Thursday, August 7, 2008

My future as a church musician?

I'm at one of those crossroads in life. maybe there is a better term for such a thing. It is more like one of those times when you aren't sure which direction is up or down or where the light is to guide you, yet you know it is still there. Christ is always there guiding, maybe I am just really starting to learn to take one day at a time, so it seems like I'm in a sort of darkness.
I feel like my musical development is at a standstill. I really haven't done much of anything with music since I graduate from college in May, and especially since the music colloquium in June. I don't even realize sometimes how much I miss singing and how much joy it can give me until I start singing with a group again. The focus right now just seems to be on other things. I am so preoccupied with finding a job, since a job as a church music right now is an impossibility and maybe will never become a reality, at least not as a full time job. I don't even think I would want it as a full time job. I don't know really what my role in church music is supposed to be at this moment. I'm too busy thinking about where I am going to work so I can pay bills and start paying off college loans, and now vocation discernment has been brought to the forefront again and will be at least for the next year. I really am ready to know my vocation now, I need a definite direction to work towards. but again, back to music. I'm getting involved in an already established parish music program in Chicago, by far the best in the city, but I don't know if there's anything else I should do. Maybe it is just too soon to tell yet, since I just moved here two weeks ago. It will be wonderful to sing polyphony again, but one of my desires in church music is for once to actually get to sing chant for mass on a fairly regular basis. Why is it everywhere I end up, women don't do any of the chanting? What is the point of the CMAA teaching women to chant if men only do it in some of the best church music programs? I can find it aggravating. I don't want to take chanting away from men at all, but why can't we have something like what we heard at the colloquium in such a well established music program. Surely there are women in the parish who really would love to chant. And why not? Also, as a church musician who may direct music someday, how am I ever supposed to direct a group to sing chant, be it men or women, if I have never gotten much of a chance to sing it with a group myself? I have the desire of possibly being the one to start such a women's schola, but question my ability to do so.
I just wonder i guess: am I skilled enough, really, to lead a music program in any way? And yet i know the only way to get that skill is to dive into it. You have to get your feet wet and learn from your mistakes as you go. But I guess it just seems like now is not the time. I thought maybe it was before June, but now the focus has shifted. Vocation discernment is more important, because that concerns what God is calling me to BE.

2 comments:

Sacra Musica said...

Being a Music Director at the age of 20 Kimberly, and also not having as good a background in vocal production and technique, yet still doing a good job, I have no doubt that you could lead a fine music program.

Sincerely,

Richard

Sacra Musica said...

I know too that at the church I'm at, there is a 5:30pm Mass which has usually only girls singing. In fact, I'm the only guy that sings (other than the director when I come too). Thus, 12 or so girls and women make beautiful song to the Lord by only singing chant. And I would say that it is one of the most beautiful productions of chant that I have ever heard. No joke.

Sincerely,

Richard