Why does it seem like so many choir directors are so disgruntled?
  • For the past number of years I’ve been reading many of the posts here off and on and noticed many choir directors seem rather disgruntled, particularly with their choir members not having the skills of professionally trained singers. Why is that? Do you really expect to have a Parish full of singers all knowing how to sight sing music, sing independently, etc? I can understand being able to pitch match and being able to at least read music, but sometimes it seems like some choir directors have too high of expectations of people who join Parish choirs (don’t get me started on requiring actual auditions). Sometimes it seems like some choir directors care more about serving their own egos than they do about serving our Lord. As a choir member who’s not a professionally trained singer and can’t afford to take voice lessons, yet is still musically talented enough to sing in a choir that sings real sacred music, I find it rather off-putting and would never want to join your choir. From time to time we have professional singers sing with us to help fill the gaps for special events, and I can tell you that yes, they can sing the music beautifully, but the fact that they are missing the spiritual aspect of singing sacred music during Mass really shows.
  • CharlesW
    Posts: 11,955
    I agree. I have a volunteer choir with aging members, a few who can sing and some who really can't. I joke that my choir believes in the hereafter, because they are always asking, "What did I come in here after?" I have made peace with that after realizing we will never be a threat to the Mormon Tabernacle Choir. While discussing music with the pastor, I pointed out that the choir will be as good as the money he has to spend. Also, that I can get paid section leaders, extra singers, etc. to the degree he can afford. He said our volunteers are fine and we don't have any money. All true, since we are still $1 million in the hole because of our overspending former pastor. Some days that choir is awful, and other days they amaze me. When they do well, I chalk it up to the Holy Spirit.
  • I suspect that there are several factors behind some of the posts to which you refer.

    • Quite possibly, a number of us view this forum as a "safe-space" (that hurt more than I thought to actually write those words) where we are venting among others who sometimes experience the pain we live with on a regular basis. In that venting, we probably exaggerate in a dark-humor kind of way among peers. Some who use "snark" on this forum are actually quite warm and fuzzy with their choir in person.
    • I tend to think there are not a few who are frustrated rather than disgruntled. Some of us are highly trained, others (like myself) are at the other end of the spectrum in knowledge and skill... and yet most of us are quite passionate about what we do and work really hard to do things to the best of our ability. The frustration isn't because our choirs aren't filled with professionals, but perhaps because sometimes we don't see the type of effort we would like to see.
    • No matter whether we are skilled or not, trained or not, knowledgeable or not; one thing is always true with a choir director (teachers as well - which is one of the hats we frequently wear as choir directors)... We - none of us - ever know what we are doing. That's clear because the criticism is unending. Parishioners, choir members, altar servers, (and not infrequently pastors and clergy) are always prepared to tell us how we are wrong. (For some of us, there's probably some justification in this!) I've had an opportunity to sing for some phenomenal choir directors and work with truly world-class musicians in secular groups... and even with them there are some in the choir or in the audience who somehow know that the director is incompetent. :)

      Consequently, that probably contributes to a certain degree of "attitude".

    For all of that, if any of my own posts on this forum caused you to experience the points you made above, I sincerely and heartily apologize. Whether we phrase it well or not, I think it safe to say that many of us truly want what is best for liturgical music and, indeed, what is best for our choirs.
  • That's a problem I've had with all-professional choirs, to the point of feeling almost embarrassed in the loft to be participating in the liturgy while every other member is giggling and playing on their phones the whole time.

    It's the responsibility of the churches, the choir directors, and (ideally) the education system to bring Catholics up to a point where they can contribute to their parish's music program at the highest levels. Many directors seem to ignore this paedagogical focus and just pick the easy solution: hiring professionals like me that can read at sight, therefore eliminating the reason to train up an amateur choir.

