Paid Quartet or SAB
  • dmandalak
    Posts: 16
    Has anyone had success in convincing a church with decent money to have a paid quartet or SAB every Sunday for their "choir Mass"? Is this a better option as opposed to an organist and a cantor? I've seen churches pay $150 for an organist and between $75 -100 for the cantor. Is it fair to split the fee in some way to get a SAB or SATB to work?

    I could double as the organist and bass and the other singers can sing in unison for the hymns and chant. The motets can be a capella. On a major solemnity, do a polyphonic Mass ordinary like Byrd's Mass for three voices or a SAB Mass by Kevin Allen.
  • irishtenoririshtenor
    Posts: 1,273
    Short answer: Yes.

    Longer answer: Assuming there is an organ and a reasonably competent organist/director in place, the absolute BEST use of funds is toward paid singers. A rag-tag choir + 4 paid singers can do some pretty decent music and the improvement in the overall sound of the choir will be very notable indeed. I'm a strong advocate for hiring section leaders.
    Thanked by 1Bri
  • CGM
    Posts: 627
    Yes. I'm at my second position in which there was a paid quartet at two of the parish's Sunday Masses.

    — In the first job the quartet sang by itself at the earlier Mass (9am), and then sang as section leaders in a choir of about twelve at the later Mass (11am). The choral repertory was different at the two Masses (simpler at the earlier Mass). I played the organ and conducted the choir, but did not sing. Choral repertory: chant & polyphony.

    — In my present job the quartet, in which I sing bass, is the church's regular ensemble, and sings the same repertory at the earlier (10:30am) and later (12noon) Sunday Masses. I play the organ and conduct the singers. Choral repertory: chant & polyphony.

    We also have a volunteer choir that sings at 3-4 liturgies per choral year. The volunteer singers don't want a commitment of singing for nine months straight, so we rehearse for 3-4 weeks, sing a Mass, and then take 4-6 weeks off before the next liturgy.
    Thanked by 2Bri irishtenor