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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"Since such is the nature of man that he cannot easily without external means be raised to meditation on divine things, on that account holy Mother Church has instituted certain rites, namely that certain things be pronounced in a subdued tone (canon and words of consecration) and others in a louder tone; she has likewise made use of ceremonies such as mystical blessings, lights, incense, vestments, and many other things of this kind in accordance with apostolic teaching and tradition, whereby both the majesty of so great a sacrifice might be commended, and the minds of the faithful excited by these visible signs of religion and piety to the contemplation of the most sublime matters which are hidden in this sacrifice."
— Council of Trent (Session XXII)

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Fighting With Choir Members?
published 14 March 2017 by Jeff Ostrowski

E ARE in the midst of a GoFundMe campaign which is going very well, but appears to be “stalled” at the 40% marker. Please consider contributing, to help musicians who can’t afford to attend the Symposium. If every Watershed Facebook follower gave 9¢ each ($0.09) we’d meet our goal.

A few clips from last year’s symposium:

This excerpt talks about how choirmasters should never waste rehearsal time fighting with choir members about pronunciation. Sometimes words are pronounced differently depending on region. “Respiratory,” for example, sounds like a different word when the English pronounce it. For the record, there are even Latin words whose tonic accent experts disagree upon, such as LITURGIAM and CANONE. (Words coming into Latin from Greek sometimes—but not always—carry over the accentuation.)


An excerpt from a section dealing with “contrafactum,” something extremely valuable for choirs just starting out:


An excerpt from a section dealing with not losing your temper:


For the record, physical fights sometimes happened in the Papal Chapel, as you can read if you click here and scroll down.