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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Much of the beauty of the older forms was lost and the hymns did not really become classical. We have reason to hope that the present reform of the breviary will also give us back the old form of the hymns. But meanwhile it seems necessary to keep the later text. This is the one best known, it is given in all hymnbooks and is still the only authorized form. Only in one case have we printed the older text of a hymn, number 57, “Urbs Jerusalem.” The modern form of this begins: “Caelestis urbs Jerusalem.” But in this case the people who changed it in the seventeenth century did not even keep its metre; so the later version cannot be sung to the old, exceedingly beautiful tune.
— Fr. Adrian Fortescue (1913)

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When Choirmasters Despair
published 14 October 2015 by Jeff Ostrowski

Here’s a drawing by one of our children:

211 Child


This drawing means more to me than all the world.

BEING A CHURCH MUSICIAN is incredibly difficult. One must constantly fight against despair and discouragement. But no matter how amazing your choir may be—or even if your choir is plagued by flaws and shortcomings—I suspect God views our efforts in the same way I view the drawing above.

Let us take heart!

And say not the struggle naught availeth!