Friday, May 31, 2002

Tomorrow's Wedding
This girl's been calling us for a year and a half! She's out of parish, but a big fan of my co-director, a soprano with a gorgeous voice and lots of expression.

Prelude 1: The Wedding Song (Stookey)
Prelude 2: I Will Be Here (Chapman)
Prelude 3: Beloved (Ricketts) - pop/r-n-b style, pulls from Song of Songs and St. Francis' Canticle of Brother Sun. Wrote it for Kim for our 22nd anniversary.
Entrance: Jesu, Joy (Bach) - not part of my regular repertoire. Going in an hour early to practice it. Star*Search modulation for bride's entrance.
Gathering: Amazing Grace (NEWTON) - large protestant contingent at this one - we recommend using gathering song and post-communion hymn of praise for a bit of community-building at mixed-denom weddings
Psalm: 128, Blest Are Those (Haugen) - fun facts to know and tell - some obscure rubric somewhere requires at least one reading to be directly about marriage - #128 satisfies that requirement
Gospel Acclamation: Alleluia from Sing a Song (Lawton) - we snipped the alleluia section out of this otherwise mundane setting of Ps. 96 (careful though - Lawton uses Vulgate numbering) - it is wonderfully cheery, with a theme (blessings) that works well in a wedding GA
Unity Candle: Make Us One (Cymbala) - everyone wants one, pastor wants to accommodate, and I'm only a terrorist on my hot-button issues, burning extra wax not being one of them. MUO is a perfect snippet for this occasion - we actually get through it twice, with a Star*Search modulation and a tag. Great gospelly chords, nice piece of writing from the director of the Brooklyn Tabernacle
Table Prep: Covenant Hymn (Cooney/Daigle) - Another great piece of writing. It's the Ruth/Esther story, but fits marriage commitment almost like it was custom made. We use Petrunak's arrangement of this.
Mass: Creation (Haugen) - the Esperanto mass...
Lamb: ditto
Communion: One Bread, One Body (Foley) - would that the Scallon were in our hymnal.
Hymn of Praise: God, We Praise You (NETTLETON, Idle) - Yay! No one ever goes for this! Hope we got a singing bunch.
Recessional: ODE TO JOY (piano/organ) - If I get brave, OTJ will get my Emerson treatment - Hammond really cooks
Last Night's Bacc
Great fun - see playlist below. Taught the psalm, GA, and recessional before we started. Assembly (100 or so) rose to the occasion, great participation on everything. Protestants drowned out the choir on the Zschech. Soloists nailed their parts, codirector and I added some harmonies for This Little Light. Organ postlude was the Zschech up a step - maybe I should practice these a little more before I jump into them...

Several nice comments after - my codirector loved the psalm, a few of the assembly offered niceties - but the coolest thing was a note from one of the teens (11th grader, and the only one who's been there since day one 4 years ago), where she said how much she'd miss me (I'm leaving end of June), and that I was the best thing to ever happen to the parish. She's always been supportive, but wow! What an honor.

Thursday, May 30, 2002

Baccalaureate Service Tonight
for Dryden High School. Deacon Tom Yezak presiding. Teen Choir singing, our last time together. Memories, like the corners of my mind...

Entrance: Amazing Grace (NEW BRITAIN) - teens insisted! Cool.
Psalm: 40, Here I Am (Ricketts) - wrote this for my niece's nondenom golfcourse wedding last year. Wouldn't use it at a mass, at least during LOW - it's a salsaesque blend of the lectionary psalm and the Prayer of St. Francis. Anyhow, the teens really liked it when I played it for them. What a big warm fuzzy! Shaker egg adds a lot.
Gospel Acclamation: Alleluia, Give the Glory (Hurd) - their favorite. "Where two or three..." verse works really well for an ecumenical crowd, too.
Anthem: This Litle Light (trad) - tried to steer them somewhere else - no way. So we start w/ gospel organ and soloist, way rubato (rubatissimo?). Then in with whole choir, string bass and piano. Verse 1 as a refrain. Wish we'd had time to work up some harmonies. Tag with rubato Hammond and soloist again.
Recessional: Shout to the Lord (Zschech) - rare opportunity to us our CCLI license. We rock this one - if AC/DC ever did a piano song, this is what the piano track would sound like. We'll stop short of my imitation of Brian Johnson imitating Bon Scott, though. It's not pretty.
Memorial Day Mass
Falling attendance last few years. THIS time, only the the daily mass crowd showed. And me - I'm not part of the daily mass crowd. 15 of us all together, including Fr.

