Monday, November 05, 2012

Early Election Results!!!

Not that election, silly!

For those who might have actually followed our exploits chronicled in the earlier post below, we did our little experiment with Liturgical Democracy this morning at the Schola Mass. I thought the results would interest a great many of us here. The setup: Before Mass I directly addressed the congregation about what they were being asked to help deliberate: the choice of a new setting of the "Glory" as we approach Advent. I mentioned to them the discussions schola had among ourselves regarding the relative intuitive natures of chant settings versus metrical settings and that we had two very worthy options, the Ostrowski "St. Sherwin" and the O'Shea "Mary, Mediatrix," respectively in the mediums mentioned. I explained they would hear the chant version (Sherwin) prior to the Entrance, and the metered "Mediatrix" at its usual location after the Kyrie. After the dismissal, I explained, choir members would be at the exit doors at which the people could simply state their preference for Number 1 (chant) or Number 2 (metered). Well, they voted, and decidely so:
For Jeffrey O. The ratio was roughly about 3.5 to 1 in favor of the "chant" Mass as many of the folks called it as they exited. At my polling station I could tell that the preference for the chant style Mass likely was determined by as many varied reasons, serious (That sounds "Catholic") to superflous (It goes at a good clip!) And even though many folks who voted may never ever take up the actual chanting of the Glory (Royce Nickel's setting) in the last year, it's clear their notion of what sounds properly RC seems firmly rooted. And they likely have been gradually prepped by the use of the SEP for three years, the Richard Rice SCG for five years, and now his choral Communio's in the last month. There is likely only two explanations for this acceptance of increased solemnity: first is the Mary Jane Ballou maxim- they're now so used to having something completely different foisted upon them at various intervals, their reactions are passively accepting. Second-They're truly appreciative that the musical portions of the liturgy are well prepared, chosen according to worthiness, in concert with the calendar, yet flexibile enough to not exclude the "new" classics. I think, based upon how firmly many people responded it must actually be the latter explanation. I could be delusional, but they responded to me and other choristers resolutely. One soprano reported how much vehemence (she's a teacher) they displayed when verbally voting! This result was not universally acclaimed by all my choir members, one is so weary of chanting she could spit. But I asked her if singing a fully SATB orchestrated chant Mass like the Sherwin or the Nickel St. Therese mitigated her notion of dreary ol' chant, and she admitted yes it did. So, we still try to remain flexible and eclectic. I think our esteemed Yoda-guru Mahrt knows all this too well from forty plus in Palo Alto. A choir wants to, if thoroughbred, be allowed to run at full gait and gallop. So, we'll start building the bricks of assisting congregational rendition of the Sherwin unison, and get to the SATB ASAP. Oh, and Truman actually won! Due to Halloween falling upon a Wedne

No comments: