Monday, May 15, 2017

A Sacred Music Podcast

Not with Patrick Stewart, but with Fr. David Friel, courtesy of Corpus Christi Watershed.

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

June 4: Pentecost

4 PM at the Cathedral. Pray we feel just a little of the air conditioning. Tongues of fire may not do us much good in the loft.

Introit: Spiritus Domini

KyrieGloriaAgnus DeiMissa Prima (Haller; mp3s)

Offertory: Confirma hocBreathe On Me, Breath of God

Sanctus: Mass VIII

Communio: Factus est repenteConfirma hoc, Deus (Aichinger; click the yellow midi icon)

Recessional: Come Holy Ghost (handout)

Monday, May 8, 2017

May 28: Ascension Thursday Sunday

8 AM at St. Peter Canisius. Bring your Green Book to rehearsals. Note too we are singing a Latin Offertory, not an English one. 😎

Introit: Viri Galilei

Kyrie: Green Book, #21 (Haller)

GloriaSanctusAgnus Dei: Mass I

Offertory: Ascendit DeusHail The Day That Sees Him Rise (SATB) (Adoremus)

Communio: Panis Angelicus (Palestrina)

Recessional: Alleluia! Sing To Jesus

Sunday, May 7, 2017

May 21: 6th Sunday of Easter

4 PM at the Cathedral. Here we go down the home stretch for this season!

Introit: Vocem jucunditatis

KyrieGloriaSanctusAgnus Dei: Mass VIII

Credo III

Offertory: Benedicite gentes, O Holy Spirit Come To Us

Communio: Non vos relinquamIf Ye Love Me (Tallis) -- SATB

Recessional: Hail The Day That Sees Him Rise (SATB)

Monday, May 1, 2017

May 7: 4th Sunday of Easter

4 PM at the Cathedral.

Introit: Misericordia Domini

KyrieSanctusAgnus Dei (no Gloria): Mass XVII

Credo III

Offertory: Deus, Deus meus; Be Joyful, Mary Heavenly Queen (SMH)

Communio: Ego sum pastor bonus, Panis Angelicus (Palestrina)

Recessional: At The Lamb's High Feast We Sing (SMH)

Sunday, April 30, 2017

Today at St. Mary In The Mountains: A Photo Essay

We had the honor of singing before a comparatively small congregation at St. Mary in the Mountains Church in Virginia City, the first time RPC has sung there. One reason why it was a small congregation (although it wasn't as small as the photo implies, taken before rehearsal started):

We were accompanied by dozens of off-road motorcycles for the Virginia City Grand Prix. (Photo: KTVN.) Truth be told, the sound they made was no worse than the sirens, buses, and motorcycles we hear when singing at the Cathedral.
Kudos to Jennifer for figuring out how to make the aging and out-of-tune organ not sound like someone just scored a goal at a hockey game.
There was plastic sheeting all over the choir loft because of leaks in the roof. Remember, for a time there was no choir loft after the "mad monks" tore it out in a fit of iconoclasm in the late 1950s.
At the end of Mass, a couple celebrating their 50th wedding anniversary renewed their vows. Congratulations!

Other photos:
Bass Mark Deutschendorf, fresh from his 5K Downtown River Run earlier that morning, snapped this nice exterior shot of St. Mary's.
Alto Phyllis Young added this picture of the stained-glass windows adorning the stairway from the choir loft.

Thank you for having us, Fr. Anton Sommer, and we hope you'll bring us back someday! (Maybe when the motorcycle races aren't going on...)

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...?

Sunday, March 26, 2017

We Alleregretto Nothing!

HT: Scelata at Chant Cafe by way of Kathy, but the original author is lost to the anonymity of the Internet. Images added at no extra charge.

New Music Terms

ALLEREGRETTO: When you're 16 measures into the piece and suddenly realize you've set too fast a tempo

ANGUS DEI: To play with a divinely beefy tone

A PATELLA: Accompanied by knee slapping

APOLOGGIATURA: A composition that you regret playing

APPROXIMATURA: A series of notes not intended by the composer, yet played with an "I meant to do that" attitude

APPROXIMENTO: A musical entrance that is somewhere in the vicinity of the correct pitch

DILL PICCOLINI: An exceedingly small wind instrument that plays only sour notes

FERMANTRA: A note held over and over and over and over and . . .