    But if I can teach polyphony to a bunch of high schoolers, there's no reason these directors can't accommodate less-experienced singers and bring them up to the level they need to be. I would only have an issue with people legitimately not willing to learn - for those that are (for which there are many), there is no shortage of resources and tools to be thrown at them to help them learn.
  • Liam
    Posts: 5,003
    It's an attitude that should be

    1. Identified; and
    2. Euthanized.

    Because, despite rationalizations to protect it, it's ultimately a creature of the unhappy false ego, not of God. Opportunities to indulge it should be seen for what they are.
  • SalieriSalieri
    Posts: 3,177
    TBH, I've seen more disgruntledness regarding clergy and other "powers that be" in parishes than with choirs.
  • Kathy
    Posts: 5,500
    I hardly ever see people disgruntled about choir members' abilities.

    This post seems like a complaint about a problem that doesn't exist.

    Thanked by 1teachermom24
  • I agree 100 %with Salieri. Many of us have sometimes wished that our choir could sing better, but the flip side of that is the amazing moment when they sing something far better than could reasonably be expected of them. As long as any choir member is prepared to try to do the best that they can I can't ask for anything more. And most choir members do try their best, albeit that there is sometimes a minority who don't come to rehearsals without a good reason, or who try to hold the choir back by refusing to try something that stretches them a little (and yes we complain about that). On the whole we don't want thanks (and certainly not applause). The bugbears are the people who deliberately or otherwise prevent us from giving of our best - the priest who changes the agreed music choices at the last minute, the organizers of special services where the hog roast after the service is organised two months in advance but the choir find out what music is required with less than a week to go, the congregation members who complain about the music but would never get involved in providing it.
  • I chose the literary character as my avatar for exactly this reason - a choir director's lot is not an easy one. Anyone who's read Our Town can gather that Simon is a very talented musician who, for whatever reason, has ended up in a position where his talents aren't utilized to the best of their ability. It could also be deduced that elements of his personal life are a big factor in his artistic stagnation. I can see how this can make anyone grumpy.

    I'd like to think that I'm "in rehab" because, despite my numerous still-accumulating peccadilloes, I still genuinely care about those with whom I make music and treat my position as one of spiritual instruction, through the artistic beauty of the Church. (I'm certainly not in rehab because of a reduction in alcohol consumption, that's for damn sure.)

    One also has to remember that a forum like this differs from real life in that our comments are preserved in perpetuity, as it were. Instances where choir directors may find themselves overwhelmed, overworked, and underappreciated may lead to moments of weakness where they may lash out. I've known choir directors who have found themselves in this situation, and they are almost instantly self-mollified for such outbursts. If they weren't, then yes, I'd be worried. But I try to judge momentary yearnings for perfection against a general ill will. So try and treat some of the posts on here not as maledictions set in stone.

    . . . Unless it's against you, Incardination. You and Nihil's blitzkrieg of liturgical brilliance has seen its day. I'll stand for it no more!! And don't expect a follow-up on the second conference until I get my shoes back!!!
  • So, SponsaChristi, this inspired me to make a comprehensive review of my own posts --- I apparently have not done that on this forum. So I can't pretend to speak for those who do.

    That said, however, I guess I've never been offended by most comments of that color, for the reason that, with most situations I've been in, it's not that I don't know that my choir are not professionals, but rather that they themselves seem to think they are professional singers with perfect sight-singing skills and a natural sense of musicality, dynamic, blend, and diction.

    What do I mean? Truancy.

    The biggest problem in most choirs I've been involved with is people simply not showing up, whether to practice or to Mass. Those dedicated groups that can show selflessly, rehearse well, and do so faithfully and regularly, can reach the stars.

    Those groups that decide the choir is there at their convenience, for their own enrichment, rather than as a mode of service to God and the community, and seem to act as if they can master difficult repertoire while only rarely showing up to rehearse it, who burden one another with their own steep learning curves on Sunday morning, those draw my ire. Because it is so easy to repair, and has nothing to do with either talent or training.

