Friday, April 23, 2010

summer reading list

This is a little overwhelming as I type this all out, but (for posterity's sake,) here is my summer reading list (only as it may interest you.) Just finished reading (finally! can't believe it took me all these years!) Ratzingers' Spirit of the Liturgy

Sitting on my desk right now: (and calling my naaaame....)

The Liturgy Betrayed: Denis Crouan (purchased for $2 off amazon!)
The Spirit of the Liturgy: Romano Guardini (Ratzinger mentions it a bunch in his book, bought brand-new with gift card. I'm also pleasantly surprised at how thin it is!)
The Organic Development of the Liturgy: Alcuin Reid (also bought with gift card. However, *not* pleasantly surprised at how thick it is! This could take me awhile...)
Sing Like a Catholic: Jeffrey Tucker (borrowed from a friend)
The Difference God Makes: Francis Cardinal George (given to me at sitting on my desk since Christmas...)
An Introduction to the Interpretation of Gregorian Chant: Agustoni/Goeschl (library)
A Short Treatise on Gregorian Accompaniment: Bragers (library)
What Happened at Vatican II: O'Malley (waiting for me at the library! must pick up soon!)
The Reform of the Reform--A Liturgical Debate: Kocik (ordered from ILL)
Vatican II--Renewal Within Tradition: Lamb/Levering ("waiting in queue" for me at library)

wow. that is a lot. But, I'm super-excited! If I get through all of these, it will make quite a dent in my list of "must-read-books in your lifetime regarding your favorite topic..." and who knows when will be the next time that I don't have a full-time job during the summer...

I also received from interlibrary loan, the book "Turning Towards the Lord" by U.M. Lang.
(this brings the current stack of books on the floor to 7.5" high...)

Monday, April 19, 2010

clapping for the choir

I made an interesting observation recently.

I was at a concert of sacred music in a church. The first piece was chant, sung from the choir loft. At the end of the piece, there was no applause. Then, the next performer came out on "stage," in front of the audience, and everyone clapped as she came out. And they clapped when she was done.

This got me thinking about and wondering "why" people didn't clap for the chant singers in the choir loft.

It could be, possibly, that chant is just a style of music that does not encourage clapping. While that is true, try to imagine the same group of singers, walking out onto stage, and singing the chant, and walking off again. Of course people would clap when they walked onstage, and when they were finished.

People don't clap for things in the choir loft, or really, for things they can't see.

Leading me to conclude... (as I already knew before typing this...) that musicians during Mass should be *unseen* and in a choir loft if available, and not up front where it *looks* like they are performing, and people may even want to clap!

Thursday, April 15, 2010

church jobs

so, I just found out that an organist position which I once called "my dream church-job" may be opening up soon.

But...I have recently realized that there are more important things than having a huge church with a big, beautiful, fancy, loud organ.

Things like having a pastor who loves you and supports you in whatever you do, and a congregation who (mostly) thinks that you're just absolutely wonderful.

There are some things...that money just can't buy. And you can't be sure that you will ever have again, for the rest of your life.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010


so, apparently people think that the music director/organist has time during Mass to babysit their kids.

This has happened more than once: a kid or two, come up the stairs to the loft (during Mass,) kinda look around, then decide to stay. The thing that freaks me out the most is how they hang over the choir loft rail, or they stand on the kneeler and lean over, then I'm REALLY nervous! Or there is books or papers sitting on the ledge of the railing, and I'm thinking about how easy it would be for them to bump them off...

Either I'm actually playing a hymn, and so I can't do anything at the moment, or I'm just afraid to make the kids view me as "the mean organist." Kids are funny, cuz if you say something like that without having a previous "relationship" where they know and trust you, then they will definitely not like you if you chastise them, even very nicely!

But my point is, I shouldn't even be having to WORRY about this...people, please, you should know where your kids are during Mass, and if you know they are in the choir loft...well, *why* are they?! and why aren't you there with them?!