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A theorist, organist, and conductor, Jeff Ostrowski holds his B.M. in Music Theory from the University of Kansas (2004), and did graduate work in Musicology. He serves as choirmaster for the new FSSP parish in Los Angeles, where he resides with his wife and children.
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“Although the mass contains great instruction for the faithful people, nevertheless, it has not seemed expedient to the Fathers, that it should be every where celebrated in the vulgar tongue. Wherefore, the ancient usage of each church, and the rite approved of by the holy Roman Church, the mother and mistress of all churches, being in each place retained; and, that the sheep of Christ may not suffer hunger, nor the little ones ask for bread, and there be none to break it unto them, the holy Synod charges pastors, and all who have the cure of souls, that they frequently, during the celebration of mass, expound either by themselves, or others, some portion of those things which are read at mass, and that, amongst the rest, they explain some mystery of this most holy sacrifice, especially on the Lord's days and festivals.”
— Council of Trent (17 September 1562)

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Brave Schola Director Posts “Live” Recording • Part 2
published 27 April 2015 by Jeff Ostrowski

871 Altar Cards Traditional Latin Mass ITHOUT QUESTION, the hardest thing about singing in a choir is also the most beneficial thing. Sooner or later, you must place a recording device near the Altar and find out how your choir actually sounds.

Most people think singing is easy. On paper, it seems easy. In fact, it’s incredibly difficult. Moreover, the first time you record a “live” Mass, you will probably be very discouraged. It’s like having a bucket of cold water thrown in your face. Yet, as I said, there’s nothing more beneficial.

I’ve mentioned in the past that many on the internet love to criticize and pontificate; but these same people are too afraid to post “live” recordings of their choirs (if they even direct a choir). They realize that if they do, people will rip them to shreds. As I said, singing is very difficult. It’s much easier to hide on the internet, disparaging the efforts of others.

Below is a “live” recording of our choir singing at yesterday’s Mass. Coming from immediately after the Consecration, it begins with chant and then launches into Palestrina: 1

    * *  Mp3 Download • “Live” Recording From Last Night

It was recorded by a tiny microphone near the Altar, behind a marble pillar. As you can hear, there are some balance issues, but these can be corrected as time goes on. Our 100% volunteer choir began singing in Advent. Since that time, we’ve never had the same exact group of singers show up two Sundays in a row. This makes it more challenging to correct balance issues, but I’m sure we’ll get there eventually. Our Masses currently happen Sunday evening, and not everyone can attend; but this will change whenever we obtain a Church of our own—we are the newest parish in Los Angeles.

I need to hurry up and continue making progress, because my time as director is limited; eventually the choir will notice I don’t know what I’m doing!



NOTES FROM THIS ARTICLE:

1   The score can be downloaded as a PDF by going to this website; look for the SANCTUS.