    So, without reviewing them all, I guess I'd say that most "complaints" I've read here, I took to be on things of that nature, and on the level of a lack of appropriate docility, rather than elitist derision of untrained voices.
  • SponsaChristi,

    There are a lot of great insights given here.
    about this >> The frustration isn't because our choirs aren't filled with professionals, but perhaps because sometimes we don't see the type of effort we would like to see.

    The Mass is sublime; the Church's treasury of music is sublime too. The director may will everything to be perfect, while always dealing with the fact that nothing in this life is perfect. But it doesn't necessarily follow that that this desire for perfection is ego. One of my own singers gave it to me this week - "Es pasion," he wrote, "that's what makes the magic." :-) Directors long for all the others to share their same passion.

    The good news is that so many do. I treasure each one of the singers here. Many of them are more musically educated and / or more talented than I; so we are all exercised in important virtues (for them, patience, and for me, humility, which no one ever has enough of). Consistently they give me not perfection, but hard work, honest effort, with a good will, and all for the glory of God.
    Thanked by 2Incardination Carol
  • TCJ
    Posts: 977
    What I see is that choir directors often make the complaint that certain choir members do not seem to take being in the choir seriously as a commitment but more as a social occasion.

    As far as tryouts, I believe they are necessary. First, it tells the choir director that you're at least half-serious about it. Second, it allows an opportunity to learn more about the singer beforehand - certain people you just don't want in choir whether or not they have a good voice. Third, it gives the opportunity to say, "I'd like to have you in the choir. Would you be willing to spend fifteen minutes after choir practice to do some vocal practice?" If the person says yes, then you know you've got someone who will put some effort in. If no, then the person probably isn't interesting in improving and just wants to crow in the choir.

    You wouldn't randomly pick a person out of the pew to paint the mural behind the altar. Why not at least have some decent expectations for music?

    Also, sometimes choir MEMBERS care more about serving their own egos than serving the Lord. I would put all choir members who want to sing but make no effort to improve in this category.

    Sincerely yours,

    A not-disgruntled choir director.
    Thanked by 1Antonio
  • kenstb
    Posts: 369
    Frustration is part of the job very often. I'm only frustrated with singers if they don't care about what we're attempting to do. My choir has very dedicated singers and I am often inspired by their faith and their concern for each other and me. The frustration comes when leadership is not on the same page.
  • There are, indeed, some (many?) situations such as Charles lives with. One always must work with the persons he or she has and teach them to do and be their best. However, I detect in the OP's remarks that he or she believes that a volunteer choir in an average parish must necessarily be, or always is, made up of people who don't know the first thing about actually 'singing' a pitch, let alone distinguish one pitch from another, let alone matching a vowel quality as well as a pitch, etc., and that auditioning! singers for the average choir is the height of musical hauteur. Now, I know and have known very few 'choir directors [who] are so disgruntled'. Quite the contrary, most of them have great faith in their singers, understand their strengths and weaknesses, and (to the apparent horror of the OP) give them much that is easy for them, but also challenge them to a level or two above what they (erroneously) thought was their limit. Most 'choir directors' are hard working, love their choristers, are patient with them, and rejoice with them when they have gone higher than they thought they could go. Most choirs respect their choirmasters and will accept any challenge, rejoicing in having jumped yet another hurdle. And, as for those mean old auditions, well, they can do much more than determine that a singer can or cannot rattle off the Queen of the Night or Don Giovanni. They reveal the strengths and weaknesses of singers, they tell the choirmaster the level of talent he or she has to work with, they tell on what level they can relate musically as individuals as well as as a group, they help determine the optimal seating arrangement, and, in general, make a better choir, no matter the choir's level of musical competency. And, passing even the easiest of an audition can give esteem to all who have 'passed it', esteem which in itself makes a better choir. Whatever a choir's strengths and weaknesses a good choirmaster and a good choir will rejoice in surpassing them. One of the greatest compliments a choirmaster can receive is 'you taught us to do what we didn't believe we could do'.

