Sunday, September 10, 2017

Welcome Back


Get those robes cleaned and ironed...it's time. From Kathy, with emphasis added:
Hope your summer was pleasant!

First of all, there is sad news.  Some of you are not aware that our superb alto, Bev, suffered the death of her husband, Tony, early in the summer.  Our sincere sorrow goes to Bev.  Those of you who have experienced this type of loss understand all that is involved.  May Tony rest in peace!

But on a joyous note, Eric and Theresa celebrated the baptism of their beautiful son, Noah, a couple of weeks ago.

Some of you have still not returned your music from last choir season.  Please turn in the music as soon as possible.  If you need another turn-in sheet, please let me know and I will forward one to you.

Choir rehearsals will resume Tuesday, September 26, in [our usual location].  7 PM, as in the past.

We are always in need of new people.  Please let me know if you are bringing or referring someone new so that I can prepare music.

I am willing to do the pre-rehearsal chant classes if anyone wants to do that.  I need to know soon, however, so that I can prepare for that as well.

I look forward to seeing you on the 26th!

Some notes on "Welcome Back, Kotter," a favorite show of my childhood:

The show lasted from 1975 to 1979. According to IMDB, it was originally going to be named just "Kotter," but that didn't give songwriter John Sebastian enough to go on for the theme song. Since part of the premise was that Gabriel Kotter was coming back to the high school where he had once been a "sweathog," Sebastian decided to focus on the words "welcome back." That became the name of the theme song, and the producers liked it so much that they changed the title to the one we all know and love. The song reached #1 on the Billboard charts.

By the final season, both Gabriel Kaplan and John Travolta had all but left the show, just making a few token appearances each. Travolta, of course, became a movie star via Saturday Night Fever and Grease, and continues to make movies to this day. Kaplan became a professional poker player. Marcia Strassman, who played Julie Kotter, passed away in 2014. Robert Hegyes (Juan Epstein) and Ron Palillo (Arnold Horshack) died within weeks of each other in 2012. Lawrence Hilton-Jacobs (Freddie "Boom-Boom" Washington) made promos for the re-airing of WBK on MeTV.

I caught a few episodes when they aired on MeTV, and I still found them quite funny. I recently came across Kaplan's comedy album which was largely the basis for the show, but I passed on buying it. I would likely have to go to confession if I were to listen to the rest of it; Kaplan's comedy was quite off color. He joined the likes of Redd Foxx and, more recently, Steve Harvey who had to clean up their acts for television.

Monday, September 4, 2017

Singers Wanted for Triumph of the Cross / Summorum Pontifcum Anniversary

If you're available to sing for an Extraordinary Form High Mass on Thursday, September 14 at 6:30 PM at Holy Spirit Mission (not/not the Cathedral), please let Kathy know. She'll inform you where and when the remaining rehearsals are, as well as the call time on the 14th. This Mass is not only for the Feast of the Triumph of the Cross, but to celebrate the 10th anniversary of Summorum Pontificum, Pope Benedict XVI's elimination of restrictions on celebrating the Extraordinary Form Mass. Fr. Paul Fazio will be the celebrant.

The new RPC season will be starting soon. You can do some preseason workouts by bench-pressing the St. Michael's Hymnal a few times...if possible.

Monday, August 21, 2017

Monday, July 10, 2017

Square Note: A Review

It took me a while, but I just downloaded the Square Note chant app for my Android smartphone which I mentioned here; the icon appears above. I think it is more than worth the $2.99 I spent; in fact, this is the first app this tech cheapskate has spent any money on.

It has all the propers for the liturgical year, both NO and EF. It has all the ordinaries and many of the other chants we use throughout the year (Stabat Mater, Adoro Te Devote, Salve Regina, etc.). Although I do not believe Kathy would want you to do this on any regular basis, it can be a source of last resort when you forget to bring some or all of your music.

The only downside, and it isn't much of one, is that the app plays back midi-sounding files for the pieces instead of the voices on Corpus Christi Watershed et al. It plays them along with the notes flashing if you press the screen at the beginning or in any other section. I recommend against how it runs through, say, the Gloria Patri, however; that staccato is exactly what Kathy doesn't want.

Perhaps best of all, each app download benefits its creators, the Oblates of St. Joseph in the United States. It's available for both Android and iPhone.

Sunday, June 25, 2017

Kathy at the Colloquium

Kathy will soon be returning from her Tradition Unlike Any Other, namely attending the Sacred Music Colloquium held this year in St. Paul, MN. Here are a few shots of her, courtesy of New Liturgical Movement:

I'm guessing the fisheye lens was necessary because the photographer was at the edge of the choir loft.
A better shot of Kathy.
Here, I believe she's the one in the sunglasses.

Sunday, June 18, 2017

Totus Est

Thus endeth the 2016-17 Regina Pacis Cantorum season.

I'd say the biggest thing we had to contend with this year would be the weather. We prayed for years for an end to our drought, and boy, did we get it, starting with flooding in Reno, Sparks, and Carson City in January, and following with epic snowfall in the Sierras. The flooding even impacted our rehearsals as a flash flood broke out in our parking lot, and a February rehearsal was cancelled when rain instead of snow again hit the mountains.

We suffered a couple losses as benefactor LTG Martin Brandtner, USMC and former soprano Helen Carrico went to receive what we pray are their eternal rewards. Also, we will be dealing with some uncertainty next season as we learned the Franciscans will leave the Cathedral in April June 2018.

We managed to make it through the tension of a brutal election season still unified.

We had to take the Harbor Freeway to any harbor, back up 5 miles to the spoon in the road, and get out and cut off our Slausons just to get to Immaculate Conception while construction was going on at Pyramid Highway and McCarran Boulevard. (I miss Johnny Carson.)

We sang at St. Mary in the Mountains church in Virginia City for the first time, accompanied by a barely-in-tune organ and dozens of motorcycles.

And since we could not get out of the season without one more weather note, we left our robes home for today's heated Corpus Christi Mass while a wildfire raged just to the west of Kathy's house. Looks like her development will be safe, although her home did lose power.

Thanks to all of you who sang for making the season memorable, especially those who had never sung with us before. Thank you to Jennifer and Nancy for accompanying us on organ. Thank you to all the parishes and pastors who had us sing for them. Thank you to our patrons and benefactors, known and anonymous. And thanks most of all to the indefatigable Kathy, who almost singlehandedly keeps RPC going.

Enjoy the summer, and as I like to say, find something else to do on Tuesday nights for the next few months. See you in the fall! If you need some summer reading and listening, look here.

BTW, Kathy and I are filling in for the ailing Bob Buschine (who can still use your prayers) as cantors at the Cathedral's 5 PM Sunday Masses, at least until we start singing again.

Saturday, June 17, 2017

Hot, Hot, Hot

With a forecast high temperature of 94 in Reno tomorrow, disrobing is authorized. Kathy has said we do not need to wear our robes for our final Mass, but we will still want to dress nicely; no jeans or T-shirts, please. Bring plenty of water. We can all therefore start cleaning our robes; unless you somehow were born with no sweat glands whatsoever, your robe is going to need it.

Make sure to hydrate over the next several days as well, as temperatures push toward 100 degrees. It could be worse; we could be in Las Vegas, where 120 is not out of the question next week. In case you forgot, Monday, June 12's high was 60 in Reno, and several inches of snow fell in the Sierras.
Just another June in Reno-Tahoe. (Photo: the wise guys at CHP Truckee. "Now if we could just get our base tan going," they said.)