Saturday, April 29, 2017

A Chant App

(That caption may or may not be a reflection on us tenors and basses from Tuesday...)

Square Note is a new smartphone Gregorian chant app. From its description:
Square Note puts a huge library of Gregorian Chant scores—over 600 unique chants and counting—right at your fingertips. Always wanted to learn how to read square note notation? Always wondered how to find all the amazing Gregorian Chants of the Catholic Church? Square Note brings the ancient music of the Church to your mobile devices, ready for you to utilize in your schola, your choir, or your home.
Available for iPhone or Android for $2.99. HT: New Liturgical Movement.

Thursday, April 20, 2017

Apr. 30: 3rd Sunday of Easter

10:45 at St. Mary in the Mountains, Virginia City. Parking may be difficult because of the Virginia City Grand Prix going on that weekend, so the earlier you arrive, the better. Carpooling is a good idea.

At least you only have to bring Adoremus. The SMH doesn't like the higher altitude.

Introit: Jubilate Deo (T/B)

Kyrie, Gloria: Missa Prima (Haller)

Offertory: Lauda anima mea (S/A), At the Lamb's High Feast

SanctusAgnus Dei: Mass XVIII

Communio: Surrexit Dominus (we will not be singing any verses); Ye Sons and Daughters Of The Lord (unison); O Lord, I Am Not Worthy

Recessional: Christ The Lord Is Risen Today

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Prayers Please

To add to our list: For Bob Buschine, cathedral cantor and occasional fill-in baritone with us. From Kathy:
Bob will be home tomorrow. He has had a small stroke (TIA) and has had those before. He has a pinched nerve in his neck. He has an appointment with a neurosurgeon and may have to have neck and back surgery.
Please continue to pray for Bob - and for Gini too!

Monday, April 17, 2017

Another RPCer In The News

If you turn to page 6 of the April-May 2017 issue of High Desert Catholic, look who's pictured:
Yep, at lower left is our very own soprano, Eleanor Walls! She is also the coordinator for the Rite of Catholic Initiation for Adults (RCIA) at St. Michael's Parish. Those who went through RCIA for the past several months were welcomed into the Catholic Church at Easter Vigil Saturday night. Thank you for your ministry, Eleanor!

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

See You Next Tuesday

We WILL be having rehearsal next Tuesday, April 18. By then, Kathy hopes to have firmed up our Mass at St. Mary in the Mountains in Virginia City on Sunday, April 30. We do not sing on the Second Sunday of Easter (Divine Mercy Sunday), April 23.

Sunday, April 2, 2017

Three Cheers

  1. To bass Eric Olson, who brought his wife and infant son to Mass today!
  2. To Nancy, for filling in on organ today for Jennifer. But we certainly appreciate Jennifer's service to us as well!
  3. Last, but hardly least: to Fr. Paul Fazio who turned 70 today! It was our pleasure to sing for you.

Thursday, March 30, 2017

General Observations on Singing

Some advice for choral singing from nearly two centuries ago, courtesy of The Sacred Harp. HT: Bass Tim Rhodes. I think you'll agree this is still quite valid today, even though we do not sing in Sacred Harp style.
Persons may be well acquainted with all the various characters in music; they may also be able to sing their part in true time, and yet their performance be far from pleasing; if it is devoid of necessary embellishments, their manner and bad expression may conspire to render it disagreeable. A few plain hints, and a few general and friendly observations, we hope, will tend to correct their errors in practising vocal music.
Care should be taken that all the parts (when singing together) begin upon the proper pitch. If the parts are not united by their corresponding degrees, the whole piece may be run into confusion and jargon before it ends.
It is by no means necessary, to constitute good singers, that they should sing very loud, and if the singers of any one are so loud that they cannot hear the other parts, because of their own noise, the parts are surely not rightly proportioned, and ought to be altered. How hard it is to make some believe soft singing is the most melodious; when, at the same time, loud singing is more like the hootings of the midnight bird than refined music. [1]
In applying the words, great care should be taken that they be properly pronounced, and not torn to pieces between the teeth, nor forced through the nose. [2]
The superiority of vocal to instrumental music is that while one only pleases the ear, the other informs the understanding.
Too long singing at a time injures the lungs. A cold or cough, all kind of spirituous liquors [3], violent exercise, too much bile on the stomach, long fasting, the veins overcharged with impure blood, &c., &c., are destructive to the voice of one who is much in the habit of singing. All excessive use of ardent spirits will speedily ruin the best voice.
There should not be any noise indulged in while singing (except the music), as it destroys the beauty of harmony, and renders the performance very difficult, and if it is designedly promoted, it is nothing less than a proof of disrespect in the singers to the exercise, to themselves who occasion it, and to the Author of our existence. [4]
All affectation [5] should be banished; for it is disgusting in the performance of sacred music, and contrary to that solemnity which should accompany an exercise so near akin to that which will, through all eternity, engage the attention of those who walk in climes of bliss.
If singers, when performing a piece of music, could be as much captivated with the words and sounds as the author of the music is when composing it, the foregoing directions would be almost useless. We should therefore endeavor to improve the talent given us, and try to sing with the spirit and with the understanding, making melody in our hearts to the Lord.
The Sacred Music Press takes pleasure in sharing these quaint admonitions, written 150 years ago, and this page may be reprinted. However all other material in [The Sacred Harp] is protected by copyright and it is both unseemly and quite illegal to reproduce it in any form whatsoever without written permission of the publisher. Blessed are they who respect the copyright laws and keep them, for they make publications such as this possible.
[1] I recall early in my choral singing career, a musically-minded friend of mine said, "I could really hear you!" It took me a while to realize that was not a compliment.
[2] Kathy only reminds us of this at every rehearsal warmup. 
[3] For Kathy's sake, I assume this does not include wine. 
[4] Also applicable when Jennifer, Nancy, or another organist is playing a prelude or postlude piece.
[5] Defined as "behavior, speech, or writing that is artificial and designed to impress." Kind of like this blog...?