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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"The Consilium is merely an assembly of people, many of them incompetent, and others well advanced on the road to novelty. The discussions are extremely hurried. Discussions are based on impressions and the voting is chaotic. […] Many of those who have influenced the reform […] have no love, and no veneration of that which has been handed down to us. They begin by despising everything that is actually there. This negative mentality is unjust and pernicious, and unfortunately, Paul VI tends a little to this side. They have all the best intentions, but with this mentality they have only been able to demolish and not to restore."
— Contemporary account of the Consilium by Cardinal Antonelli

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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.