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NITIALLY, I had missed your 2nd hymn quiz, but came across it today after reading another excellent recent article featuring hymns for the Holy Souls. I heard the familiar refrain of Gott Vater Sei Gepriesen during your organ improvisation. I think there are probably various English translations in use, so I recognize the refrain more readily anyways. This being said, I find your article of 16 October 2023 very timely. The idea of a new section of “Tricks for the Conscientious Choirmaster” is brilliant. I was recently asked to step in and lead someone else’s choir for a High Mass, with very little time to prepare. The variety you describe in your article is one of the key concepts I took away from attending the Sacred Music Symposium. Due to the time constraints on rehearsing with this choir (the night before), I gave some parts to the men, others to women, sang some of the Proper myself as a soloist (as requested by the director for whom I was the substitute), and taught them a couple of hymns (unison and in parts). At first the choir balked at “not being allowed” to sing absolutely everything. Understandably, they were used to their director, who’s an organist and accompanies even the Propers to help them sing everything. We did have a substitute organist for this Mass, but I did not ask him to accompany the Propers. In the end, it went fairly well and was very well received, thanks be to God. Another point that I greatly appreciate is the note on modal variety. That sense of balance between darker modes and brighter modes is certainly a good way of helping the faithful to pray. As a musician, of course, it becomes also something that feels like painting with sound. Anyhow, have a blessed day and may God reward you for all you do in His service! 🔷 Sincerely yours, Penelope.
Editor’s Note • The article Penelope refers to several times (published on 16 October 2023) may be found by clicking here: