Minimum Repertoire for Children
  • Jeffrey TuckerJeffrey Tucker
    Posts: 3,624
    Here is Fr. Jeffrey Keyes of St. Edward Catholic Church, Newark, explaining the rationale of his Minimum Parish Repertoire that is part of the school curriculum.

  • rogue63
    Posts: 410
    Wow...just what I've needed, and certainly the things I've been thinking about. I'll thrust this in the face of the next administrator who prattles on about the National Standards or other such banalities. Many thanks to Fr. Keyes for such a thorough list.
  • This is fantastic. It's absolutely crucial that this be an overall parish repertory: parish liturgies, CCD/RE, and school. The common pattern of dividing the musical activities of these segments of parish life results in aesthetic and theological trainwrecks. It's unbelievably discouraging to any process of 'reforming the reform' to have excellent music at (most of) the Sunday Masses and then to have the school music classes and Masses full of OCP/Haugen/Haas, etc. Excluding second-rate music from any context involving children is arguably as important as improving the actual liturgical repertory in a parish, and may indeed be more difficult for most pastors to effect. As it stands now, children in public school and children being homeschooled stand a better chance of being exposed to excellent church music than kids in Catholic schools. Again, this is a profoundly sad state of affairs and needs to be addressed directly and effectively.
  • kevinfkevinf
    Posts: 1,136
    Please also look at for their repertoire. Most of it is really good. Its what I will use this fall with my new boy and girl choirs. Minimum requirement is the missa de angelis.
  • Kathy
    Posts: 5,400
    I think of my youth schola as a way of turning expectations upside down. The chant is too hard! It's old-fashioned! Kids need rock and roll!

    And then the little cherubs sing a Gregorian introit. Bwaahahaha!
  • David AndrewDavid Andrew
    Posts: 1,193
    And not for youth alone . . . this is an ideal core repertoire for ANY parish, not the "greasy kid's stuff" too many adults have been sold for the last 40 years.

    J. Michael Joncas, call your office.
  • kevinfkevinf
    Posts: 1,136
    But for some places, you start with the children. Incarnation begins early.
  • mjballoumjballou
    Posts: 990
    Another useful point about Fr. Keyes' standards is that they are presented as just that - standards. This appears to be common curriculum talk. Take a further step and divide up the requirements into various grade levels and you'll have half of the music curriculum for a K-8 parochial school.

    Oh, don't forget the workshops to teach the music to the teachers first!
  • Fr. Keyes
    Posts: 7
    These are the standard and the Repertoire for the School Masses. The School has a music program and a part time teacher, but there is nothing sacred in the curriculum. YET!!!! (I've only been asking for five years)
  • GavinGavin
    Posts: 2,799
    I'd tweak it a bit, but that's just my subjective view. A list that should indeed be minimum repertoire for anyone calling themselves "Catholic"!
  • kevinfkevinf
    Posts: 1,136
    But wait, it needs to go further than the music. Other minimum things include:
    Posture at liturgy (sitting,standing, silence, responses).
    Basic Catholic prayers
    Names of sacred objects used at mass and vestments (name and color)
    The liturgical year
    Other things: corporal works of mercy, cardinal virtues, gifts of the Holy Spirit,etc.

    All things I require for the liturgy and prayer parts of my curriculum goals (RSCM adapted for Catholics)
    Thanked by 1mmeladirectress
  • eft94530eft94530
    Posts: 1,576
    And location names (sanctuary/presbyterium, sacristy, nave, vestibule).
    "When father was on the altar ..." (Um, what was father doing standing on the altar?)
    "Do you want me to put these things in the kitchen?" (Oh, you mean the room with the sink?)
  • Wow, almost everything on the traditional list is in the Parish Book of Chant. Only a couple of exceptions. Father Keyes seems to have excellent taste.
    Under Advent, what does "The Prophecies" refer to? I'm not familiar with that.

