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Items by Ronald Richard Duquette

Results: 615
Title Author Date
Comment: Re: Stick Time: Of Art and Patriotism
On behalf of all of us who served, thank you for this posting on this day.   Ron
Comment: Re: Student Choice
Couldn't agree more with both of these fine answers.  "Fun" and "pretty" are subjective; sorry, this is supposed to be a meaningful experience.  Of course all know this at our level, but at theirs they haven't learned this truth yet:  Bach's music, some of the greatest known today, was considered...
Comment: Re: Responsorial Magnificat
Chris - You can use Thomas Morley's "Magnificat" with Fauxboudon, available from Choral Public Domain (www.cpdl.org).  I also did an adaptation of this, using the initial musical phrase with a responsorial verse, "O blessed Virgin Mary, you bore the Son of the eternal Father."  No new music; gives...
Comment: Re: Teacher not being allowed to audition students for advanced choir
Ah, yes; the old "fairness" doctrine.  Nonsense; utter and complete.  Been there, done that; had it from a priest at our parish who "couldn't understand" why there should be an advanced choir - "it just isn't fair."  As if the distribution of talent, hard work, etc., is.  This approach should be...
Comment: Re: Notice of resignation
Heather - I agree you need to book out of there, the sooner the better, within professional constraints.  In addition, the bad-mouther is going to continue doing so, no matter what, so why worry about it?  And, while I agree with Nan that you certainly want, if asked, to provide honest feedback (I...
Comment: Re: Notice of resignation
Truth is, while I agree in principle with not leaving right before a big holiday, in liturgical churches that's hard to avoid.  So the bottom line has to be:  leave when it's appropriate to yourself.  People will talk anyway, and those inclined to bad-mouthing will do so and there will always be ...
Comment: Re: What relationship does your choir have with the church you rehearse at? What are the benefits?
I'd like to echo Richard's comment about "we are careful about leaving the building as we find it each evening."  Since where my church choir rehearses is the identified space in the building for the choir(s) - Catholic and Gospel (we're at a military base, so the building is common use for worship...
Comment: Re: Notice of resignation
I believe the "usual" notice is two weeks.  Your contract, if you have one, should outline the requirements.  If you do not have a written contract, but an "understanding" (which in this day and age is frankly unconscionable), then you should speak to the person with whom you have the "understandi...
Comment: Re: FORCED CHOIR
Wonderful - but we're not talking here really about the students, but about how the teacher is going to respond to this situation.  "Hope" that the students will come out from this experience "loving" music?  A thin reed, that.  All of this "I ended up loving" this that or the other years after i...
Comment: Re: The National Anthem
The intention of the code is for public presentation or performance.  The idea is to show respect for the nation whose flag we salute and whose anthem we sing.  It is NOT intended to force everyone everywhere at every moment to respond in a specific manner during instances when it is not publical...
Comment: Re: GUEST BLOG: "C.S. Lewis & Church Music" by Thomas Vozzella
I have to admit that, looking at the first paragraph, I wasn't sure I was going to have any degree of agreement with Mr. Lewis.  But by the end of the second full paragraph, I had to agree, as hard as it is, sometimes, to remember the REAL reason we're supposed to be doing this.  It isn't a partic...
Comment: Re: Saturday Respite: Choir-Geekery Run Amok
Scott - I agree.  I caught this the night it happened, and I'm just sitting there going, "How cool IS this?"  And the truth is, they're good!   Ron
Comment: Re: CJ Replay: Conductors Have Flappy Lips
To have followed Scott's request, you should have limited it to one "Amen."   Ron
Comment: Re: Volume Issues
Recommended:  find the BBC4 series on the history of sacred music on YouTube with Harry Christopher and The Sixteen.  Best model I can think of.  There is one in particular on the history of the Allegri "Miserere" which is simply jaw-dropping.  If your young students point out there are mikes, p...
Comment: Re: GUEST BLOG: “The Building Always Wins,” by Thomas More Scott
Mr. Scott - you've said what I say in a different context:  that the "room" is the final player/singer for the piece of music.  When recording (which I do) I always try to take into account that the physical space will dictate where I put my mikes.  As a singer and choral conductor, I had the exp...
Comment: Re: The “Star-Spangled Banner” Turns 200
I hope, probably in most cases beyond all hope, that whenever the National Anthem is performed, especially at this time, that ALL the verses are performed.  It's not unlike a hymn at church, really (unless it has 14 verses):  it's a story.  Stories have a beginning, a middle, and an end.  Withou...
Comment: Re: Music for Ordination Service
"God of Our Days and All Our Seasons" (RENDEZ A DIEU hymntune) arranged by Craig Kingsbury, available from Oregon Catholic Press (OCP).  Great recessional; can be done unison if you must without loss of effectiveness; can be done SATB (although v. 4 is normally done SATB a cappella, it has a harmon...
