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Musicians in Catholic Worship ­ Part II Where Have All the Organists Gone?
Adoremus ^ | September 6, 2003 | Lucy Carroll

Posted on 09/18/2003 6:05:29 AM PDT by Desdemona

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And on that note I have some stuff to do. I will be back.
1 posted on 09/18/2003 6:05:31 AM PDT by Desdemona
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To: Desdemona
Des, a few years back I went to Mass at St. Louis Cathedral in N'Awlins. Their organist was a woman who was 418 years old. By any chance, do you know if she is still alive and active?
2 posted on 09/18/2003 6:18:33 AM PDT by Catholicguy (Back when I was a kid, obedience was not a vice and schism was not a virtue.)
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To: Desdemona
Also Choirs.

We have an outstanding choir director (Christian) in one of our local high schools.

He says that the art of choir directing is disappearing. There is little interest in music departments and fewer students learning the necessary skills or interested in putting out the work to create the product.

Background tapes supporting vocalists and small groups fill the place of the choir in many churches.

Too bad; it'd be a shame to lose such a beautiful means of offering praise to God.

3 posted on 09/18/2003 6:30:02 AM PDT by xzins
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To: Desdemona
Looking for the next Virgil Fox?
4 posted on 09/18/2003 6:36:10 AM PDT by sinkspur (Adopt a dog or a cat from a shelter! You'll save at least one life, maybe two!)
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To: Catholicguy; ninenot; pipeorganman
Des, a few years back I went to Mass at St. Louis Cathedral in N'Awlins. Their organist was a woman who was 418 years old. By any chance, do you know if she is still alive and active?

I think that's a question I'm the wrong person to answer.
5 posted on 09/18/2003 7:59:20 AM PDT by Desdemona (Kempis' Imitation of Christ online! http://www.leaderu.com/cyber/books/imitation/imitation.html)
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To: xzins
The other thing that is disappearing is good, correct voice training. It's not a matter of just opening your mouth and the sound come out. It's a total body action. it's not being taught at all and every time you get a Catholic choir they really just want to do a jam session rather than rehearse.

It's really sad. There is a body of material like no other written for worship and it isn't used.
6 posted on 09/18/2003 8:01:48 AM PDT by Desdemona (Kempis' Imitation of Christ online! http://www.leaderu.com/cyber/books/imitation/imitation.html)
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To: Catholicguy; Askel5
Would that Askel5 was around...
7 posted on 09/18/2003 8:03:04 AM PDT by american colleen
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To: xzins
Part of the problem is also that music is considered and extra and it's VERY expensive right now. Instruments, aside from the voice, aren't cheap and then they all need to be worked on from time to time. My flute should have the pads steamed once a year and that's not cheap. Piano tuning isn't cheap.

It also takes a lot of time and dedication. Instruments take a lot of patience, especially in the beginning, and a lot of parents don't want to bother with it.
8 posted on 09/18/2003 8:06:15 AM PDT by Desdemona (Kempis' Imitation of Christ online! http://www.leaderu.com/cyber/books/imitation/imitation.html)
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To: Desdemona
I dunno about voice training or anything like that.

But it peeves me to no end that in most/many parishes the choir has been relocated to the front of the church on one side of the altar. The choir director stands on a box and directs the choir and then the parishioners in turn. It wrecks the accoustics and makes the choir director the central focus of the Mass, even though I know that is not the intention of the director. It's like a scripted play.

With the Tabernacle on the one side and the choir on the other, it makes both co-equal. Something is wrong with that.

9 posted on 09/18/2003 8:06:37 AM PDT by american colleen
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To: american colleen
Funny you should mention acoustics.

I've been going to the Cathedral here which is covered with acres of mosaics and marble. And I mean acres. It's a 7 to 10 second delay depending on where you sit in the church. Normally, the choir, accompanied by organ is behind the altar by the main console. That organ is about, oh, I'd say at least 70 ranks (that means BIG) and the music director plays it so fast that the acoustics wreck any semblance of a tune. The words turn to mush. It's just bad, especially when they get other instruments in there for Christmas and Easter.

I sang once with the previous organist there, Dr. Mario Salvatore, who really knew what he was doing and when we sang, he directed at a largo usually (slow) but in the church it sounded correct. I've heard one other organist do it there and it was so much better it's not even funny.

