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St.Vincent's Music Ministry Brochure  (text version)

St. Vincent's Music Ministry is built upon six music ensembles which minister year round at six of the seven weekend Masses:  Saturday 5 p.m., Sunday 9 a.m., 11 a.m., 12:30 p.m.,  4 p.m. Spanish choir, and 5:45 p.m. Lifeteen praise band.  When one joins a music ministry ensemble at St. Vincent's, they find themselves welcomed as the newest addition into a musical family with a long tradition.  In most ensembles there are no formal pre-admission auditions.  However, as one participates in an ensemble, one will quickly know if his or her skills can accommodate the music demands of the group. It is wise for any newcomer to first attend a few rehearsals in order to determine his or her ability to participate in Sunday worship performances.  Both vocalists and instrumentalists are always needed for our music ensembles.

"Who is in which choir?"  The Sunday 9:00 a.m. and 11:00 a.m. Mass music ministry ensembles are primarily adult music groups. These choirs include singers and instrumentalists with a wide range of musical skills. The Sunday 12:30 p.m. Mass music ministry is a youth music ensemble which ranges in age from the upper elementary grades, up through middle school grades, and from time to time includes some students in the high school grades.  Cantors rotate in leading the singing at the 7:30 a.m. Sunday Mass. A varying group of singers from any of these ensembles provides music for the comunity Baptisms on the first and third Sunday at 2 p.m.  The 5 p.m. Saturday vigil Mass ensemble is a small subset of musicians, with more advanced skills, who are also involved in the Sunday 11:00 a.m. Mass. The cantors at masses with choir ensembles, are themselves members of the choir singing for that specific Mass.  For special seasonal projects (Christmas, Holy Week, Esaster, and concerts) unique groups are assembled from all of the regular music ensembles, composed of those who will commit to the rehearsals necessary to master the body of music involved in a specific project.  For information on the Sunday 4:00 p.m. Spansih Music Ministry please conrtact Lucy Gardea , Coordinator for Spanish Liturgy, through the office at St. Vincent's.  For information on the Sunday 5:45 p.m. Lifeteen Mass music ministry, please contact Bob Lesnefsky, Director of Youth Ministry and leader of the Lifeteen prasie band.

Do I have to know how to read music to join a choir?"  One can sing in the 9:00 a.m. or 11:00 a.nm. choirs if the singer is able to match pitch with his or her voice to the other singers in the group.  The skill to read music is not necessary initially;  however, all who participate over time find that they will develop the ability to make sense of written music.  New singers should be able to develop the ability, in a relatively brief period, to accurately maintain a voice part amidst other vocal harmonies.

Patience is a virtue.  Each music ministry ensemble has a collection of music known to the singers who have participated through the seasonal cycle of the liturgical year.  New members must be patient with themselves in assimilating this body of music.  It typically takes a year for new members to experience a group's basic repertoire.  Limited rehearsal time does not allow for each piece in our standard repertoire to be taught anew through out the year.  Since we have to minister in front of live microphones, new members are expected to exercise good judgement in knowing when to hold back with their voice, until they have their voice part under control.

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"Something is different here?"  For the Saturday 5 p.m., and the Sunday 11 a.m. choirs, our group rehearsals are especially directed at developing each singer's musical skills.  Musicians are regularly urged to focus on his or her singing, "with their ears", in order to monitor one's own "fit" into the ensemble's sound.  A singer's musical focus becomes surrendering his or her voice to the group's sound, to produce the ultimate musical product of which the group is capable.  After learning a new piece of music, we typically perform standing in an arrangement of single soprano, alto, tenor, and bass voices, to achieve the unltimate blend of voice parts.  In other words, singers of different voice parts (SATB) stand next to each other, in order to achieve the ultimate vocal blend, instead of standing in SATB sections.  This can be surprising to a singer who is accoustomed to standing in a sections of like voices (soprano, alto, tenor, and bass), as per a typical church choir. Our choirs are in truth large vocal ensembles, where each singer, at some point, assumes the responsibility for producing a tightly integrated vocal part within the ensemble.  Mics are used to equalize the acoustical diferences among individual singers' voices. All of these skills are totally within the grasp of the "greenest" beginner who will commit to regular participation.

"Which choir rehearses when?"  The 9:00 Sunday singers rehearse in the choir room Sunday at 8:30 a.m., briefly after the 9 a.m. Mass from 10-10:20 a.m., and/or optionally Thursday 7:15 p.m. in the general rehearsal for the 11:00 singers.  The 11:00 Sunday singers rehearse in the choir room Thursday at 7:15-9 p.m. and at 10:30 a.m. before the 11 a.m. Mass.  The 4:00 Spanish choir rehearses Thursday at 6-7 p.m. in the school music room, and on Sunday at 3 p.m. before Mass in the choir room.  The 5:45 Sunday youth singers rehearse in the choir room Sunday at 5 p.m.  The 12:30 p.m. high school singers rehearse in the choir room at 12:00 before Mass and after the 12:30 Mass until 2:00 p.m.  The 5:00 p.m. Saturday singers (an auditioned group, composed of singers with previous experience, who typically read music, and may have had vocal training) rehearse in the choir room at 4:30 p.m. Staurday, plus during the Thursday 7:15 p.m. rehearsal.
 

St. Vincentís Music Ministry has a place for YOU !!

We have many opportunities for both vocalists and instrumentalists to add their talents to our worship.  All we ask of a "newcomer" is the ability to consistently sing on pitch. You will learn much of what you need to know as you invest your time rehearsing and singing for Mass. Admittedly music ministry will make demands on your time.  You will enjoy learning alongside singers who may also be beginners, or who may be experienced volunteers, or who may have had the benefit of extensive training.  At St. Vincent's we try very hard to find a place for everyone who feels motivated to participate in music ministry.

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Just walk up to any of our musicians on Sunday and introduce yourself, or contact Daryel Nance for more information at (713) 667-9111; e-mail dnance@svdp-edu.org;
 

Music Ministry Mission Statement - We are musicians, among the People of God, who call forth song from the worshipping assembly, as we journey toward our destiny with God.  As Christ's disciples, we strive to let our song teach in His name, and with our music we offer sung prayer before His Presence in the Sacraments.  We humbly approach our ministry in music, committed to the traditional Teachings and Liturgy of the Roman Catholic Church.  (Adapted from St. Vincent's Parish Misssion Statement)

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