June 12, 2007

A Few Good Men Needed for Chanting: No Experience Required

A note from Geometricus:

Any of you men in the Twin Cities who want to learn chant this summer come and join us Mondays at 7 (p.m.) at my parish:
St. Raphael's in Crystal (MN)

Geometricus is the choir director at St. Raphael's. He has even more aliases than I do!

They need a name for their merry band. Gregorian Guys? Suffering Psalters?

I have designated myself as their first groupie.


Blogger Maureen said...

How about "Summer Schola"?

They could use St. Raphael's nom de travel, "Azariah". Or howsabout "Tobias and the Dogs"?

"Voces Crystalli"?

June 12, 2007 11:26 AM  
Blogger Anita Moore said...

A courageous lady here in Boise has started a chant schola at one of the local parishes. We are running into opposition from some of parish leadership and some of the Establishment Music People, so I have to figure that means we're on the right track.

The redoubtable Marcus Magnus has suggested that we call ourselves the "Vatican II Schola," since we are upholding the teachings of Vatican II, which stipulate that chant is to have pride of place in the liturgy.

June 12, 2007 12:44 PM  
Blogger Ray from MN said...

Geometricus told us that we wouldn't have to learn "everything" that one should know about Gregorian Chant, but a list he handed out of some of the terminology he throws at us might help some of your poetic readers, Cathy, come up with our name:

Punctum, Bivirga, Pes, Clivis, Flexa, Epiphonus, Cephalicus, Scandicus, Torculus, Porrectus, Strophicus, Trigon and Quilisma.

I'm kinda partial to "Scandicus subpunctis", myself.

June 12, 2007 6:28 PM  
Blogger Cathy_of_Alex said...


June 12, 2007 8:15 PM  
Blogger Ray from MN said...

I have no idea what the translations of those words are; Geometricus promised that I wouldn't have to learn stuff like that.

But what it is, is, the Latin word that describes common note combinations used in Gregorian Chant.

For example, and I'd better get an A+ if I get this right, this is "Quilisma" 1 being "high do":

3 3 2 1 (with 2 and 1 on the same syllable), 3 2 1 2 1 2 3 (hold a bit) 2 3

I couldn't find any expressions for Fourths and Fifths and, God forbid, Sixths!

Did you get that, Cathy of Alexandria?

And here you thought I was an uncultured oaf!

June 12, 2007 9:50 PM  
Blogger Cathy_of_Alex said...

I never said that! Terry might have.

I still don't get it. I know nothing about chant notation.

June 13, 2007 6:22 AM  
Blogger mgibson said...

FYI - after having a surprise liturgical conversation with our staff music director out here in the western 'burbs of Minneapolis (St. John's in Excelsior)... I may be starting a bit of an informal schola of sorts myself out here. This would be open to both men and women because our focus is to practice chant to learn it, not to sing it at a Mass just yet. Also, as I do not have the chant background myself, it will be more of a "learn as we go" kind of deal - my thought first of all is to use the article "12 Chants Every Catholic Should Know" as a basis for a 6 week series to learn the popular chant hymns at least. If there's still interest in doing more, then we can perhaps find someone to help us.

In any case, since there's no other options to learn chant that I know of in the area, for women anyway, well... I'm game! It remains to be seen if we would be an actual parish group or not, but I think it's promising - after all, it was our music director who brought it up with me!

If any women want to join me (guys, honestly, go up to St. Raphael's... or do both and teach us what you learn!) please let me know - my e-mail is marygibson81 at gmail.com. If this does happen (depending on interest), we would begin in August or September, hopefully at the church.

June 13, 2007 2:37 PM  
Blogger Ray from MN said...

Go for it, Mary.

Geometricus mentioned that Father Z had a female chant group in Rome that was quite successful.

So there should be no reason why a mixed group, assuming the numbers were roughly equal, one supposes, shouldn't work.

June 13, 2007 9:48 PM  

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