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Father Gabriel Lalemant won the crown the martyrdom on 17 March 1649. The smallest and most delicate in health among all the Jesuit missionaries, he had in six months won, by his iron will and unwavering determination, a martyr's end, in companionship with the spiritual and physical giant of the missions, Jean de Brébeuf.
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“Oh, the happy choir director who is hired to start work on a brand new choir, or who walks into his first rehearsal a total stranger to the existing group—what a fortunate man he is! The new choir director who is a former member of the choir, or a member of the congregation, or the nephew of the alto soloist, or a former altar boy, or otherwise well acquainted with the choir, is in for a few headaches.”
— Paul Hume (1956)
144 Practice Videos For Catholic Choirs
published 1 September 2011 by Corpus Christi Watershed

Vocal phenomenon Matthew J. Curtis has recently given Catholic musicians a tremendous gift by carefully recording more than 144 polyphonic training videos, freely available to all, making it possible for choir members to “learn at their own pace and in their own way” without leaving the comfort of their homes.

Kevin Allen’s Cantiones Sacrae Simplices is a beautiful collection of twelve sacred motets (SATB), which perfectly exemplify contemporary sacred music composed according to the Church’s tradition. Mr. Curtis’ practice videos present each line of every piece in four (4) different ways. It is well known how daunting a cappella polyphonic works can be to sing, but Mr. Curtis’ vast experience with choral pedagogy are a tremendous help in this regard and will be welcomed. An audio CD is also available for those who lack internet access.

A note from the composer follows:

“I have composed the Cantiones Sacrae Simplices to serve the needs of diligent choirmasters who desire liturgical motets for use at Holy Mass and at other times when a short, Latin choral work might be useful. The texts have been drawn from the Graduale Romanum. The harmonic language and general musical demands are relatively modest compared to the motets of the Cantiones Sacrae I and II collections, making Cantiones Sacrae Simplices accessible to many more choirs and vocal ensembles. Matthew Curtis’ renditions have captured the spirit of my compositions in an admirable way.”

The following is an example of Mr. Curtis’ artistry (“Panem de Caelo”):

(URL link for slower connections)

For all these videos, Mr. Curtis himself sings all the parts (Soprano, Alto, Tenor, Bass), and the perfection with which he accomplishes this feat leaves critics searching for superlatives. In less than a year, Mr. Curtis has also uploaded more than 600 choral training videos to his website, ChoralTracks.com, and has been featured on several Corpus Christi Watershed collections, including Kevin Allen’s Motecta Trium Vocum (twelve sacred motets for three voices).