    There are, to be sure, those disgruntled persons who shouldn't be directing choirs and have little of the love for the people, love for the liturgy, and little of that most precious gift, patience, that it takes to make a good choirmaster and a good choir. These constitute a minority, and I must say that I think that it is grossly unfair and ill-thought for the OP to have carried on as if they were in the majority. They aren't. Then too, we haven't touched on that minority of choirs who are constitutionally 'disgruntled'. But that's another topic.
  • …don’t get me started…
    One of Wodehouse's best lines is "I could see that, if not actually disgruntled, he was far from being gruntled.” It seems that disgruntled persons come in many flavors and it is well, I think, to place the 'spiritual aspect' of our choral worship in humble service to our fellows, volunteers, ringers and directors alike. When it comes to condescension, it is not only the first of the three who are called to practice charity.
  • I think the value of chant to train singers, to learn to blend and to phrase, is underestimated, and underutilized. Same with sight reading: Reading 4 lines with one accidental is easier than 5 lines with 20+. Music academia classifies chant as a sub-specialty of ancient music. Yet, in both history and the Liturgy, reading neumes is “entry level”, and it is the modern music notation system which is a advanced specialization. Yet, since many choir directors are instrumentalists (keyboards), they might favor accompanied and polyphonic music when chant might be more liturgically appropriate (Roman Gradual?) and better for their choir. A heavy dose of what Vatican II recommends, Gregorian Chant, would likely raise the singing skills of any choir to make every director a happy one.
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  • I sympathize. But let us be very clear: There is no "spiritual aspect" of bad singing. What you see as a choir director serving his ego is much more likely a choir director trying to serve the music. Maybe his approach is idealized and unrealistic. But there is such a thing as relative goodness, and it happens to be a conductor's job to pursue that goodness. He can take the short cut of hucking professionals at the problem, or he can take the long road of building a fine amateur choir. But the latter only works if the singers have the same goal of serving the music to its highest possible goodness. If that sometimes torturous process offends their sense of fair play, impedes the spiritual aspect of their singing, or just seems more trouble than its worth, I suggest the problem is with the singers, not the director.
  • Carol
    Posts: 856
    I think the OP may have read TCJ's post "The Minute They Get It" characterizing choir members as braying, etc. His post made me laugh because there were so many grains of truth in it. It was honestly how he was feeling at that moment. He appreciates his choir, and is frustrated that they can't be that good all the time.

    It reminds me of the teacher who comes in to the faculty room at lunch and vents about a student. Why does the teacher vent? Because the teacher loves his student and the venting helps him release his frustration and go back to the class in the afternoon and be patient once more. This is different than gossip and character assassination of a student.

    As in most relationships, there are failings on both sides at times. Always operate by giving the benefit of the doubt to those with whom you interact. You will be happier and you usually get better results.
  • I joined 2 choirs (both under the same director) because I knew I was a bad singer yet also loved sining and want to learn. That was 2 years ago, and though not yet a "good" singer, I now I have come a long way in staying on pitch (especially with stronger singers around me). I consider my choir director to be one of my great teachers in life, and certainly the best music teacher I've ever had. I don't think he visits this website but if he ever complains about anything among other church musicians I would never hold it against him, because in my experience I am getting just the kind of patient, loving, faithful and professional teacher described by Carol and M. Jackson Osborne above.
  • jcr
    Posts: 132
    I am 75 yrs. of age and have just resigned from a music director job (in a protestant church) where all the problems characteristic of church choirs were present. My wife and I work together and our education and experience is of a professional level with three graduate degrees between us and long experience as well. I would say that of the 15 church choir jobs that I have had over the last 57 years, this has been one of the most pleasant places to work and has given my wife (organist) and I a very good experience. The reason that we are leaving is that we cannot afford to remain in our present house due to mortgage and taxes and must prepare to move to a less expensive place/area. At the same time as this has been a very pleasant experience, it has also provided its share of the usual frustrations. (Let me interject here that I hope to serve again in such a position should the Lord provide me with an opportunity.)