Entrance: Battle Hymn of the Republic - sadly, without our retired priest, a former Navy guy. His favorite hymn. Fr's been fading fast. Hope he hangs on.
Psalm: 72, from Respond & Acclaim (Alstott). Our bookkeeper canted - she's my favorite. Not so much her voice, but what delivery! What a presence!
Gospel Acclamation: Celtic (Walker). We scanned the GAs we knew for a good peace-n-justice verse, Celtic hit the closest. Forget which verse now. What's my name again?
Table Prep: Canticle of the Turning (STAR OF THE COUNTY DOWN, Cooney) just 2 verses. But glaarrrious verses they were, Lassie!
Sanctus: Spoken - on Fr.'s (apparently mistaken) cue. If he speaks the preface, we say the Sanctus and the rest of the mass. But...
Memorial Acclamation D: Lord By Your Cross (Foley) - ...then he sang the lead-in to the anamnesis. Fortunately, I wasn't kneeling in the aisle, so I flipped around and played the first intro that came to mind. I would have preferred the C for today - we do one of mine, set to DIVINUM MYSTERIUM - but we've been singing the Foley all season, so that's what came out.
Amen: Danish
Lord's Prayer: Snow (unaccompanied)
Communion: Make Me a Channel of Your Peace (Temple) - RitualSong has the STUPIDEST chords for this (I work out of the guitar book, though I often ignore their harmonization). Forgot and followed them for a sec, then snapped out of it. Assembly (with cantor's help) continued to sing as I went up to receive at the end of the line. Doesn't work for too many songs, but for THIS one it does.
Recessional: God Bless America (Berlin)
What WE did for Trinity:

Assembly Marian Prelude: On This Day, O Beautiful Mother (BEAUTIFUL MOTHER), from the missalette. We almost NEVER use the missalette - thanks to WLP for including this one.
Entrance: God, We Praise You (NETTLETON, Idle) - goofed at one mass and announced verses 1 and 4 instead of 1 and 2. Verse 2 is the only one with a direct Trinitarian reference. They sang it well anyhow.
Gloria: Mass of Light (Haas) - great participation on this one. AND more of the assembly is joining in on the verses every week.
Psalm: 95, This is the Day (Haugen) - reprising our common psalm for Easter season. I'm not happy about it. Assembly DOES lift the roof on this one, though. Thanks to my daughter for suggesting we learn it 4 years ago.
Gospel Acclamation Ps. 113, Praise God's Name (Joncas) - verse 4, of course.
Table Prep (except 9:30):Holy, Holy, Holy (NICAEA)
Table Prep (9:30): Praise the Lord, Sons and Daughters (EMMETT, Ricketts) - its debut, stirring and near flawless. Our tiny choir (8 of us, I think) sounded twice that big. My last new piece at St. C's. Sniff...
Sanctus: St. Louis Jesuits (Schutte et al) - Fr. surprised me by CHANTING the preface - he's never done that before. He told me later that Trinity is the only preface he knows - had to do it at seminary for his liturgy class.
Memorial Acclamation D: Lord By Your Cross (Foley)
Amen: St. Louis Jesuits (Schutte et al) - only sung at pastor's masses - retired pastor speaks the Doxology, so we speak the Amen.
Communion I: Now We Remain (Haas)
Communion II: Holy God, We Praise Thy Name (GROSSER GOTT) - I broke my longstanding no-strophics-at-communion rule. Worked fine - this is one of the few hymns we can do that with. BTW, I know you didn't ask, but we DO the dipsy-doodle on "infinite". Unrepentantly.
Recessional: How Great Thou Art (O STORE GUD) - today was harmony heaven for the choir - 6 pieces with harmony. Just worked out that way. It's usually only one or two.
Assembly Postlude: God Bless America (Berlin) - 9/11, and every Sunday since. They ALL stay for this one.
Organ Postlude: O STORE GUD reprise - sur le petit Hammond (L-100), Leslie (147) in full cry.
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So the world has to wait to hear from me. I hope they can get along...

Wednesday, May 29, 2002

Oh yeah, and while I'm at it, OCP is NOT his publisher. Nearly everything of his is published through GIA.
A response to "Who else is sick of Marty Haugen"?

Oh come on. Just don't use the canon. Or blend it properly (canon well below the verse lyric). Anyhow, we used it, skipped the canon, had the choir sing on the final verse instead. Worked great.

Don't forget that just because a piece can be used in the Liturgy of the Word doesn't mean it HAS to be. It could as easily be used at Table Prep or communion. I'm particularly fond of using well-known responsorials at second communion. I'll post more on my participation obsession another time. Anyhow - the choral bag-o-tricks, or whatever he called it, works fine in those instances.

I agree that wallowing in choralism is not what the LOW should be about. But the job of discernment falls to the DM here. I appreciate having the canon option, even if I never actually get around to using it.
Jay Ricketts
Liturgical Composer/ Songwriter, 1996 - present
Music Director, St. Cornelius Church, Dryden MI, 4/1997 - 6/2002
Accompanist & Ensemble Member, St. Blase Catholic Church, Sterling Heights, MI, 9/1993 - 6/1998
Ensemble Member, St Leo Catholic Church, Inwood, WV, 9/1992 - 6/1993
Bar Musician, Detroit, DC, and Martinsburg areas, 1976-1995
Married 23 years to Kim
2 kids, Jessica, 23, and Andy, 18
2 grandkids, Wesley, 23 months, and Alyssa, 10 months

Reason for this blog:
(a) I like blogging
(b) I have something to say (listen or don't) about church music
(c) I occasionally have something to say about Catholicism, ecumenism, and the like.
(d) The guy at Care and Feeding didn't offer postback or email options. And I HAD to respond (more on that later).
(e) My HTML could really use some work!