FIDDLER CRABS: Grumpy string players

FLUTE FLIES: Those tiny insects that bother musicians on outdoor gigs

FRUGALHORN: A sensible and inexpensive brass instrument

GAUL BLATTER: A French horn player

GREGORIAN CHAMP: The title bestowed upon the monk who can hold a note the longest


SPRITZICATO: An indication to string instruments to produce a bright and bubbly sound

TEMPO TANTRUM: What an elementary school orchestra is having when it's not following the conductor

Thursday, March 23, 2017

Apr. 16: Easter Sunday

4 PM at the Cathedral.

Introit: Resurrexi

Kyrie, Gloria, Agnus DeiMissa Prima (Haller)

Sequence: Victimae paschali laudes

Vidi Aquam (following renewal of baptismal promises)

Offertory proper: Terra tremuit
Offertory hymn: Christ The Lord Is Risen Today (SMH)

Sanctus: Mass VIII

Communion: Pascha nostrumHaec Dies (Byrd)

Dismissal and blessing: Regina Coeli

Recessional: Alleluia! Alleluia! Hearts To Heaven (SMH)

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

In Memoriam: Helen Carrico


Last Tuesday, former RPC alto Patty Dickens informed Kathy her mother Helen was not likely to live past the next 48 hours. She passed from this world later that day. Helen was a longtime soprano for RPC; find out all the other things she did in her life in her obituary. We pray for Patty and her entire family, including her sister-in-law Renee who also sang with us.

Note that the family is asking for donations in Helen's name to the Reno Jazz Festival (coming up the end of next month) or the charity of your choice, in lieu of flowers. A celebration of Helen's life is scheduled for this Saturday, March 25 at the Carmelite Monastery at 10 AM, followed by a reception.

In Helen's memory, I post the hauntingly beautiful In paradisum from Maurice Durufle's Requiem, as I did for my father-in-law six years ago. Makes me tear up every. single. time.

In paradisum deducant te Angeli; in tuo adventu suscipiant te martyres, et perducant te in civitatem sanctam Ierusalem. Chorus angelorum te suscipiat, et cum Lazaro quondam paupere æternam habeas requiem.
May the angels lead you into paradise; may the martyrs receive you at your arrival and lead you to the holy city Jerusalem. May choirs of angels receive you and with Lazarus, once (a) poor (man), may you have eternal rest.

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Thu., Apr. 13: Holy Thursday

6:15 PM at Holy Spirit Mission. Disregard the March 24 date in the book Kathy gave out; that was Holy Thursday last year. Mantillas, ladies.

Introit: Nos autem (multiple verses)

KyrieGloria (mp3 only), SanctusAgnus Dei (miserere nobis last time): Mass IV

Gradual: Christus factus est

Antiphons for the Washing of the Feet:
  • Mandatum novum do vobis
  • Postquam surrexit Dominus
  • Dominus Jesus
  • Domine, tu mihi lavas pedes
  • Si ego Dominus
  • In hoc cognoscent omnes
  • Maneant in vobis
  • Ubi caritas
can all be found herestarting at around the 10:00 mark. This recording has Nos autem and Christus factus est as well.

Offertory Proper: Dextera Domini, Christus Factus Est (Anerio/Escuchar)

Communion: Dominus Jesus

Psalm 22 (Dominus regit)*
Psalm 71 (Deus, judicium)*
Psalm 103 (Benedic, anima mea)*
Psalm 150 (Laudate Dominum)*
* as needed

Transfer of the Blessed Sacrament: Pange lingua
Stripping of altar: Psalm 21 (Diviserunt sibi) (alternate verses between cantors and all)

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Apr. 2: 5th Sunday in Lent

4 PM at the Cathedral. This is also Fr. Paul Fazio's birthday.

Introit: Judica me Deus (Note: no Gloria Patri is sung today)

KyrieSanctusAgnus Dei (no Gloria): Mass XVII

Credo III

Offertory: Confitebor, Ah Holy Jesus (SMH or Adoremus)