One Sunday, there was a guest choir that sang from the rear gallery where the second console is. Some people would call it the choir loft. Anyway, they sang a cappella (without accompaniment) and it was crystal clear. You could understand every word without amplification. That's what the church was built for.

As for the set off to the side of the altar, I've heard many choir members say that they don't feel like they are a part of the Mass if they are up in the galleries, and there is something to that, but truthfully, Mass is about Christ and the Consecration, not "being a part of it".
10 posted on 09/18/2003 8:18:03 AM PDT by Desdemona (Kempis' Imitation of Christ online! http://www.leaderu.com/cyber/books/imitation/imitation.html)
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To: xzins
**Too bad; it'd be a shame to lose such a beautiful means of offering praise to God.**

"Raise a joyful voice unto the Lord!"
11 posted on 09/18/2003 8:18:56 AM PDT by Salvation (†With God all things are possible.†)
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To: american colleen; ninenot
And ninenot
12 posted on 09/18/2003 8:20:12 AM PDT by Salvation (†With God all things are possible.†)
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To: Desdemona; Romulus
Sorry. For some reason I thought you were from that area. Maybe it is Romulus I am thinking of
13 posted on 09/18/2003 10:24:01 AM PDT by Catholicguy (Back when I was a kid, obedience was not a vice and schism was not a virtue.)
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To: Desdemona
where have they all gone? why we hired most of the good ones away from y'all - where do you think we got ours? :-)
14 posted on 09/18/2003 10:28:21 AM PDT by ahadams2 ( Anglicanism: the next reformation begins NOW)
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To: american colleen
Oh, is she from that area?

BTW, twice, at least, I have been to Boston and each time I have been able to get into and see the interior of your Indult German Church. It looks smashing on the website though.

I was gonna surprise you the last time I was there. After Mass I was gonna wait outside and start yelling, "OK, where is that crackpot American Collen? Show yourself..."

15 posted on 09/18/2003 10:28:30 AM PDT by Catholicguy (Back when I was a kid, obedience was not a vice and schism was not a virtue.)
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To: Catholicguy
No, CG, I live in St. Louis, MISSOURI. In the middle.
16 posted on 09/18/2003 11:09:40 AM PDT by Desdemona (Kempis' Imitation of Christ online! http://www.leaderu.com/cyber/books/imitation/imitation.html)
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To: ahadams2
where have they all gone? why we hired most of the good ones away from y'all - where do you think we got ours? :-)

Yes, because we musicians can't get work in our own churches. It's a dirty secret, but almost half the organists and soloists (like me) in the protestant churches aren't welcome in "music ministry" in our own parishes thanks to the litiurginazis. They tell us we are too good.
17 posted on 09/18/2003 11:12:16 AM PDT by Desdemona (Kempis' Imitation of Christ online! http://www.leaderu.com/cyber/books/imitation/imitation.html)
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To: Desdemona
now *that* is truly sad - it really says something about the parish if they think you're doing too good a job of worshipping God....my goodness!
18 posted on 09/18/2003 11:16:18 AM PDT by ahadams2 ( Anglicanism: the next reformation begins NOW)
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To: ahadams2
The odd thing, is it's not the congregations. It's the liturginazis who decide what is best for everyone without knowing what they are talking about. They read the documents Mahoney, Weakland & Co. produced for the USCCB and think that's the last word. Well, it isn't and you can't convince them of that.

The most impressive organ work I've heard in the last few years was at the Cathedral Basilica here. A guest organist played this just unbelievable piece that several of us stayed to hear. On that huge organ it was just amazing. A young man, too. He looked like a spider the way all his limbs were moving.
19 posted on 09/18/2003 11:21:58 AM PDT by Desdemona (Kempis' Imitation of Christ online! http://www.leaderu.com/cyber/books/imitation/imitation.html)
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To: Desdemona; ninenot
Oh, thnaks. BTW, you and ninenot have taught me an enormous amount of stuff re Sacred Music. I take this opportunity to thank you.
20 posted on 09/18/2003 11:25:50 AM PDT by Catholicguy (Back when I was a kid, obedience was not a vice and schism was not a virtue.)
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