About this blogger:
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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“Church officials frequently asked Tomás Luis de Victoria for his opinion on cathedral appointments because of his fame and knowledge. He was faithful to his position as convent organist even after his professional debut as an organist, and never accepted any extra pay for being a chapelmaster. Held in great esteem, his contract allowed him frequent travel away from the convent, and he attended Palestrina's funeral (in Rome) in 1594.”
— Dr. Robert Stevenson, 1961 (mod.)

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The Most Important Thing A Choirmaster Can Do
published 1 December 2015 by Jeff Ostrowski

HE LIFE OF A CHOIRMASTER is wonderful but can also be very difficult. One of these days, I’d like to write about how certain challenges can be overcome, but this task must be approached with care because it’s enormous.

For years, I hated the ANDY GRIFFITH show. It seemed so corny and predictable, especially Barney Fife. Then, somebody explained to me that Barney Fife represents ALL OF US when we take ourselves too seriously. From that moment forward, I loved the show!

Here’s a funny clip:


You have to let the show be funny. If you approach it with the wrong attitude, you’ll hate it. Music can be like that, too. If you open the ANTIPHONALE trying to hate it, you’ll hate it. But if you start singing the melodies with the correct attitude, you’ll begin to see how wonderful they are. (By the way, you don’t have to instantly love every single Gregorian chant.) Sometimes it takes decades to appreciate the genius of this or that Gregorian chant.

The Andy Griffith show can help us remember not to take ourselves too seriously. It can also be a way to relax, which can help you maintain a calm, happy, professional demeanor.

And maintaining a calm, happy, professional demeanor is probably the most important thing a choirmaster can do.