And Now For Something Completely Different

Nah – still talking about singing – but different than the rich Edmonton Choral scene this time.

In addition to singing with Grad Recital Choirs, RES, Cantilon (on occasion) I also sing at my local RC Church.  I have done that pretty much all of my life!  Presently, I sing in a duet with an excellent Soprano who happens to play the piano pretty well!  We sing at the Sunday 0900 mass once a month and in addition I have been asked to direct the Easter Vigil Combined Choirs and become part of the Liturgy Committee.

Basilica & RC Cathedral of St. Joseph, in Edmo...
Basilica & RC Cathedral of St. Joseph, in Edmonton (Canada) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Last week I saw an ad on one of the Choral Blogs looking for singers to join the Schola Cantorum to be established at St Joseph’s Basilica in Edmonton.  This is a new initiative of the Arch Bishop to try and re-establish a centre for sacred music in the diocese from which it may grow and flourish within the Arch Diocese (at least that was the brief I received when I auditioned on Friday).  I don’t know what happened to the last music ministry area within the Diocese – when we were here at the end of the 90’s they had workshops with Dan Schutte and David Haas, which have since been sponsored by Our Lady of Perpetual Help in Sherwood Park.  We did have a couple of workshops at the Basilica when the new revisions to the mass parts came into place and we were asked to sing the Father Geoffrey Angeles Mass, but again I have not been a member of the Arch Diocese of Edmonton for a long while, only about 4 years.  Before that I was still a member of the Military Ordinariate, who deals with all of the RC parishes on military bases and those service people on deployment.

Anyway the Schola will be a grouping of 8 singers (SSAATTBB) who will normally sing at the 1030 mass on Sundays and rehearse that same day for the following week.  In addition they will also be singing at services on special feast days, during the Triduum, etc.  The intent is to surround this group with volunteer singers and have the Schola act as section leaders at the Basilica, eventually.  It sounded like a neat idea and I phoned and made arrangements for an audition/information gathering appointment.  I met with the new director – who also sings with Pro Coro Canada and has just come to Canada from Edinburgh.

So, what to do?  Well firstly it depends on the results of the audition – which weren’t necessarily splendiferous on my part. Members of the Schola will receive a stipend so they are meant to be prepared.  My audition included some sight reading – which I ended up scrunching my face up on the way through.  I sang Mache Dich mein herze rein from Bach’s St Matthew Passion which I think was a nice surprise for him – he being a Baritone as well.

Fair copy of the revised version of the "...
Fair copy of the revised version of the “St. Matthew Passion”, BWV 244, that is generally dated to the year 1736. Bach died in 1750. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

You know sometimes when without really working at it you end up feeling slightly inadequate about your abilities?  Yah, you know the feeling.  Well, that was what I felt like on Friday.  I had not really prepared well on the Bach, I was better prepared for my Handel piece . . . but!  Anyway he knows the piece well and I kind of got a bit of a lesson out of it, doing the sight reading and then a few more questions and packing up to go home.  As I walked out of the rectory I thought to myself – nice to sort of have a lesson with another Baritone – my vocal coach is a Soprano – which is not a bad thing!

So now we wait, however it might just be simpler all the way round if I am not successful, you know the whole timetable thing and coordiation…  We shall see!

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