    There are several "headaches" that are typical of the church choir:
    1. The music offered for the worship of God should be fine music and it should be performed with excellence. It is difficult to sell either or these ideas to church choirs. "We're only a church choir" reflects an attitude that fails to recognize the high calling that their office is.
    2. Because of the failure to grasp the above idea, rehearsal attendance is often erratic and singers think nothing of showing up to sing after missing several rehearsals. The result of this is that the Sunday performance of the choir is well below their potential due to the fact that there is a group of singers who have not benefited from the preparation given at rehearsals.
    3. There is also certain to be someone who keeps insinuating that the choir master or the organist is not "there" enough hours during the week without regard or reference to the excellence of the Sunday musical presentation and its quality.
    4. The complaints about music seldom range beyond the quantitative; too slow, too fast, too loud, too soft. All of these are declared to be the case in the same Mass/service on many occasions.
    5. I find it hard to understand how any person can be a regular choir member for 35 years and not pick up the ability to read at an elementary level. Please note that no one would consider joining an orchestra or band without at the very least a basic command of the instrument to be played. The choir is the only place where that is possible. The only training that most of the singers you work with in this field will ever get is what they receive in the choir. Unfortunately, that is often given by predecessors whose skills were not professional. Unlearning is often harder that learning.

    There are other issues that I won't go into here. However I want to say that I love this work, I believe that I have been given a vocation to it, I believe that whenever I have strayed too far from it God gives a kick in the pants and directs me right back to it. I have suffered doing it and I have received more in return (not monetarily) than I can tell.
    If this is your calling, you may struggle with in many ways, grouse about its many frustrations, worry about how to pay the rent, food bills, etc., but you'll keep coming back to it. We don't think we'll take any Protestant jobs again. Somewhat treacherous and challenging to the conscience, I'm afraid.

    God bless all of you! and complain if it helps,put your head down and give it your best effort.

  • .
    Thanked by 1Carol
  • Can the forum moderator tell us why M. Jackson Osborn often writes a "." as his post?

    Am I missing something?

    I've also seen him write a yellow square.

    I've been ignoring it for a good long while—but I really want to know the meaning of this.
    Thanked by 1Carol
  • The "." is his way, I think, of saying" the previous post said it all...no more needs to be said."

    The yellow card (think soccer) is a warning.
    Thanked by 1Carol
  • francis
    Posts: 10,707
    Yes, MJO! What is the meaning of this!?

    I always thought it was a post in which he thought better left unsaid but there is no way to “unsay” (delete) a post on this forum, so the least one can say is “.”
    Thanked by 1M. Jackson Osborn
  • Carol
    Posts: 856
    LOL, my screen is dirty and I never noticed the period, thinking it was just another speck on my computer screen.
    Thanked by 1Joseph Mendes
  • Spot on, jcr. The contrast between instrumentalists and singers is so very true.
    Thanked by 1Carol
  • Personally, I'm pretty gruntled.
    Thanked by 2CharlesW Carol
  • canadashcanadash
    Posts: 1,501
    Well, right now I'm disgruntled because I've lost FOUR choir members in the start of this week and I'm down a lot of tenors. My best soprano is jumping ship due to work. sigh...
    Thanked by 2CharlesW Carol
  • CharlesW
    Posts: 11,955
    I know, they come, they go. I have no solutions and am losing a tenor at the end of the month. He's moving cross-country to get away from his relatives. That thought has crossed my mind a time or two, as well. LOL.
  • Someone should write a Perpetual Novena for the Increase (and Retention) of Choir Members, to be prayed at every mass and rehearsal.
  • CharlesW
    Posts: 11,955
    Given God's sense of humor, I might get Florence Foster Jenkins. Oh wait, I already have her. LOL.

