NPM chant division
  • chonakchonak
    Posts: 9,082
    (Ha! Aris best me to it!)

    A footnote:
    DM: Director of Music
    is also often abbreviated as
    MD: Music Director
  • miacoyne
    Posts: 1,805
    Prorstf, your suggestions sound good. Would you willing to go help, maybe starting with their convention next year? Do they want PBC books there? Would you 'organize impromptu chant singalongs in the hallways." I'm not sure they will feel comfortable with all these. Maybe you could initiate and actually do something, then some people might go with you to help. Also I would make sure they really want help from here first.

    When I'm ready, I'd like to share what I know about chants with others in this area (and others from CMAA local chapters can help with this). But I'm not sure whether I would necessarily go through NPM. When I went to the local NPM meeting, I manage to have 5 minutes to talk about chants and resources, they were not too excited then as they were talking about contemporary music. (I went there just for that goal and sat through the whole meeting listening to the talk about the music that I'll never use.) If they are willing to give me time for the chant I'll still go and sit through the meeting. But my short talk on chants at the end was hurried to finish the meeting, I felt not so comfortible talking about chants there.
    If someone really wants to work with NPM and help them, why not organize the content and get people to help, instead of asking others to do the actaul work?
  • CharlesW
    Posts: 11,891
    If there are people in NPM who have the same intentions that we have - namely, restoring music to the liturgy that is sacred and reverent - we should work with them. They are not our enemies, regardless of what the umbrella organization does.
  • The idea of the "CMAA leadership" is a complete anachronism, and I really do wish that people would just stop using this phrase. Nor does it make sense to complain of a "deafening silence" !

    The members are the leadership. Forum members are the leadership. Every musician singing chant and sacred music is part of the leadership. What this means is that we all must do our part, bear some of the burden, work in every way possible in whatever way we can. If something you want doesn't happen, you must take responsibility. Nor is this about camps or groups or sects or institutions. It is about inspiring the entire Catholic world.
  • ChrisPT
    Posts: 9
    For what it's worth, I really did hear a lot said at the NPM conf. this year about reeling in the music that's gotten so far outside of "correctness." Especially with the so-called new text (didn't it used to be the old text?) so imminent, the call was made to re-evaluate what we do and strive for liturgical relevance and proper content. (Again, I'm speaking as a composer.) I found it amusing that any time during the prayer services we were required to sing chant, you could almost hear the "Ahhhhhhhhh!" of relief in the voices of participants. We want it. We do other things, but we love coming back to simple solemnity.

    And hey, let me know if those hallway chant-alongs are going to be a reality next year. I'm in!
  • marymezzomarymezzo
    Posts: 236
    I appreciate what Jeffrey T says. I am constantly in awe of our high-profile CMAA people--but it's good for us to be reminded that we are all responsible for the reform. Not just the "leaders." I think that perceptual shift makes each of us a little more accountable.

    All of us in the trenches are creating ripples in our local ponds, inspiring one another, commiserating, plotting--I mean, planning--etc. We're all making it happen.

    And speaking of planning, East Tennesseans: you will soon be receiving an e-mail about possible dates for a chapter gathering in September.
  • CharlesW
    Posts: 11,891
    I think it also goes along with an observation of my own over time. Changes mandated top-down rarely work. Grass roots changes from the bottom up seem to have more success. We are the grass roots organization.
  • Exactly exactly! Down with the top down approach. We've had enough of that. I have my own theory about preconciliar chant movements and how this approach is eventually what doomed it. But more about that in an amazing paper in the Fall issue of Sacred Music (no, not by me).
  • Priorstf, just a few comments on your suggestions-

    1) A significant number of CMAAers attend the NPM conference and help boost the chant session participation

    I don't know about anyone else's personal finances, but Wendy and I've absorbed every dollar's worth of travel, accomodation, event and incidental expenses for colloquiums, intensive, and tons of NPM and similar events over the decades. And we've had just two national events on the West Coast in those 36 years. Howabout CMAA offering interested NPMers who can day-trip to Pittsburgh gratis sessions or days, and put the financial onus upon those who, like us, have sought out "the chant?"

