Aleteia logoAleteia logo
Monday 12 April |
Saint of the Day: St. Teresa of the Andes
home iconSpirituality
line break icon

Church choirs: The good, the bad and the ugly



Diane Montagna - published on 01/04/17

Could you recommend some of those resources to our readers?

Gladly. First, check out the website of the CMAA itself, which is loaded with free music, especially chant, and downloadable books. By becoming a member of the CMAA, one receives their journal, Sacred Music, which features excellent articles on all the things we’ve been talking about. The CMAA Forum, too, is loaded with useful advice, in response to questions like: “I need easy polyphony for Lent—what do you all recommend?” It is painless to search for past threads along those lines.

Second, check out the Corpus Christi Watershed website, which offers a treasure-trove of free music, in Latin and English, monophonic, homophonic, and polyphonic, at every level of difficulty, with an emphasis on pieces ideal for new choirs. An example would be the new SAB (soprano-alto-baritone) Latin motets by Kevin Allen being sold in the CCW shop. With just a few decent singers, you can quickly have these lovely pieces up and running for your Sunday Masses.

Third, explore the Choral Public Domain Library (CPDL), which has thousands of scores of sacred music, for every type of ensemble and level of difficulty. Using the filters for liturgical seasons, ensembles, genres, and languages, you narrow down your choices—and then have fun looking at different pieces you could do with your choir.

Is it time for a renaissance of children’s choirs and good music in parochial schools?

Yes, absolutely! I know several children’s choirs across the country and the great work they are doing with and for their young people. One of the most incredible choir schools in the country is located not too far from my college—I’m referring to the Madeleine Choir School in Salt Lake City. Once you hear what those children can do, you will never say to yourself again: “This music is too difficult for us today and too remote from our times.” On the contrary, it sounds glorious and speaks to us profoundly.

The Ward Method is particularly effective in teaching music and deserves to become the standard feature of Catholic schools that it once was in healthier times. Children are unbelievably quick to absorb the music, to learn the scales, the solfege, the chant, and to memorize repertoire. They put us older folks to shame. They have an enormous capacity and a positive attitude that are, sadly, rarely utilized. “Let the little children come to me and do not hinder them,” said our Lord. Let the children sing His praises and in that way come to Him and bring others to Him.

  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
Pope Benedict XVISacred Music
Support Aleteia!

If you’re reading this article, it’s thanks to the generosity of people like you, who have made Aleteia possible.

Here are some numbers:

  • 20 million users around the world read every month
  • Aleteia is published every day in seven languages: English, French, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, Polish, and Slovenian
  • Each month, readers view more than 50 million pages
  • Nearly 4 million people follow Aleteia on social media
  • Each month, we publish 2,450 articles and around 40 videos
  • We have 60 full time staff and approximately 400 collaborators (writers, translators, photographers, etc.)

As you can imagine, these numbers represent a lot of work. We need you.

Support Aleteia with as little as $1. It only takes a minute. Thank you!

Daily prayer
And today we celebrate...

Top 10
Cerith Gardiner
11 Interesting facts about the late Prince Philip
Archbishop Georg Gänswein
I.Media for Aleteia
Gänswein: Benedict XVI expected to live only a few months after r...
Fr Robert McTeigue, SJ
A simple test to see if you really believe Christ is risen
Philip Kosloski
Why you can eat meat on Easter Friday
Here’s how to celebrate Divine Mercy Sunday at home
Sister Bhagya
Saji Thomas-ACN
Catholic nun faces conversion charges in central India
John Burger
N.Y. Cardinal: “For God’s sake, get back to Mass̶...
See More
Get Aleteia delivered to your inbox. Subscribe here.