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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“Oh, the happy choir director who is hired to start work on a brand new choir, or who walks into his first rehearsal a total stranger to the existing group—what a fortunate man he is! The new choir director who is a former member of the choir, or a member of the congregation, or the nephew of the alto soloist, or a former altar boy, or otherwise well acquainted with the choir, is in for a few headaches.”
— Paul Hume (1956)

(captured by iPhone) • Rehearsing for the Symposium
published 10 April 2019 by Jeff Ostrowski

O ME A HUGE FAVOR and don’t show this video to Dr. Calabrese or Maestro Clark. When they come to Los Angeles to conduct at Sacred Music Symposium 2019, I don’t want them to know we’ve been practicing the music. The theme this year is “everything to do with hymnody,” and the Mass by Palestrina is based on a marvelous ancient hymn tune. 1

Somebody placed an iPhone on a pew during rehearsal, and here’s what it captured:

So let this be our little secret!

Because I want the conductors to be surprised at how well the Los Angeles singers know their music—and I will respond: “Well, you know…we work on sight-reading a lot.”

If you haven’t signed up for the Symposium, what are you waiting for? There are still openings in some of the voice parts.


1   The melody itself has been used for many texts over the last thousand years. Here’s an organ accompaniment I composed for when it we sing it here in Los Angeles.