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Tuesday, 4 December 2007

Why don't your Aunt Susie keep ducks?

That was my late Grandma's retort to any question she thought idiotic, impertinent, irrelevant or otherwise unworthy of answer.
It flashed across my mind when one of my crankier, less faithful choir members took exception to the news that we would always be singing at the same Mass from now on.
No, I have no intention of directing and (singing with, and sometimes carrying the high notes for) a choir without some contiguous preparation, and no, I have no intention of rehearsing a choir at 7:15 am.
This extra rehearsal business for Christmas is wearing me down.... I don't mind it, indeed I planned it, but it is not as fruitful as it could be, and attendance makes me question my liberal policy in that regard.
On the other hand, a dear soprano who has been deathly ill was well enough to come and sing with us this evening, so Alleluia!
Pueri Concinite is going well (will I have enough voice in 3 weeks to carry it off?) and the Berlioz Shepherds' Farewell is going to be a keeper for us.
Yes, those chromatic harmonies are difficult, (and there was some whining,) but no harder than the Rutter What Sweeter Music? we did last Christmas, whihc they all ended up loving and being very proud of..
I cannot go along with the (to me, spoil sport,) attitude toward the tradition so many places (here included,) of a concert of sacred and religious Christmas music as a prelude to Midnight Mass. It is a lovely custom.
I have written some 4 part verses (some faux bourdon, one polyphonic,) for the Chabanel psalm for Midnight Mass (God save Jeff Ostrowski!) that sound not too bad.
Mr. Webb's Hail Jesu Christ, Born for Aye, which we started on, but just couldn't quite "get" last year is going to fall into place juuuuust fine this time 'round.
A few old favorites, of course. And, truth to tell, probably a few old... what's the opposite of favorite?
There are certain customs that I just can't buck successfully, so there will probably be at least one wretched song, and one wretched arrangement of a marvelous song, and who knows, maybe even a wretched rendition of a wretched arrangement of a wretched song...
And certain members will of course fight me yet again on the In Splendoribus.
Interesting teachable moment, last week working on on of the Advent Introits at choir rehearsal, (to a simple psalm tone.)
An indignant, "You mean we're not going to sing a hymn??!?" (where were they all of last Advent? or this past Lent, for that matter? but never mind...) allowed me to explain to yet a few more people the way poor substitutes have been allowed to usurp the place of what the Church actually asks for, and the providing of which we are in a position to implement.
But GAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAD, it's tiring, it's like pulling teeth sometimes, and it's wearing me down and I'm losing my voice and I can neither bend nor fully straighten out my legs thanks to the swelling from the eczema and...
What can I say?
I'm feeling put-upon and unappreciated and holding a pity party. (And I think it'll be a good party, with cocktails :-P)


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Sir Monocle said...

I agree with crescenet. Though I'd like to add that during this season, nothing will bring you greater joy and relief from eczema than pointing to the cross to help explain what happened to that last chorister who went out of line.

That was really bad. But, seriously, I think we must share the same choristers.

Anonymous said...

I had a lot of complaints about not having a choir at the early Mass also. I said the very same thing you did, "I'm not about to warm up at 7:15." I got the response, "Well we don't have to warm up, just be there and sing!" But... just because people sit in the loft doesn't mean they're a choir... My parish just doesn't get it.