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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“Every experienced choirmaster’s work is founded on the following three axioms: (1) Few boys have a really good natural voice; (2) No boy is able to control his voice and produce good tone without training; (3) Most boys have a good ear, and considerable imitative capacity. It is on the last of these axioms that the choirmaster must begin his work.”
— Sir Richard Runciman Terry (1912)

“Catholic Choirmaster” • Fascinating Photo Taken 29 August 1964
published 19 April 2016 by Jeff Ostrowski

EARS AGO, I used to xerox copy tons of articles about musicians, conductors, pianists, sacred music, and so forth. This morning I found—stuffed into a box in my garage—an interesting page from “Catholic Choirmaster,” containing a photograph taken on 29 August 1964 at Boys Town. I believe this is when “Saint Gregory Society” merged with “Saint Cecilia Society” to form the “Church Music Association of America.” This xerox page is what I undoubtedly used to create this article.

547 Boys Town 1964 CMAA Meeting

Several in that photo are still fighting hard to promote good church music! Conspicuously absent was Roger Wager, who was probably touring. More information about Boys Town can be gleaned from these.


From a reader:

You printed a picture of the original organizers of CMAA in today’s blog, and speculated that Roger Wagner might have been “on tour.” So happens that I was present for the Boys’ Town Music Workshop that preceded that organizational meeting. That year, Roger Wagner was present and—in a little less than one week of rehearsals—taught the assembled choir directors/organists/singers the entire Britten “War Requiem” and we then gave a concert performance of it with the Omaha Symphony Orchestra. Side-note: Roger brought along his own soprano soloist for the piece, Carol Neblett. Small-world!! The next time I sang the piece, Carol Neblett was the soloist. That was under the baton of Ken Schermerhorn, her husband at the time, with the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra. I can no longer recall the scheduling, but vaguely remember that the organizational meeting was held following the workshop, so Roger (and Paul Salamunovich, and Carol) may well have left for a tour- or recording-date. Keep up the great work!!