    She was actually a warm-hearted and charitable soul who gave all the money raised by her concerts to charities. She gets bad press for her singing which wasn't that bad. She had a limited range and really sounded terrible when out of that range. In her range, she could sing.
  • Why do we put up with mediocrity and choir members who don't want to practice or learn to read music? Are "choirs" essential to the NO Mass? I really do not understand this. Why can't we say, there will be no "choir" unless there are people committed to practicing and learning; there will be no music unless we can offer it properly? What is it that drives the acceptance of so much that is not good?
  • ryandryand
    Posts: 1,640
    Lukewarm pastors and musically/liturgically uncultured parishes.
    Thanked by 1teachermom24
  • Liam
    Posts: 5,003
    "there will be no music unless we can offer it properly?"

    Pragmatists would happily seize that as a rationale not to bother in the first place. Be careful what you ask for.
    Thanked by 1CharlesW
  • CharlesW
    Posts: 11,955
    That could turn into a good excuse to get rid of the choir director - doesn't play well with others, etc.
    Thanked by 1WGS
  • I think that supposed choirmasters often put up with poor attitude and many of the other curses of a bad choir because 'if I didn't I wouldn't have a choir'. What they don't seem to realise is that they really don't have a choir anyway. What they have is not a choir. (Ceci n'est pas un choeur!)
  • Even J.S. Bach had complaints....
    In addition to his responsibilities as director of church music in Leipzig , Bach had various nonmusical duties in his capacity as the cantor of the school at Thomaskirche. He resented these obligations... Bach complains in a letter to a friend Georg Erdmann ....
    " I travelled to Leipzig and played for them, got that job and I still have it today. However, on the one hand because this job doesn't pay by far as much as they told me before, and there are, on the other hand no extra pays, in addition the cost of living is immense and my supervisor is almost not interested in music and I am bullied too, I am now looking for – with the help of God – for a new job, I don't care where.
    If you might find an acceptable job close to where you live for an old friend, I ask you to recommend me, I will provide no reason to complain about my willingness to work and I would struggle in the best way for acceptance. My current payment is 700 Reichstaler ... (he also remarked that there were not enough funerals) And if more people die, there is more extra income with funerals, if the people are healthy, there is less money to earn, so I earned 100 Reichstaler In Thuringia I could get accomplished more with 400 Reichstaler in a month than here (... in Leipzig), because the cost of life is so high here. "
  • teachermom24 asks, "Are "choirs" essential to the NO Mass?"

    That is the central question, and I've never heard it answered convincingly. With the EF, Missa cantata does not happen without the cantata, which means "cantor" (or worse, "organist/cantor") only in the most desperate circumstances. Under normal circumstance, it is "choir" or it is "low Mass", full stop. With the OF, we have no real mandate for choral singing, whether of chant or polyphony, to make the Mass one thing or the other. This sliding scale of progressive solemnity very easily (and pragmatically) settles into the lower end, and it takes herculean amounts of will from clergy and people to budge it, which rarely seems worth the effort, and certainly not the expense. Which begs the liturgical/theological question: Can the OF ever be as essentially choral as the EF? Was liturgical "reform" about undoing this character of Mass as essentially choral?
    Thanked by 2hilluminar CHGiffen
  • I wonder if the liturgical reformers realized that they were "undoing" the choral Mass. In the OF, it works perfectly fine for a cantor to provide all the singing, if they are well trained, which in part means starting the faithful out in chant and stepping back to let the faithful hear their own voice frequently. I think some serious study on the role of cantors and their role in history need to be looked into. To me, a great cantor is invaluable, especially if you have a sluggish choir. And no, choirs are not essential to the NO Mass.
  • MS #19:
    Because of the liturgical ministry it exercises, the choir (capella musica; schola cantorum) should be mentioned here explicitly.
    The conciliar norms regarding reform of the liturgy have given the choir's function greater prominence and importance. ...
    a. choirs are to be developed with great care, especially in cathedrals and other major churches, in seminaries, and in religious houses of study.
    b. In smaller churches as well a choir should be formed, even if there are only a few members.
  • I wonder whether I interpret that correctly: that the greater importance of the choir is, in part at least, because the celebrant is no longer required to say the propers, and they are only proclaimed by the choir, (or cantor and/or people).
    Thanked by 2hilluminar WGS
  • I think I'm currently gruntled at this point in time.