    2) Arrange an evening Chant concert/presentation as part of the NPM conference

    Gun to my head, asked what is the most compelling reason to participate in chant "sessions" at CMAA colloquiums (and by extension, the final liturgy at an intensive) is that such are not conducted for presentation in the vacuum of demonstration or inspiration. Would the convention leadership at a national NPM agree to a liturgical celebration in the manner of nightly Compline, without any other competing "events" and with encouragement evident from that leadership that the conventioneers make every effort to join in worship at said liturgy, that would be a sign of full faith and credit exchanged between our organizations.
    Even Br. Ed Schaefer's Gonzaga Schola portion of the Los Angeles ACDA national worship music event, the most beautiful segment of the night, seemed incongruant within the larger mix and in the environs of Our Lady of the Angels.

    4) Organize impromptu chant singalongs in the hallways

    Organize v. impromptu? I get what you mean. Heck, when I left NPM in '99 there were hardly any impromptu anythings in hotel hallways or ballrooms left. The campfire mentality had already seen its day by the mid-80's, really.

    5) Prepare a traditional Gregorian Chant Vespers and/or Mass

    See comment for #2. But I stress, NPM ought to insure that there is no other competing event, if they want to pay more than lip service to the mandate of "Pride of Place." Now, were that to actually happen, everything within me sings it would be the most significant event in 21st century American liturgical catechesis advancement.

    6) Get a booth at the NPM conference and sell PBC and other Chant-oriented materials
    7) Volunteer in local and regional NPM meetings to conduct chant sessions

    No problem with these two above.

    8) Work with NPM committees to encourage the inclusion of Chant language into their materials
    9) Develop standards for cantor/DM certification with traditional Church music to parallel NPM certification
    and most importantly

    I'm not sure what #8 actually means. And #9, in light of the "top-down" commentary above, with which I heartily agree, seems way too premature at this stage of TROTR evolution.

    10) Stop badmouthing NPM and the various publishing companies who have chosen to partner with this largest organization of Catholic musicians.

    I believe this is a personal mischaracterization of which I've not personally encountered at CMAA events. "Badmouthing" like beauty, must apparently be in the eye of the beholder, as the members I've come to know and love have yet to demonstrate less than charity towards all, and malice towards none. Concerns and debates over business and legal practices that are problematic within the realms inwhich we labor don't necessarily constitute "badmouthing."
    If I report my verifiable account of a "conga-line" of costumed dancers winding around aisles in a Las Vegas parish during the singing of a Afro-Carribean-style Gospel Acclamation at a culminating "Celebration of the Eucharist" of one of these groups you cite, without any editorial critique, does that still and automatically qualify as "badmouthing?"

    Back in '79 to those mid-80's, I was enthralled at what I then perceived as great advances musically leading us out of the folksy morass that was early FEL, NALR, WLP and charismatic-inspired repertoire that dominated the musical attributes of Masses. And they were to be found at the national NPM's, absolutely. But, the lustre of the light malignantly grew into crass commercialism TO MY TASTES, and by my own estimation, I left Pittsburgh '99 (with Wendy) and both of us wondering, outside of BFW and Michael Thompson's Kyriale, "wha' happened?' Nothing for us, apparently. I'm sure if you ask Fr. James Chepponis for his recollections, you'll get an entirely different perspective.
    CMAA represents a personal credo for me that I take great pains to stealthily, inoffensively and charitably try to remind our parish leadership every time we have a staff retreat or session whose purpose is to manufacture some new "mission" statement; our organizations cannot, by definition, be "all things to all people." So, I applaud you, the CMAA "leadership" (in the whole sense) and others here in this forum for building from the grass line up.
  • it would be "There's room at the table for everyone, so quit bickering."

    Hardly. Look at what they promote and support.

