"I will go in unto the Altar of God
To God, Who giveth joy to my youth"
Tridentine Community News by Alex Begin (December 6, 2015):
December 6, 2015 – Second Sunday of Advent
Organist Training Program Planned With the success of any enterprise comes the need to shore up resources that are needed to assure its continued ability to grow. As the metro Detroit and Windsor area becomes home to an increasing number of Extraordinary Form Mass sites, our cadre of capable priests, altar servers, and singers has been expanding, but we actually have fewer available organists available now than in the past. Some of our key “players” have moved out of town, but no one has come along to take their places.
Priests can be trained on the Extraordinary Form in two days. Altar servers develop their skills over several months of apprenticeship. Singers typically take several months to a few years to become familiar with the repertoire of the liturgical year. Organists, however, require highly specialized and potentially lengthy and focused training. It’s the highest hurdle to jump among all the supporting team.
Clearly we have a supply problem to solve. We need to create a farm team system to develop talent able to serve Latin Mass sites from Flint to Windsor.
It just so happens that the Archdiocese of New York recently announced their own Organist Training Program. Not specifically targeted towards serving the Latin Mass, New York’s initiative is nevertheless well thought-out and can serve as a model for our own program. You can read about it at: http://nyliturgy.org/organisttrainingprogram/.
We envision two tracks needed to develop talent: First, for existing organists who are interested in learning the Tridentine Mass, a course will be designed to train them on the books, repertoire, rules, and cues of playing for the Extraordinary Form. This includes a component for Gregorian Chant, since an organist needs to sing, lead, and accompany chant on the organ.
Second, there needs to be a track to train those already possessing basic keyboard skills on the unique aspects of playing a pipe organ. Subjects include persistence of notes (which one does not experience when pressing a key on a piano), use of stops to create types of sounds, and learning to play the pedals.
We envision the program being run by a network of instructors, each with specific areas of expertise, availability, and organizational talents. Each student will arrive with different backgrounds, so each course will need to be tailored to a particular student’s needs and experience.
At this early stage, we are seeking three sorts of individuals:
Students: Anyone interested in learning to play the pipe organ for the Latin Mass.
Instructors: Must be experienced organists. Those without Latin Mass experience can still help out as organ playing teachers.
Donors: The objective of the program is to increase the number of qualified organists able to assist our Latin Mass communities, whether on a regular or fill-in basis. It’s a recruitment effort. Let’s not put obstacles in the way of potential students by making them pay tuition. A Latin Mass community that wants an organist should be willing to offer scholarships in exchange for some commitment of availability after completion of the program. Therefore donors are needed, whether they be the communities themselves, or individuals from those communities who can contribute toward funding scholarships. For perspective, New York is charging $400 for 10 half-hour lessons over the course of a semester. Note, however, that our course of instruction is likely to be lengthier than theirs.
If you are a potential student, instructor, or donor, or know of anyone who might be, please e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org with the contact information. Once we have a critical mass of support, we hope to move forward with the program.
The best news? In less than two weeks of informal discussions, we already have two students (who are already singers in our Latin Mass choirs), three instructors, and one donor lined up. Imagine what can happen once we get serious about promoting the project.
EWTN Re-running Episodes of Extraordinary Faith
EWTN has kindly featured Extraordinary Faith prominently on the home page of their web site this past week. They have also begun to re-run certain episodes. Miami Part 1, for example, will be rebroadcast this Friday, December 11, 2015 at 3:00 AM and 6:30 PM Eastern time. We’re grateful to everyone who has taken the time to let the network know your thoughts about the show at email@example.com. Since EWTN does not subscribe to a ratings service, viewer feedback is the only way they know if people like the various shows they air. These re-runs are therefore directly attributable to encouraging messages that EWTN has received.
Tridentine Masses This Coming Week
- Mon. 12/07 7:00 PM: Low Mass at St. Josaphat (St. Ambrose, Bishop, Confessor, & Doctor)
- Tue. 12/08 5:00 PM: High Mass at St. Matthew, Flint (Immaculate Conception)
- Tue. 12/08 7:00 PM: High Mass at Holy Name of Mary (Immaculate Conception)
- Tue. 12/08 7:00 PM: High Mass at St. Joseph (Immaculate Conception)