time. After that I realized that I had been putting too much stress on one cantor (introit, responsorial psalm, alleluia, communion, and sometimes more) --- but two other singers volunteered to be cantors, and I did some myself. So we divided the cantor work up.

    Subsequently, one singer has moved out of state, and one has resigned due to frustration. We are now down to three or four singers, including myself -- but we are all cantors now! Even our bass who has difficulty matching pitch has now improved so much that he is able to be cantor for the Alleluia.
    Thanked by 1tomjaw
  • tomjaw
    Posts: 2,424
    Keep up the good work, and do not worry about the lack of members. The Lord will provide all you need. The narrow way is not always crowded with people, because it is the narrow way.
  • Thanks, tomjaw! We will keep it up!
    Thanked by 1tomjaw
  • Best wishes from just across the Ohio ocean!
    Thanked by 1GregoryWeber
  • The Ohio was the first river I knew, growing up in Evansville, Indiana; and every "river" I've seen since then has seemed unimpressive! (To be fair to the Mississippi: I've seen it only in Minnesota, before it receives the waters from the Ohio.)
  • ghmus7
    Posts: 1,392
    Are we still doing this online map of chant scholas? I remember it was going years back...
  • chonakchonak
    Posts: 8,956
    The online schola map couldn't be maintained, since we reached the data limit of the free map service that was used. (Later, IIRC, it closed altogether.) Besides, lists like this tend to become out of date quickly unless a team of volunteers is willing to confirm every so often that old entries are still valid.
    Thanked by 1tomjaw