  • a. choirs are to be developed with great care, especially in cathedrals and other major churches, in seminaries, and in religious houses of study.
    b. In smaller churches as well a choir should be formed, even if there are only a few members.

    Time for some good news: which Cathedrals, major churches, seminaries and religious houses of study have developed their choirs with great care?
  • tomjaw
    Posts: 2,731
    Time for some good news: which Cathedrals, major churches, seminaries and religious houses of study have developed their choirs with great care?

    Westminster Cathedral, Southwark Cathedral, Various Oratories in the U.K. erm...
  • Would it be fair to say that strong choirs are an English thing? What's the proportion of strong choirs in regions not culturally English? Does the presence of a conservatory/university nearby make a difference? Some places/cultures don't seem to have much of a choral tradition. I can't recall ever hearing music in church in Spain, for instance, though I have spent lengthy visits in several cities and always go to Mass daily. I can easily recall brilliant choirs and singing in London, though I visited only once for a few days. My memory is not much data from which to draw conclusions, but...
  • Liverpool Cathedral; John Carmel Cardinal Heenan was responsible for saving the choir schools in both Liverpool and Westminster.
    Leeds Cathedral "To complement the (five) Cathedral Choirs, a new Choir School project was inaugurated by Bishop Roche* in 2010, with the aim that Holy Rosary and St Anne's School in Chapeltown should become the first state primary choir school in the country."
    *now Archbishop Roche is Secretary to CDWDS
    Thanked by 1M. Jackson Osborn
  • Time for some good news: which Cathedrals, major churches, seminaries and religious houses of study have developed their choirs with great care?

    St. Mary's Church in Norwalk, CT:

  • dad29
    Posts: 2,225

    have given the choir's function greater prominence and importance. ...

    And how has that worked out?
  • Blaise
    Posts: 439
    Time for some good news: which Cathedrals, major churches, seminaries and religious houses of study have developed their choirs with great care?

    Our Lady of the Atonement Catholic Church, San Antonio, TX
    (Personal Ordinariate of the Chair of St. Peter)

    I am proud to have served in the adult SATB festival choir these past almost nine years and am somewhat saddened to be moving on to Houston to go after other pursuits. Their repertoire includes things like Tallis' "If Ye Love Me" and SATB ordinaries of the Mass, including by Hassler, Palestrina, and the like. And they also have hymns - good ones, that is. And my former pastor makes his own. You are invited to go worship there and listen to the choir at the 11 o'clock Sunday Mass. Solemn Choral Evensong in Commemoration of the Faithful Departed in November will feature Morten Lauridsen's Lux Aeterna.
  • And how has that worked out?
    Not well. There is an abundance of comment on why. At one extreme one might quote the directive in Baltimore:
    161. As of the First Sunday of Advent in 1965, the introduction of the vernacular into the sung Mass is to be completed in this archdiocese.
    162. All parts of the Mass where the vernacular is permitted should be performed in the vernacular.
    163. Latin songs may be sung by the choir where participation will not be
    hindered in any way. This does not mean, however, that those Ordinary or Proper
    parts of the Mass which must be performed according to the rubrics can be in Latin.
    180. If the funeral Mass is a sung Mass, the Ordinary must now be in
    the vernacular. After the first Sunday of Advent, 1965, the Proper must also be
    in the vernacular.
  • dad29
    Posts: 2,225
    have given the choir's function greater prominence and importance. ...

    Just another case of ....ahhh....carefully-worded foofoodust from the leaders of the rebellion, then.

    Carry on!