Comment: Re: Formation of the Board of Directors (adding and dismissing directors)
If there is more than institutional memory involved here, Jim, but actual minutes from prior board meetings (a MOST valuable resource, as I have found to my own interest) that describe the process of the Board voting AS A BODY to accept/appoint a new member to the Board, that should put paid to any ...
Comment: Re: Formation of the Board of Directors (adding and dismissing directors)
How have the "other" board members been selected in the past?  If history is on his/her side, it'll be tough to argue otherwise.  On the other hand, if they are "at-large" members chosen by the membership at large, oops! so much for the President's assertion.  Your description, while far from com...
Comment: Re: How to give nuns starting notes in The Sound of Music
I'll double-ditto that on the hand chimes.  Very simple, doesn't require a whole lot of knowledge, just ring it out several times offstage in the wings...   Ron 
Comment: Re: Conference Morsel: Is Translation Blasphemy?
As a native speaker of French, and having had a reasonable degree of exposure, both through church and school, of ecclesiastical Latin, and later in life taking courses in Spanish and some German, I admit my bias in this instance.  That said, here are my takes on the supposed "advantages":   1. ...
Comment: Re: Sacred anthem SATB with clarinet ( B flat)
"Restless Is the Heart," a meditation on a line from the first paragraph of St. Augustine's "Confessions," in this case set by Bernadette Farrell, is available from Oregon Catholic Press, and has a lovely clarinet line.   Ron Duquette Director, Woodlawn Chapel Choir, Ft. Belvoir, VA
Comment: Re: Conference Morsel: Strategies for Smaller Church Choirs
The sad truth is, this is where many of us are.  My choir, at its biggest, consists of 16 - and a very imbalanced one - loads of sops, and some altos, doing well in tenors (four, including myself) - and one bass (who, thank God, is a rock - and also sings occasionally in the Washington Opera Chorus...
Comment: Re: Taking the "Christ" out of "Ubi Caritas"?
There are several issues here.   Legally, you CANNOT change the setting's words without setting yourself up for a legal problem.  That alone should argue either for keeping it as is, or changing it.   Morally, if whatever other groups you're singing with are offended by the use of the word "C...
Comment: Re: Mousy, quiet girls
I'm sorry, but I have to comment on the commentary on "mousy."  Let's admit it's not the best choice of wording.  On the other hand, let's also, having made the point, get off it.  It's not the real issue; not really.  Rather, it was an attempt by someone to describe in shorthand a kind of probl...
Comment: Re: TYPES of repertoire to choose
Blake - You will find other threads on ChoralNet about the "pop song only" phenomenon which seems to be all-pervasive (and probably has been for generations - "We don't want to sing any of that OLD stuff; we just want new/exciting /up-to-date/what we hear on the radio or iTunes or wherever") with...
Comment: Re: Mousy, quiet girls
And I think this points out that, with obvious difficulties in the male voice occurring at this time, we (especially guy directors) fail to recognize the substantive and important changes occurring in the female physiology at the same time - it may occur earlier than with the guys, and not so obviou...
Comment: Re: So British!
"British" is taken from the longer appellation, "Great Britain" - which includes N. Ireland, Wales, and Scotland, as well as England.  So as for Stanford being Irish by birth, he was nonetheless (remember that Ireland was at the time of his birth part of "Great Britain") British - pace to our Iris...
Comment: Re: Monday Motivation: Why Don't Administrators Get This?
Question:  What kind of administrators are you referring to?  Educational administrators - school administrators in specific?  Then a valid question.  School system administrators?  If they come out of the educators' ranks, again a valid question - but if they come from elsewhere than an educat...
Comment: Re: Composers, some French please
It's an old chestnut, but why not "Cantique de Jean Racine" by Faure?  It's a plea for mercy and grace from Christ.   Ron
Comment: Re: When your choir dislikes a piece on your program
I would suggest that, at root, there are a series of identifiable "problems" here, and they're worth listing:   1.  Nothing is so full of itself as an empty mind.  By that I mean, an individual who has "decided" (on what basis?) that something isn't worth doing will resist all efforts to inform...
Comment: Re: When a choir becomes a clique
I have to wonder if a complete change of venue - i.e., moving the conductor to an altogether different group, and moving someone else in to direct - might help change both the dynamic of the group AND the conductor's approach.  It sounds to me as though, if that conductor is not the department chai...
Comment: Re: Saturday Respite: Coffee in April in Paris
For me, the best part of that commercial is the very little moment that the French "mémère" (grandma) while doing her knitting, looks up and smiles knowingly.  "Ah, l'amour des jeunes; comme c'est bien."   Ron
Comment: Re: Church Sanctuary Policy?
I just came back to this thread out of "idle curiosity" and, curiously enough, after having just read an interview with an archbishop who, as a young priest, was a secretary at the Second Vatican Council.  In a very real sense, the burden of the interview, discussing "liturgy," comes back precisely...
Comment: Re: Conference Morsel: TOO Concerned with Tuning?