Communio: Videns Dominus, Adoramus Te (Palestrina)

Recessional: O Sacred Head Surrounded

Monday, March 13, 2017

St. Michael's Requests Donations for Flooding Victims

(Photo: Washoe County Government)

Last year, we sang at Mass for the first time ever at St. Michael's in Stead. Now, the church is at the forefront of assisting those affected by ongoing flooding in Lemmon Valley, which could persist for weeks as the snow melts. If you want to help, St. Michael's has a way to do so. From their website:
Flooding from a series of storms in this record water‐year has caused significant problems for many Lemmon Valley residents. The hardest hit areas are adjacent to or near Swan Lake, but other locations are affected as well. Some have lost access to their homes, have had furniture and belongings destroyed, and lost livestock. 
Recent statements from Washoe County officials suggest that the recovery process will be months‐long, and conditions may worsen as additional storms and runoff add to the levels of standing water. 
Fr. Thomas Babu and Saint Michael Parish would like to reach out to those in need. We ask parishioners and friends of Saint Michael Church for donations that will be used to assist the Lemmon Valley residents in need. 
If you can donate, please do so with a check to “Saint Michael Church” and state the purpose of the check as “Priest’s Charity – Lemmon Valley” in the “For” section. Drop it off at the Parish, or mail to:  
St. Michael Catholic Church, 14075 Mt. Vida, Reno, NV 89506 
Please call the Parish office at 775‐972‐7462 if you need more information. Thank you and God Bless!  
I'm thinking mailing a check might be the better option, as Washoe County authorities are limiting access into the area by non-residents. (ETA: Tenor Karl Riglesberger, a St. Michael's parishioner, says getting to the church is just fine; it's out of the affected area.)

Sunday, March 12, 2017

More Changes at the Cathedral

Kathy sent the following email yesterday, and Deacon Richard Ramm confirmed it at this afternoon's Mass:
Dear choir family,
I wanted to let you know before you get surprised at Mass tomorrow evening that an announcement is going to be made that the Franciscans are going to be leaving Reno.  There will not be another order of priests coming in, so [St. Thomas Aquinas] cathedral will be run by diocesean priests.  This will be effective June of 2018. [emphasis added]
I will not pretend to know what this portends for Regina Pacis.  What I DO know is that every time I thought we were finished, something has happened and we have been fine, if not even better off.  We will continue to be fine.  It will likely mean some changes for us.  It is in God's hands, as are all things.
But it certainly underscores why we do not settle totally in one place. 
Be at peace.  All will be well.
Deacon Richard added the reason is insufficient numbers of friars to keep the Cathedral properly staffed. He says several friars are in seminary/formation (you can see some of them here), but they won't be ordained for several years. I hate to say it, but that's assuming they do not leave before ordination.

Speaking of the friars at the cathedral, please keep Fr. Tom Hamilton in your prayers, as he is getting eye surgery tomorrow. He has said a few of our Masses, and I suspect this is not his first eye procedure. Sandy and I had the pleasure of talking to him at one of the parish dinners; he has quite a good sense of humor.

Monday, March 6, 2017

Mar. 26: Laetare Sunday (4th Sunday of Lent)

4 PM at the Cathedral. Kathy promised she'll keep the music coming. This reminds me: Don't get rid of the manila envelope she gave you; you'll be using it to turn in your music at the end of the season.

Introit: Laetare

KyrieSanctusAgnus Dei (no Gloria): Mass XVII

Credo III

Offertory: Laudate Dominum, The King Of Love My Shepherd Is

Communio: Lutum fecitO Jesu Christe (Mantua)

Recessional: Hail, Redeemer, King Divine (SMH)

Sunday, March 5, 2017

Prayers Please

For Barbara Fanaris and Kristin Rosenqvist, for healing from their health problems.

For Patty Dickens' mother Helen, who is now on palliative care. Both Patty and Helen were RPC members.

And for the entire Reinheimer family. If you don't know the reason, I prefer not to disclose it here.

Meanwhile at the Vatican...