    The list of hymn tunes looks very good too, but one always has to be careful about specific texts and variations thereof that go with the tunes.
  • Kathy
    Posts: 5,400
    I like to teach kids to make connections among liturgical words and concepts that appear repeatedly. "Who said this in the Bible, 'Glory to God in the highest?" "When did we sing this before, 'ad dexteram patris?' What does it mean?"

    Kids sometimes feel these things very deeply. This past year I learned again how seriously they take the cross.

    All the more reason to sing a more serious Alleluia.
  • Kathy, thanks for that point. I'm scheduled to talk to kids at my parish on Friday about chant. I was planning to tell them about "Agnus Dei" and St John the Baptist.
    Thanked by 1Kathy
  • miacoyne
    Posts: 1,805
    Hi, David. Could you share what you are going to talk about? Always looking for new ideas.
  • Mia, Just back from the camp and my talk.

    I started by chanting from St Matthew's Gospel about the Last Supper, ending with '...after singing a hymn, they went up to the Mount of Olives."
    So I talked about how the Mass, the Church, the Gospel, and the singing all went together in the history of the Church. How there is special music for Mass, that comes from the Scripture--we offer back to God what He has given to us.

    We sang the simple Agnus Dei, which they had been practicing all week, mentioning St John, thanks Kathy.
    Their schola and I demostrated today's Communio for the Feast of St Thomas, which the two of us also sang at Mass.
    From the alleluias in the Communio, I sequed into the Christmas Day Alleluia and had them sing back the first part. About 20 minutes all told.
    They also sang pretty well at Mass, Kyrie, Sanctus, and Agnus Dei.
  • miacoyne
    Posts: 1,805
    Sounds great. Can we have Chant camp in Baltimore area together next year? I would like to do it, but I don't think I can do it myself here. Maybe we can talk about this in our next chapter meeting.
  • A lot of those pieces of music are not interesting at best and dreary at worst. Has there not been ONE good hymn written in the past hundred years, or was research for this list minimal and intuitive? Is this an effort to make Catholics better and their praise more perfect, or is this a effort to foist one's own beloved repertoire choices on everyone else in the parish?
    Thanked by 1MarkB
  • rogue63
    Posts: 410
    Welcome to the forum, nycsongs! What a pleasant way to make your first post here---complaining about a five-year-old thread!

    Seriously? You think rendez A Dieu is boring? Or the Gloria from Missa IX? Or Victimae Paschali Laudes? Furthermore, the burden of proof is on you---Fr. Keyes worked hard to compile this. Where's your alternate repertoire list? What are you doing to make our praise more perfect? Armchair criticism is easy, but actual work in parishes is hard.
  • chonakchonak
    Posts: 8,865
    Reading the whole two-page document is hard also, but the second page explicitly credits several songs to Deiss, Joncas, and the Taize community.

    Among the 75 hymns and songs on that page, 15, count 'em, fifteen of them were composed in the past 100 years.

    For that matter, Jeffrey Keyes used to compose contemporary Catholic songs, so he knows his way around the topic.
    516 x 256 - 51K
    Thanked by 1eft94530
  • haha... thanks for posting that, Richard. I had never seen that...

    Actually, I think the list is great... the hymn list covers many of the melodies to which different texts have been added for various seasons of the Church year... those melodies would stand most people in good stead wherever they may go to Mass in future years. I find the most participation in singing on those melodies.
    Thanked by 1BruceL
  • matthewjmatthewj
    Posts: 2,673
    I'm wondering if this list might have evolved a bit since 2009.
    Perhaps someone can summon the wonderful Fr. Keyes to our midst.
  • Father Keyes seems to have excellent taste.

    Having spoken with him at the last Colloquium, and shared a few glasses of wine with him, I can vouch that Father, indeed, has excellent taste, musical and gastronomic!
  • melofluentmelofluent
    Posts: 4,160
    Oh, he just really wants a Chicago deep dish pizza, a Giants game on, his dog and baseball cap, and he's set. Ask Sam D.
    Richard, I ever tell ya that JK/Presence and my group used to team up for concerts? I'll tell you about the one with John Michael Talbot one day.
  • Kathy
    Posts: 5,400
    What he really wants is a good red wine, a seafood pasta, some saltimbocca, something chocolatey for dessert, and a nice Amari. Leave the bottle.

    After Mass at a shrine to San Gaspare del Bufalo.
  • melofluentmelofluent
    Posts: 4,160
    Darn, I didn't know JK had a romantic side!;-)
    Thanked by 1Adam Wood
  • Kathy
    Posts: 5,400
    Almost. He has a Romanish side!
    Thanked by 1melofluent
  • Saint Edward Catholic School: Mass for Thursday of the First Week of the Year
    Entrance: "Songs of Thankfulness and Praise" ... SALZBURG
    Kyrie XVI
    Responsorial Psalm 95 ... Tone VIII setting by Rev Jeffrey R. Keyes, CPPS
    Alleluia Tone VIII with Verse ... Graduale Simplex
    Offertory Anthem: "Psalm 95: O Come, Let Us Sing" ... Colin Mawby (The Choir)
    Sanctus XVIII
    Memorial Acclamation & Amen: "Festival Eucharist" ... Proulx, rev. 2010
    "Our Father" (sung in English)
    Agnus Dei VIII
    Communio: "Notas mihi" ... SIMPLE ENGLISH PROPERS by Adam Bartlett (Cantors & Choir alternate on verses)
    Closing Hymn: "Alma Redemptoris Mater" ... Tonus simplex

    This is what really takes place at our school masses. This years's Choir is 24. We have four student cantors (selected from upper grades). We sing from the gallery in the rear.
  • nycsongs
    Posts: 3
    Rogue 63 - thanks for the welcome. I needed some help with children's repertoire and Google recommended this thread. BTW, you said I was complaining "about" this thread which is untrue; it's a great thread, full of lively discussion and great give and take.
    Take Rendez A Dieu, for instance: Yes, boring. Seriously. I wish I could find one interesting thing about this rousing anthem:
    but there's nothing there. I'd perhaps play it as a punishment for fidgeting during Religious Ed, but to draw children closer to The Lord? Sorry, just no.
    Thanked by 1a_f_hawkins
  • irishtenoririshtenor
    Posts: 1,234
    While that may not be the most inspiring playing I've ever heard, @nycsongs, that doesn't mean that Rendez a Dieu isn't an awesome hymn tune. It is a classic, excellent tune.

    Try this performance:
    Thanked by 1mattebery
  • a_f_hawkins
    Posts: 2,978
    I'm quite content to never hear that hymn again, once was enough.
  • eft94530eft94530
    Posts: 1,576
    Resurrecting two and three year old Discussions.
    And replying as if posts were yesterday?
    I do not get it.
  • StimsonInRehabStimsonInRehab
    Posts: 1,804
    These posts are the same yesterday, today, and forever, eft. Unless the Almighty Chonak deems it otherwise.
  • chonakchonak
    Posts: 8,865
    In this case, an eight-year-old discussion: oi!
  • ryandryand
    Posts: 1,640
  • E I G H T !!!

  • a_f_hawkins
    Posts: 2,978
    Some of the best tunes Fr Keyes commends are more than a hundred TIMES that age.
  • StimsonInRehabStimsonInRehab
    Posts: 1,804
    To be fair - it wasn't eight consecutive years since the first post.

    And Hawkins is right - hearing people balk at the age of something on this forum is priceless.
  • Um,
    (many) historic tunes and (most) forum posts are hardly in the same category of timeless worth. (The proffered 'principle of non-consecutivity' notwithstanding.)
  • StimsonInRehabStimsonInRehab
    Posts: 1,804
    Give it a few millennia, MJO. I'm sure future musicologists will be commenting on the style and attributes of various postings here. (I'm sure they'll have a field day deciphering periods in yellow boxes! :D )
    Thanked by 1M. Jackson Osborn
  • francisfrancis
    Posts: 9,777
    2020!!!!!! Now eleven years, and counting.

    And this thread is STILL priceless and info rich. Thank you FR JK.