Somehow there has to be a balance.  It happens to us that when we're rehearsing and, yes, when we're singing, my group(s) will lose pitch - but do so together.  It suggests, contrary to the constant reach for "perfection" (whatever that wierd animal is!) that the group is in tune WITHIN ITSELF, as...
Comment: Re: Choral Caffeine: The Church is Not a Battlefield
Julie - Agreed that the article seems one-sided; and agreed that the guilt can be spread without a second's thought to both sides of the "wars."  I also agree that these "wars" OUGHT to be passe; but they're not, in fact.  There is a tendency in some circles to sneer at "blended" worship music cho...
Comment: Re: Choral Caffeine: The Church is Not a Battlefield
It is an unfortunate truth that there are worship wars.  Can they, should they be avoided?  Some of these "informed" sorts are the clergy, many of whom have absorbed half-digested notions, ideas, theories, etc., without having had either the experience or time to not only consciously but prayerful...
Comment: Re: Texts to inaugurate a new auditorium
Okay, it's your local curmudgeon on board.  Is it me, or is there something off about using a sacred text in this context?  I agree with the notion that we should ask God's blessings on our endeavors, but that's because I'm a believer; but this IS a high school auditorium and music wing, after all...
Comment: Re: The "New Voice Type" coming to our choruses
Debbie - This issue (Lynda's #10) has been hashed over in other postings on ChoralNet.  The problem is finding quality choral arrangements of pop material which, if we're honest and as you say, do NOT sound like what the kids have heard on iTunes or on their iPhones or whatever - but THAT'S what th...
Comment: Re: Church Sanctuary Policy?
Charles et. al.:  Bingo.  This is the problem with "worship" in the modern Church.  All the talk of "reverence," "adoration," "thanksgiving," "prayerfulness" - mouthed constantly, executed rarely.  I myself will have to talk to our organist about playing "quieter" than he does - he uses it as an...
Comment: Re: GUEST BLOG: "Oh Say . . . Can You Sing?" by Tim Sharp
I would go one step further.  As someone who presents an historic figure connected with the War of 1812 (Albert Gallatin, Secretary of the Treasury at the beginning of the War, and one whose diplomacy in conjunction with four other patriots in Ghent brought about an end to the War) my studies of th...
Comment: Re: Problems with choir committees - power struggles - Choral leader needs advice :(
It seems to me, Em, that the board has absolutely NO idea what a musical director does - what he/she is responsible to prepare, to do, etc.  Might it be useful to approach your chairman and outline clearly what it is that you do in order to prepare for a concert?  Choosing repertoire, deciding reh...
Comment: Re: The "New Voice Type" coming to our choruses
While not a teacher of chorus at any educational level, I am amused and somewhat bemused by the first response to the initial post.  Indeed, if a student is self-taught, they're likely to pick up bad habits - or at least it's unlikely they'll necessarily pick up good ones.  However, if the student...
Comment: Re: The Latin word “quattuor”
Vaughan - And THAT is a whole 'nuther thread!  The "regularity" of Latin (and Latin-based languages in general, if I dare argue so) does make it easier, once you figure out the general rules of pronunciation, to teach to someone phonetically.  English, however, "mongrel" tongue that it is (pace, p...
Comment: Re: Good Friday Extended Repertoire
Consider "Stabat Mater" by Giuseppe Tartini.  Although written for SSA, we've done it quite effectively for TTB; I believe, quite frankly, it can be done in any number of combinations - odd-numbered verses by full choir (SAB, or SACountertenorB), or a trio SSA or TTB doing those, or alternating bet...
Comment: Re: If You Can’t Say Something Nice . . .
Not a whole lot different in a whole lot of circumstances.  During such events, if you have the chutzpah, you might turn to them and say, "Well, I came to hear the choir; not commentary" - and then turn back.  At the very least, even if they think the group is horrible, they have a couple of optio...
Comment: Re: Beautiful but simple Renaissance Piece
Gibbons:  "Drop, Drop Slow Tears" English entablature, arr. Proulx:  "Psalm 84" (available from GIA)
Comment: Re: excess rental fees
Very valid point, Allen - and perhaps it points in the direction I suggest at the end of my last little comment, though it was not in mind.  Thanks for keeping us on point.  I wonder if the orchestra/band accompaniment aspect of the music composing/publishing business (because of the sheer volume...
Comment: Re: excess rental fees
Bingo, John!  Well-said, particularly the second paragraph.  The "Big Publishers" have become so in part because they've been successful in convincing the "consumers" (we, the conductors and programmers of musical events) that their catalogue has the "best."  Piffle.  Thank heavens most of my pr...
Comment: Re: excess rental fees
I find John's answer fascinating - truly so.  Talk about "lifting the veil" off the business side of publishing (and, to a certain extent, composing, "in this modern age").  In the end, the argument is:  we want to make as much "filthy luchre" as possible, but in the name of having profitable and...