Pope Francis, while observing the 50th anniversary of the conciliar (and Vatican II) document Musicam sacram:
“Certainly,” said Pope Francis, “the encounter with modernity and the introduction of [vernacular] tongues into the Liturgy stirred up many problems: of musical languages, forms and genres.”
The Holy [F]ather went on to say, “Sometimes a certain mediocrity, superficiality and banality have prevailed, to the detriment of the beauty and intensity of liturgical celebrations.” 
The Pope encouraged the various actors in the field of liturgical music – from composers, conductors, musicians and choristers, to liturgical animators – to do their best to contribute to the renewal of sacred music and liturgical chant, especially as far as the quality of sacred music is concerned. [emphasis added]
We can only hope and pray this call will not be dismissed as so many other Church documents dealing with sacred music have been.

(Source, Vatican Radio, HT: Corpus Christi Watershed. Photo of the Sistine Chapel Choir from Vatican Radio also.)

Thursday, March 2, 2017

Brick By Brick

I attended Ash Wednesday Mass at St. Teresa of Avila in Carson City. The Sanctus and Agnus Dei were English chants from the Graduale Romanum, which we know as the Requiem Mass. This is a leaflet in the pew. Could we be singing at St. Teresa someday?

Sort of related: a high school classmate who has appeared on several network TV shows made the following observation on Facebook.

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

No Rehearsal Tonight

Because of the widespread flooding and other weather problems, Kathy has cancelled rehearsal for tonight. This means call time for Sunday at the Cathedral is now 4 PM, for real. Please review the music and listen to the sound files/videos.

Above all, stay safe.

Sunday, February 19, 2017

Burying The Alleluia

(Photo: New Liturgical Movement)

I don't know about the rest of you, but I never knew about the ceremony of "burying the Alleluia" before Lent, although I am well aware that Alleluia is omitted in the NO between Ash Wednesday and the Easter Vigil. The EF rite omits it starting on Septuagesima Sunday.

Kathy mentioned the EF practice at a recent rehearsal, and lo and behold, the New Liturgical Movement (a publication of the CMAA and edited by our good friend Dr. William Mahrt) obliges with this: Burying the Alleluia 2017. Check out the other photos besides the one above.

Friday, February 17, 2017

Mar. 12: 2nd Sunday in Lent

4 PM at the Cathedral. SMH this week.

Introit: Reminiscere

KyrieSanctusAgnus Dei (no Gloria): Mass XVII

Credo III

Offertory: Meditabor, Be Thou My Vision

Communio: Visionem quam vidistisMiserere Mei, Domine (Shenk)

Recessional: Fairest Lord Jesus (no verse 4)

Thursday, February 16, 2017

Chant Conferences Galore!

In addition to the March Yonkers conference I mentioned recently, several opportunities are coming up to learn more about chant and polyphony, as well as meet those who feel the same way about the importance of sacred music as you do.
  • The Church Music Association of America's Colloquium XXVII will be held in St. Paul, MN from June 19-24. Kathy almost always attends on our behalf; other RPC members have accompanied her before. The photo above is of the Cathedral of the Madeleine from the 2013 Colloquium in Salt Lake City.
  • Pittsburgh has played host to the CMAA Colloquium previously, and it will be the site of the CMAA's Summer Chant Courses from June 26 through June 30. Several different tracks are being offered.
  • That same week, the 2nd Sacred Music Symposium is being held in Los Angeles. It's almost too late to sign up; you need to send an email to express interest by tomorrow, February 17. Like last year, it's being hosted by the FSSP and is intended for choir directors, but anyone who wants to sing chant and polyphony is welcome.
  • Last, but hardly least, Raymond Cardinal Burke will be one of the featured presenters and celebrants at the Conference on Sacred Liturgy in Medford, OR, which runs July 12-15.

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Mar. 5: 1st Sunday of Lent

4 PM at Immaculate Conception, Sparks. PLEASE read my earlier post about how to get to the church, or you will be rather frustrated...and late, which makes Kathy frustrated.

Introit: Invocabit me

KyrieSanctusAgnus Dei (no Gloria): Mass XVII

Credo III

Offertory: The Lord Will Overshadow You

Communio: Scapulis suisPanis Angelicus (Lambilotte) (SATB), Miserere Mei, Domine (Shenk)

Recessional: Lord, Who Throughout These Forty Days