Father is technically the director of our schola. As we're often singing at events over which he's presiding, the actual direction of the singers at functions has fallen to me. At first I felt extremely inadequate, waving my hands and pretending I knew what the hell I was doing. Now (after having directed at most of the Stations of the Cross, Palm Sunday, Good Friday, and Easter morning) I feel a bit more competent, but I still wish I knew what the hell I'm doing. Can any of our vocally inclined readers recommend a book or resource for the direction of small ensembles? We don't necessarily just sing chant -- I'd particularly like to branch out into some polyphony such as Byrd or Tallis.
It seems that there is a hunger for this sacred music. People have been excited about hearing the chant in it's proper context, and someone even commented, "Gee, wouldn't it be nice if there was a way to get some of this chant into the mass! Is that allowed?" (We don't get a huge amount of Mass exposure because currently we only sing one Sunday Mass a month -- at 7:30 AM.)
But I'm hopeful. Our parish ministry fair -- excuse me, DiscipleSHIP 2008 -- is in two weeks, and the schola will have a booth. I'm not necessarily looking for new membership, especially as that will require auditions. Rather, I just want the parish (especially those who attend Masses at which the musical style is rather different from our own) to know that we exist, and that this music is still living and being used in its proper liturgical context.
To that end, I have another question: can anyone translate this into Spanish for me?
The Schola Cantorum at St. Elizabeth is dedicated to helping our parish rediscover the beauty of Gregorian chant and sacred polyphony within the liturgy. Encouraged by Pope Benedict’s desire for a renewed emphasis on Gregorian chant, we strive to create a new appreciation for this ageless music through an emphasis on beauty of tone and technical excellence.
The Schola currently sings the 7:30 AM mass on the third Sunday of each month, as well as at parish events such as Stations of the Cross during Lent and the Festival of Lessons and Carols in Advent.