    Crass commercialism. Concern about what microphones to buy rather than teaching voice...
  • Dear FNJ,
    In the spirit of charity, could you clarify with me that the term "crass commercialism" is our personal characterizations, and not representative of the CMAA organization?
  • Oh yes, sorry it has taken so long to respond.

    My own personal view is that the church music industry has gone from being an honest effort to provide music for churches at little or no profit, to popularization of the image that a church musician must have a 24 channel mixer with effects, microphones for all singers, a reverberation unit to warm up their sound, a pitch correction device so that they sound in tune, multi-stacked keyboards so that they can play Korg Strings, Rhodes pianos, Steinway samples, brass and reed sections, annual trips to see what they need to buy next along with training sessions on how to run and use what is the newest and best.

    Crass commercialism. An advertisement in a music trades magazine a few years ago featured a picture of a person with a stack of money, running his hands through was an ad looking for dealers for an organ company....

    Crass commercialism.

    And where it really, really bothers me is when Psalms are translated by monks....and rather than being shared with the people are sold like jars of jam.

    Someone else needs to state what the CMAA stand is, this and that Crass Commercialism comment is mine and mine alone. But I'll share it.
  • I'll drink to that, FNJ! Bushmills or Jameson?
  • G
    Posts: 1,396
    You have something against Tullamore Dew?

    A fairly new-to-blogging gentleman, who seems like a really decent fellow, has complained about similar characterizations of the LIC, but until his in-blog product placement posts also contain links to gratis PDFs or Scribed texts, it is difficult to sympathize.

    (Save the Liturgy, Save the World)
  • Not atoll, m'fair Lass, ain't yet met its acquaintance, a thin' ye canna remedy, can ye not?
    In the meantime, Absinthe makes my heart grow fonda.
  • Absinthe: can we make this the official colloquium drink?
  • Do you plan on having sessions the next morning? I mean, really. Found a bartender on the coast couple of weeks ago, did the whole ritual. Lucky the restaurant was directly across the street; and the duck was wonderful.
  • chonakchonak
    Posts: 9,082
    There already is an official colloquium drink for the XX year. Save absinthe for XXI.
  • Just as long as it's not that green bilge that was cheerily touted by a certain, otherwise-tasteful member of our company in the LUC dining hall this summer ...
  • DBP,
    I remember folks waxing on about said beverage, but didn't pay much attention to it or see it firsthand. Did it flow from the carbonated fountain? Where, between Chartreuse and Wheat Grass, doth its flavor and taste lie?
  • imageYum on that amazing green kiwi juice that doth floweth from the juice machine - both beautiful and delicious.

    However, for XX it must be XX.
  • G
    Posts: 1,396
    "Do you plan on having sessions the next morning?"

    Drinking sessions?
    Hmmm, I missed that green substance... poor me, probably never get the chance now.

    Absinthe is something I've always wanted to give a try, and Ordinary time would be appropriate -- why not l'heure verte during le temps vert?

    Back on topic, can someone tell me why the ICEL collection of PD hymns contains "250 Hymns" but "106 settings of music"?

    And is there a table of contents of that to peruse anywhere?

    (Save the Liturgy, Save the World)
  • mjballoumjballou
    Posts: 990
    Jeffrey was the sole advocate of that beverage. I tried it at his insistence and went right back to Diet Coke.
  • IanWIanW
    Posts: 754
    Absinthe - now that's one drink we haven't tried yet at Spode Music Week*. It would go well with some Machaut. I think I'll suggest it to the bar sub-committee for next year.

    * A British Catholic Music Week. It's not exactly like the Colloqium, and definitely not like the NPM week, but we do sing chant and polyphony every day.
  • IanWIanW
    Posts: 754
    ps our final sung Ordinary this year was Rheinberger's Mass for double choir in E flat Op. 109. That's a kind of musical Absinthe, too.
  • ghmus7
    Posts: 1,423
    It's noteworthy that on this forum, if the thread is long enough, the topic usually comes around to spirits. (the liquid variety).
    Thanked by 1Heath