This is a page to place links and other information useful to members (particularly new members) of the Schola Cantorum of St. Sebastian Parish, Akron
Here’s what you need to be a member of the Schola: you need to be able to carry a tune, to match pitches, and to be dependable. That’s it. It’s nice if you can read music, or have vocal technique. But that doesn’t describe our typical member. If you can do fantastic things, I’ll find fantastic things for you to do. If you can do average things, you’ll get the opportunity to do those, plus more than you think possible right now. I’m committed to growing people.
You don’t need to be a Catholic. But you do need to keep in mind that this is a Catholic choir. We pray at the end of rehearsals, and sometimes before. If you’re the type of person who likes to invoke the Flying Spaghetti Monster, or, more entertainingly, likes to announce that Papists are going to Hell because they believe things that are not in the Bible that they gave you, chances are that this won’t work. If you love the music, and can remain respectfully silent about your issues, we can work with that. That describes me, who spent my first 15 years in church music as a non-Christian. Now-Catholic me may, someday, with the help of the Holy Spirit, be you. But it’s your choice.
1. Show up on time and ready to sing, with your music. “On time” is 8PM on Tuesdays, 12:15 (downstairs) on Sundays. We also sing a few Holy Days of Obligation and the Mass for the close of 40 hours Devotion (Mid-September). These are generally at 5:15 with a 4:30 call. Yes, you may have to work. We’ll deal. Tuesday rehearsal runs to 9:30 max
B102 Gabriel Faure, Ave verum corpus YouTube, 2 women and piano Choir of Trinity College Cambridge/Richard Marlow, soprano only, alto only
B104 Flor Peeters, Tantum ergo YouTube
B106 Casciolini, Panis Angelicus Youtube, 3 voicesYoutube, Italian men’s choir
B108 Remondi, O Sacrum convivium YouTube (Brazil?) YouTube YouTube (Malta)
B112 Mozart, Ave Verum Corpus Odd computerized voice parts
B117 Lambilotte Panis Angelicus YouTube (Jakarta)
B120 Kwasniewski O Salutaris Curtis
B200 Perosi Ave Maria Sistine boys (slow)
B201 Faure: Maria Mater gratiae Cappella Concinite
B203 Perosi Ave Maris Stella (Italian men)
B206″Arcadelt”/Montani Ave Maria Montani performance 1928, VERY slow.
B208 Lotti Regina coeli MIDI and notes France
B216 Verhelst Rosa vernans YouTube
B300 J. G. Rheinberger, Missae Puerum Op, 62 (Note: our Gloria has been completed by JAQ to meet modern rubrics, and will not match YouTube recordings) Kyrie, Sanctus Benedictus Agnus
B301 Healey Willan, Mass of St. Teresa
B302 Fr. Lorenzo Perosi, Missa Te Deum Laudamus Complete (Italians) Kyrie-Gloria (St. Leonard Boston)
B400 In natali Domini (Specialnik Codex) Transposed for men alone.
B404 Lasso Hodie apparuit Lithuanian?
B407 Alle psallite cum luya David Munrow French
B410 Perosi Justorum animae YouTube
B411 Dering Duo Seraphim St. Peters Columbia SC coupla little kids!
B418 Palestrina Conditor alme siderum altus Tenor Bassus
Scores and recordings of the Propers can be found here.
We use the Liber Brevior as our source for chant. You can buy one, or download it. You can get the same things in the sources above, except for the abbreviated alleluias that we do. The actual alleluia is the same as the complete one; the verse is a psalm tone, so if you’re good with psalm tones, you can fake it from the words.
Note that the Extraordinary Form uses the 1962 Missal. If reading from earlier sources (including the Brevior) there will be (very) occasional discrepancies (Holy Week is the major one)
The mission of the Schola is to sing the Mass in the most beautiful way possible, using as much of the totality of the Catholic musical tradition as resources allow. First among these musical traditions is Gregorian chant.
The Church acknowledges Gregorian chant as specially suited to the Roman liturgy: therefore, other things being equal, it should be given pride of place in liturgical services.– Sacrosanctum concilium, 116
But wait…we do the 1962 missal. Surely a Vatican II document doesn’t apply? But Cardinal Josef Ratzinger said in his 1998 speech to the Ecclesia Dei pilgrims in Rome that “the essential criteria of Sacrosanctum Concilium” must be followed in both forms of the Roman rite, and he enumerated them in his speech. Cardinal Sarah said that Sacrosanctum Concilium is “the Magna Carta” of all liturgical celebrations in the Church. It makes sense to me that chant should be foundational. I wish it made sense to the entire Church.
Here’s how we implement the “pride of place” of chant.
1. the Ordinary.
Gregorian Ordinary settings make up about 75% of all the Ordinaries that we do.The normal proportion for us is 2 Ordinary of the season (Mass XI in Tempus per annuum), one non-seasonal Gregorian mass (2, 13, whatever) and one composed Mass setting (we have 3 in current repertoire.) We rotate through Credo 1,3, and 4 currently.
2. The Proper
We sing the Gregorian Proper from the Liber Brevior. I sing the Gradual solo with a psalm-tone verse (for reasons of time) and the Schola sings an abbreviated Alleluia. I sing the Communion antiphon with some verses while the Schola receives Communion. In Lent and Advent, the Schola joins in after receiving; at other times, they sing a motet. Occasionally, if there is an easy setting, we sing a composed setting of a Proper.
3. Chant hymns.
Chant hymns don’t get one often enough, as they’re really part of the Office. We do them primarily as easy motets, especially during penitential seasons.
4. Composed music
Continuing on with SC116:
But other kinds of sacred music, especially polyphony, are by no means excluded from liturgical celebrations, so long as they accord with the spirit of the liturgical action, as laid down in Art. 30.
We do composed music from the 14th century on. In particular, we do music from the 18th-20th centuries, a time period largely ignored by larger groups. We do this for several reasons: first, because it is ignored, and is as much part of the Church’s tradition as any other sacred music; second, because there is much music for organ and 1,2 or at the most 3 voices. The works of the Renaissance are largely closed to us, as they generally require at least 4 voice parts and are best performed without accompaniment. I particularly enjoy doing music contemporaneous with the architecture of St. Sebastian.
We can only do English hymns before and after the Mass. We believe that hymn texts form a unity, and that doing one or two verses of a hymn to get the priest and servers to the altar is silly. For the reason, we finish the processional hymn at the recessional. We also use hymns with Latin txts at the Offertory, where they make it easy to adjust the length of the music to the liturgical action.