The Summit Choirbook
  • Does anybody know where one might get a pdf of the Summit Choirbook? I have heard that it is out of print and could not find a place to buy anywhere. I was wondering if anyone may have a pdf then of the book.
    John Paul Orenchuk
  • CGM
    Posts: 683
    It is out of print. The nun who assembled the book died a few years ago, and when the convent ran out of hymnals not too long after (around 2016), without their musical visionary to oversee a re-printing, they simply opted not to bother with it. They never intended it as a general-use hymnal, but more a collection of pieces particularly for their convent (and presumably other Dominican convents as well; the volume has numerous hymns for Dominican saints which are not available elsewhere). I don't believe that there is a PDF of the book, inasmuch as the book contains a lot of copywritten material (there are eight pages of copyright citations at the end!).
  • I have seen a portion of the index for the book on ccwatershed. Maybe someone could copy the whole thing including the authors and other parts like that into a pdf so I could see what exactly is in it. I wonder if maybe it is possible for someone to put it in the internet archive as for members so the copyright issue wouldn’t be the same. Or if someone could just email me a pdf so it wouldn’t be public. I don’t know what is best but I am interested in much of its contents.
  • Felicia
    Posts: 110
    You can request a copy through interlibrary loan. According to WorldCat, several libraries in the U.S. have a copy.
  • As a nun of the Summit Monastery I would like to comment on CGM's remarks about why we are not republishing the Choirbook at this time.
    First, like the Dominican Rite, the Summit Choirbook was intended more for the use of Dominican communities rather than the general public. Reviewers of the hymnal have often been very hard on this hymnal misinterpreting its use and questioning why anyone in a parish would want to sing so many hymns for Dominican saints.
    It does not have Mass Ordinaries. Again, this isn't a parish hymnal. Only the 1st stanza is under the music. This was done for several reasons as explained in the preface. The major reason was cost because at the time typesetting music was very expensive.
    There are many mistakes that need correcting should it be republished and probably a number of hymns that would be removed.
    Many Dominican communities find this hymnal too difficult or pitched too high. As someone who probably could sing every single hymn in my sleep, I of course, think otherwise!
    There is music from the Eastern rite which had an influence on the community in the 70s and 80s and even when I entered we were having the Ukrainian mass several times a year. We continue to sing Tropars, Kondaks, etc.
    The hymnal was the enormously hard work of MANY sisters, not just Sr. Maria, although she was the main editor and expert behind it. But it would never have been finished without the prioral encouragement of Mother Marie Rosaria and Mother Mary Albert and the the hard work of other sisters, some who have gone home to God and others who are still alive.
    At the time the Choirbook was published it was seen as a "niche" hymnal which is why it was published by the monastery at enormous expense and since that time many fine hymns books are now on the market.
    Please PM me and I will see what I can do to help you.
  • The reason that I know that this hymnal exists is because my parish has it for their choir. It is a Dominican parish. I am interested in some of its content as I am an amateur organist. This is more for private use than anything else.
  • CGM
    Posts: 683
    JP, if you're at a Dominican parish whose choir has copies of the hymnal, chat with the choir director or the organist. Perhaps he or she will lend you one for personal use.

    Ask if you might check it out, as if from a library, for a specific period of time (say, one month), and then return it promptly; at some later point, you might ask to check it out a second time, if you want to peruse its contents further.
  • chonakchonak
    Posts: 9,157
    Sometimes it's possible to borrow a book through inter-library loan and take it to a local scanning firm to have all the pages photographed and have a PDF file made, or get a CD with all the page images. It's an expensive option, but it's one way to get a (pirated) copy for research use, and get the process done soon enough to send the book back on time.
    Thanked by 1tomjaw
  • I have heard about the inter-library loan option already. I haven’t heard about the exact method that chonak describes. I have a few other things I am following up on before I would resort to doing that. As to what CGM said, as far as I know my parish only has one copy of the book but they use that to make copies for the choir. A few forum members have offered to send me a pdf. Thanks for all of your suggestions.
  • The Hymn Society has an interesting article about the Summit Choirbook, but it is marred by the fact that it repeatedly refers to the Benedictine order, rather the the Dominican order.

  • ghmus7
    Posts: 1,464
    I have a copy. It is a MAGNIFICENT hymnal.
  • francis
    Posts: 10,668
    me too... it is a great resource
  • Thanks for the article! There is nothing there about the Benedictine Order. It does say Sr. Maria was prioress, which she wasn't.
    There was a first draft that was hand written, printed and bound at the monastery.
    In the archives are boxes of cut and paste pages for published version.
  • GerardH
    Posts: 411
    There is nothing there about the Benedictine Order.

    Someone has sneakily edited the article, probably because of this discussion. I can vouch for the fact that the article previously referred to Benedectines where it now (correctly) refers to Dominicans.
  • CGM
    Posts: 683
    I sent them a polite email a couple weeks ago regarding the inaccuracies in the article, and they've since incorporated the corrections.