E HAVE TWO choirs singing each Sunday. A smaller group sings for the 9:00am Mass; a large chorus sings for the 11:00am Mass. We do all kinds of music at our Masses: contemporary polyphony, Renaissance polyphony, a cappella plainsong, accompanied plainsong, pipe organ voluntaries, and so forth. Like most choirmasters, I’ve been overwhelmed with obligations lately; but someday I will find time to post audio examples. For example, here’s a brief excerpt of a Guerrero KYRIE—based on Kyrie Cum Jubilo—sung by the 9:00am (small) group.
Advantages To Each: I love working with the large chorus. I also love working with the small group. The small group contains (basically) professional singers; and there’s something nice about not having to repeat instructions ad infinitum. The large chorus has a luscious, rich, refreshing sound; and there’s something irresistibly powerful about introducing the beauties of sacred music to neophytes. After all, as Father Valentine used to say: “The cemeteries are full of people who thought they were indispensible.”
Greensleeves: Listen to this live recording of #677—“What Child Is This?” set to GREENSLEEVES—from the Brébeuf hymnal as sung by the full chorus (treble voices only):
Now listen to a live recording of #677 sung by the “soloist” group:
Which sound do you prefer? Why?