Sharing my joy • little scholas can do great things
  • ServiamScores
    Posts: 922
    Hi all,
    I just wanted to share my joy with you all and state how proud I am of my little choir. We are currently about 10-11 on any given day, and they are all untrained voices. While c**** has hit many places hard (like our parish finances) musically it has turned out to be a blessing for our parish. We were able to take the opportunity to transition to full propers most of the time which has been great. We have also retired our hymnals which often feel long in the tooth. Sadly, I lost about 5 choir members from what was already a small choir, but the group who stuck around were in it because they truly love it and love God, and we've grown incredibly close this past year and really started developing a cohesive sound. I've pushed them hard and put many, many motets in front of them and they are really starting to find their stride chanting, singing in Latin, doing anglican-style responsorial psalms and much more.

    Yesterday I received an email from my pastor thanking us for the music for Palm Sunday. He said it was truly "exquisite" and that he doubted any other parish in the diocese had such nice sounding music this week. I take this as a particular complement as my pastor is quite erudite, was trained in Rome, used to sing in scholas there and has even had formal organ lessons, so he knows muuuuuch more about music in general and chant & organ than a typical pastor. He also told me that a few weeks ago he played a snippet of our live stream for a few priest friends and they couldn't believe that it was actually our parish choir. He smiled as he assured them that yes, this really was Saint John's.

    One of the pieces we sang this week was Menegali's Jesu Salvator Mundi. I went back and listened to the livestream and this was the result. Again, we are small, our mic'ing situation is not ideal, and our group isn't technically balanced in terms of voice allotment. Nevertheless, I present with great pride the recording of our schola to you. This is proof that even small, modest, small-town parishes can accomplish great things. (There is some minor editing on this recording to reduce noise and add just a touch of reverb to make it sound like it does in real life vs. the dryness of the livestream.) I'm also attaching the score in case it is new to anyone and they'd like to use it too.
  • CCoozeCCooze
    Posts: 1,159
    I love that piece. It, in itself, is exquisite.
    Many times, when there might only be 2 of us singing at a Mass, we will sing (from the SSA score) the first 2 parts, switching who sings which on the repeat, just because the slightest voice change can still make such a difference. Just a beautifully profound piece of music.

    Congrats on your Palm Sunday well done.
    Thanked by 1ServiamScores
  • Jeffrey Quick
    Posts: 1,767
    That little group makes a very beautiful and musical noise. How fortunate you are that CoronaChan didn't take everything from you.
    Thanked by 1ServiamScores
  • CHGiffenCHGiffen
    Posts: 4,681
    What a lovely sound - and from a small ensemble! Congratulations!!
    Thanked by 1ServiamScores
  • ServiamScores
    Posts: 922
    We are indeed very blessed.
  • CatherineS
    Posts: 630
    It's fabulous!
    Thanked by 1ServiamScores
  • irishtenoririshtenor
    Posts: 1,219
    That's some very fine work you've done there! Not easy to coax that kind of singing out of untrained volunteers! Huzzah!
    Thanked by 1ServiamScores
  • jcr
    Posts: 96
    Very nice! People who can produce such beautifully nuanced and expressive singing should be encouraged. Delighted to hear this. This music is so gorgeous and needs to be heard. Thank you for sharing it.
    Thanked by 1ServiamScores
  • M. Jackson Osborn
    Posts: 8,017
    Fine work, Serviam.
    There are 'advanced' choirs who could but wish to produce such singing -
    and with apparent heartfelt dedication to the Church and to your leadership.
    Thanked by 1ServiamScores
  • CharlesW
    Posts: 11,216
    Your little choir sounds amazing. Good work.
    Thanked by 1ServiamScores
  • What outstanding work.
    Thanked by 1ServiamScores
  • francisfrancis
    Posts: 9,540
    Wow... beautiful. Congrats.
  • ghmus7
    Posts: 1,332
    Congratulations!! God Bless your work!
  • ServiamScores
    Posts: 922
    Wish us luck! tonight is a special Missa Cantata TLM for the Feast of Ascension. We are singing Christoph Dalitz’s Missa Tribus Vocibus, as well as his Tollite Portas and then McDonough’s Humbly I Adore Thee but latinized. I will carry the bulk of the florid chanting but the choir will join in on the alléluias and responses and Credo III.
  • NihilNominisNihilNominis
    Posts: 654
    As the director of an immodest small-town parish choir, I echo everything said here. Truly, sometimes people have less to do besides get involved in smaller places, and you're out of the shadow of professional quartet-choirs, too.
  • ServiamScores
    Posts: 922
    Well, while it's far from perfect (and I had one very over-eager bass who was positioned juuuuust so which caused the mics to pick him up incredibly well, which is funny since he was in the third row away from the mics..) my little choir achieved some wonderful results last night.

    Attached is Dalitz's Gloria (quite a feat for a small town choir!) and Tollite Portas, as well as McDonough's Humbly I Adore Thee but in Latin. These are ripped from the livestream and have just a smidgeon of reverb added to make it sound more like the room since the mics are too close to the choir but we cant put them anywhere else. Our pastor was incredibly pleased (as was I).
  • liampmcdonough
    Posts: 117
    If we can make this a thread to share the joys of those of us in humble places, then:

    Here is the choir at Presentation of the Lord Catholic Church, in sleepy Montgomery Texas, singing one of our Pentecost 2021 selections: Titcomb's I Will Not Leave You Comfortless, raw cut, crying babies and all. We (all ten of us) are all amateur; the ensemble formed in October.


