About this blogger:
Andrew Leung is a seminarian for the Roman Catholic Diocese of Steubenville, Ohio. He has served as Director of Music at St. Pius X Church (Atlanta) and taught Gregorian chant at the Cistercian Monastery of the Holy Spirit (Georgia). For two years, he will be studying in Macau, China.
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“To treat harmony and rhythm in this matter was a difficult matter. Facing numerous problems both large and small—that arose constantly—we understood that a flawless harmonization of Gregorian chant cannot be created by improvisation, no matter the competence and ability of the organist or harmonist.”
— Mons. Jules Van Nuffel, NOH Preface

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How to be a Good Choir Member?
published 28 June 2018 by Andrew Leung

CTL How to be a good choir member BOUT A MONTH AGO, I led my choir in our very first concert. As the director of the choir, it was a pretty intense experience. There are always a lot to think about during the process of organizing a concert, not only in musical aspect, but also logistically. And there were lots of uncertainty as the choir was preparing the repertoire for the concert. There were times when I worried about whether we would be able to learn all the pieces in time and sing them well.

I must admit that i freaked out a few times when rehearsals didn’t go well. Here are some tips that I sent to my choir members as I was stressing out:

1. Practice may not always makes perfect, but it definitely make things better! As a member of the team, we are all responsible to learn and review what we have rehearsed. Every team member must do their homework in order to not waste time and make rehearsals efficient.

2. Be prepared mentally. Being ready to sing will help the choir rehearsal to run smoothly. It is a good idea to prepare our minds to sing before rehearsal. It is a good idea to start running through the music in your mind an hour before rehearsals, even during travelling, to get into a musical mode psychologically. In an actual performance, we do not have a second chance to start a piece over. Our mind need to be able to concentrate and be engaged with our music right away.

3. Watch the conductor! Do not bury your heads in the music. Look up! Pay attention to the conductor’s directions!

4. Mark your music! And sing it according to your markings! Making the same mistakes over and over again is definitely not helpful.

5. Be good musicians. E.g. keep your music tidy and in order, don’t chat with others when the conductor is giving instructions, don’t use cell phones during rehearsals, etc.

Our performance ended up really well. The choir was ready to perform. Many people came to our concert and filled up the whole church. Our audience enjoyed the program of sacred music very much. It was a very prayerful night and we successfully introduced the traditional liturgical music to many.