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Items by Ronald Richard Duquette

Results: 601
Title Author Date
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...
Comment: Re: excess rental fees
I would agree - but the solution lies in the hands of several sets of people.  Obviously, in the free-market capitalist economy of this country, the publisher will charge what "the market will bear" - and that's understandable, if of dubious moral value.  The other solutions, however, are in the ...
Comment: Re: Suggestions for church closing
While I'm sure all these suggestions are lovely (some of which I know), I have to wonder something:   Is this "decommissioning" of the church meaning that the congregation will disband or that the church building itself is what is "disbanded?"  The reason I ask is, the disbanding of a community ...
Comment: Re: The Latin word “quattuor”
Martin - Have to disagree on the assertion that "Latin is not a living language."  Please don't tell the Roman Church - they are developing words to describe or account for modern means of communication, etc., and all official documents of the Church are written in Latin.  Yes, if by "living" you ...
Comment: Re: Dismissing a church soloist
Lucy - Perhaps my point wasn't well-made.  Let me try again.  A young singer/instrumentalist/soloist has many things to learn beyond the issues of technique, etc., and so there are some allowances (within reason) that can be made for them as they become truly professional in the fullest sense - no...
Comment: Re: Dismissing a church soloist
As a singer AND as a director myself, it seems straightforward enough, but requires immense courage, because most of us are (in a favorite phrase of mine) "devout cowards."  IF you have enough reason to dismiss this person, and you do not, you are hurting the choir more and more each rehearsal and...
Comment: Re: CJ Replay: The Frustrated Church Musician
I have to comment, and I know that most of the time my comments in this particular place get no play, but here goes, anyway.   I think, truly, we all suffer from these same emotions, thoughts, reactions as does John - especially if we care.  And what tends to make matters worse, as church musici...
Comment: Re: Victoria O Magnum Mysterium for TTBB?
Frank - Why "O magnum Mysterium?"  The text is all wrong for a wedding - it's a lovely piece, but really?  However, if you DO come across a TTBB version of it, please let us all know.   Ron
Comment: Re: The meaning behind "fa la la" in madrigals
This isn't a particularly scholarly musical approach, but....   "What you see, depends upon where you stand."  I use a similar phrase when asked some thorny political (historical) question when I do first-person historical interpretations, "Your perspective, (sir/madam), depends upon where you s...
Comment: Re: GUEST BLOG: "If Not Us, Then WHO?" by Elizabeth Waterbury
One man's meat - I wholly endorse the question which Elizabeth poses of us all.  In another sphere, it was this which Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI was proposing to the Catholic Church with the return of some of the vestments and garb of a by-gone day, as well as (and far more importantly) the emphasi...
Comment: Re: CJ Replay: Composers and Conductors
It's interesting - in my (admittedly) limited experience with this relationship - conductor-composer - I had something of a similar and yet entirely more frustrating relationship.  Our church choir had been asked to perform an advent cantata for the national biennial conference of a large church mu...
Comment: Re: texting during rehearsal
There are some problems I can foresee with the suggested approach.   1.  Who enforces?  If it's not the director (are you REALLY going to be spending your time looking for texters?), it's going to have to be chorus members - who should be paying attention to their music, anyway.   2.  While...
Comment: Re: Choral Accountability
Joy - Not even!  BUT, all - while I know that this is literally the "choir" that gets preached to, let's take a real look at what's happening here.  Something happened beyond the notes, beyond the data, beyond...well, whatever you can grasp with your five senses, and somehow transcended it all.  ...
Comment: Re: sacred music in a public school setting
I would agree with you, Tom, but with this caveat:  ANY music (and there are postings elsewhere about doing "pop" music as opposed to just about anything else because it is, well, "popular" and "familiar" and "all the in thing" - sorry, I AM a child of the Sixties!) we present, whether in the class...
Comment: Re: Is it legal to give PIANO lessons to your choir students?
To summarize:   1.  Check with your administrators - principal, head of department, etc. - to see if they are aware of any inherent limitations to your efforts. 2.  If you are a union employee, check with the union lawyer and see what the union's stance is on this.  Of course, this isn't a pr...