    Presentation of the Lord Catholic Church, Montgomery, TX
    The Ordinariate of the Chair of St Peter

    Propers and Sequence drawn from Divine Worship: The Gradual (working draft)

    Mass Ordinary: Missa Tribus Vocibus (Dalitz)

    Prelude: Meditation on VENI CREATOR
    Processional: Veni Creator Spiritus (trad)
    At the Offertory: I Will Not Leave You Comfortless (Titcomb)
    At Communion:
    Come Down, O Love Divine (DOWN AMPNEY)
    O Ignis Spiritus (St. Hildegard of Bingen)
    Recessional: Come, Gracious Spirit, Heavenly Dove (MENDON)
    Postlude: Sortie on VENI CREATOR
  • ServiamScores
    Posts: 922
    Very lovely. That piece is new to me, and it is wonderful. (Side note: I always love hearing the clanking of incense in the background. It means the music is alive and serving its purpose.)
    Thanked by 1Patricia Cecilia
  • CHGiffenCHGiffen
    Posts: 4,681
    Nice job on the Titcomb! "I will not leave you comfortless" has been one of my favourite anthems for decades, and I've sung it many times, although this is the first hearing since last singing it over 20 years ago.

    In case anyone missed it, the bass melody at the beginning of the "Alleluia" section is the beginning of the "Veni, Creator Spiritus" chant.
  • M. Jackson Osborn
    Posts: 8,017
    I've done Titcomb's motet many times and it is one of my favourites in the literature.. You have done it justice.
    An admirable offering by the choir of Presentation of the Lord - just what one would expect of a fledgling Ordinariate church. The blend and pitch stability are superb, as is the diction. A little work needs to be done with respect to blend and intonation, but you are on your way to excellence! Kudos!
  • I just stumbled across this thread. Serviam, I have always done this beautiful work in Andres Solim's edition from CPDL attributed to Bartolomeo Cordans (cf. https://www.cpdl.org/wiki/index.php/Jesu,_Salvator_noster_(Bartolomeo_Cordans). The notes there would lead one to assume that the Cordans is the original or at least the earlier publication.

    Your schola is doing lovely work!

    I love the Titcomb "I will not leave you comfortless" but have not sung it in many years. And Charles (CHGiffen), I'd forgotten about that bass, which is very neat!
  • ServiamScores
    Posts: 922
    Patricia, thanks for calling my attention to the attribution issue. My source edition must have been misattributed. I will update my edition.
  • bangerman
    Posts: 34
    Propers and Sequence drawn from Divine Worship: The Gradual (working draft)


    What is this exactly? Is it what it sounds like, a real gradual, like an updated Palmer-Burgess, arranged to the current calendar? Something like this is long overdue and would be wonderful to see.
  • liampmcdonough
    Posts: 117
    The Ordinariate is revising its gradual. It is the successor of the Anglican Use Gradual, revised for our current calendar. The propers are set to psalm tones, though the sequences and various antiphons for special feasts such as those for Candlemas, Palm Sunday, or the Maundy are their original melody, in dignified and heiratic translation. A draft has been circulated to musicians of the Ordinariate, but as it is not yet approved I don't think I can share it publicly.
    Thanked by 2CHGiffen toddevoss
  • m_r_taylor
    Posts: 225
    The Palmer-Burgess and the Anglican Use Gradual have lived happily side-by-side at my place - we mostly do Palmer-Burgess but will bring out the AUG occasionally if there is limited time or preparation, or if there is a feast day that the PB does not cover - which use it seems that the DW:TG will expand on.
  • a_f_hawkins
    Posts: 2,690
    That form of living side-by-side may be what The Council Fathers were hoping for
    SC 117. The typical edition of the books of Gregorian chant is to be completed; and a more critical edition is to be prepared of those books already published since the restoration by St. Pius X.
    It is desirable also that an edition be prepared containing simpler melodies, for use in small churches.
  • ServiamScores
    Posts: 922
    By the way, Liam, I'm grateful you've shared your joys on this thread too. I hope others will continue to do the same and that this thread can become a little place of positivity on this forum.
    Thanked by 1liampmcdonough
  • CarsonHaupt
    Posts: 38
    For the Solemnity of the Annunciation back in March, a group of six seminarians learned a three-voice setting of the Magnificat which Steven Talley composed and posted earlier. Both the monastic community and our brother seminarians were very appreciative. We were able to learn this in our spare time and sing it as part of the prelude.
    Thanked by 1CHGiffen
  • liampmcdonough
    Posts: 117
    I cannot find this setting via routine search. Was it posted to this forum?
  • liampmcdonough
    Posts: 117
    We are still tackling new repertoire this Summer! Here is a rehearsal take of Wesley's Thou Wilt Keep Him in Perfect Peace, arranged for SAMen by Denis Mason on the Organistsonline.org small choirs database. I wish I had a nicer microphone...
    Thanked by 2sdtalley3 CHGiffen
  • sdtalley3sdtalley3
    Posts: 212
    @CarsonHaupt and others,

    I was looking the score over and while I did make some general revisions, I did notice a parallel 5th between the Bass & Tenor 1 section...Also in the discussion thread of the original post, Richard Mix gave some good advice for cleaning up the score, so I'm hoping to repost this as I've upgraded my software that gives me more options and tools to make a cleaner music in general.