Did I cause church music coordinator to be angry?


#1

Hi,

My wife, my daughter, my cousin and me started a church choir and we’ve been singing since September (I play the guitar in the choir, they sing). Well, several weeks ago I asked my priest if any celebration was going to be conducted for our Lady of Guadalupe on December 12th. I live in a Mexican community and it is a tradition to sing songs dedicated to our Lady of Guadalupe right after mass, kind of a serenade. I play the accordion so I told my priest I wanted to play. The priest said that other choir was going to be in charge of that mass and that he was going to tell the person in charge of that choir that I wanted to play the accordion on that day. That person is supposed to be the coordinator of all the choirs in the church.

Well, I thought the priest had forgotten about it and suddenly on Saturday (December 6th) I was asked by several people if it was true that I was going to play the accordion at our Lady of Guadalupe mass on Thursday. It turns out that the priest told everyone at Mass on Saturday that I was going to be playing the accordion. After mass I told the priest that I thought he had forgotten about it and that I hadn’t had a chance to practice with the choir. He said that he had already told the choir coordinator and that he was supposed to call me to get organized. This was Saturday night. I then went home, started practicing by myself and writing down the lyrics to the songs that we could play.

On Sunday afternoon I called the choir coordinator (he plays in the choir at 11am mass) but got no answer. I then called his wife’s number and got no answer. During the day I called him several times but the phone would go straight into the voice message. At about 10pm I wrote him a friendly text message and in the message I told him that the priest had told me to get together with him to practice and that I needed to practice because sometimes I can be a little bit sloppy. I also told him about my attempts to reach him on the phone. I then gave him a smiley face and said good night and to call me so that we could get together. I read it several times before sending it to make sure it was a friendly text.

No answer. I then copied the message and text it to his wife. I then received a text saying “I never received any of your messages.” No greeting, not even a plan to practice. I’m assuming (maybe I’m wrong) that maybe he is not into the idea of me playing in his choir. Everybody has this idea that I’m going to be playing, even the priest asked me during mass, in front of everybody, if I was going to play and I said yes. But how can I do this if the choir playing in mass will not let me play. If I play without practicing with the choir, then I’m sure it will create a mess and our Lady of Guadalupe does not deserve that. But, she also does not deserve of me to just not play.

What’s going on? Is this one choir being envious of another choir belonging to the same church??? I wouldn’t mind having someone over in my choir if they wanted to play? Sorry for the long message, I just wanted to vent my frustration because I don’t plan on telling nobody about this, I will only tell the priest but I will ask him to keep it between us.

Please pray for me so that I don’t feel any anger or have bad feelings and also help me pray so that our Catholic communities are always together avoiding this kind of situations.


#2

I play piano/organ for Masses on a part-time, as-needed basis.

My advice to you is to show up when you are supposed to play, and play as best as you can, and don’t worry about playing sloppily for Our Lady of Guadalupe and her people. ALL of us musicians make mistakes, LOTS of mistakes! If musicians stopped playing for Mass because they can’t do it perfectly, there would never be ANY music for Mass.

So don’t worry about it. Just play and do your best. The more you play for Mass, the better you will get. You need more experience so that you won’t be so worried about making mistakes.

If you get there, and you are told that you are not needed that day, be extremely gracious about it and wish the musicians the best and tell them that you hope you can play sometime in the future.

And do not hold a grudge against them or the priest or the music director. These things happen.

Don’t worry about everyone’s feelings and motives and emotions. Just do and be the best that YOU can.

These things happen, and it’s not worth getting upset about.

You did the right thing to ask the priest if you could play. I wish more musicians would ask!
Good for you!

The priest dropped the ball by not calling you sooner. I’ll bet the priest didn’t tell the choir director until the last minute, too. The choir director should have called you or emailed you immediately after talking with the priest, but it sounds to me like he dropped the ball, too.

You’re working with a couple of people who have poor organizational/business skills. That’s tough.

I’ll be honest, this is the kind of thing that causes professional musicians to never play in parish again. It’s so frustrating to not know what’s going on!

But don’t you be that way. Just show up to play, and if they need you, do your best, and if they don’t need you, be gracious.

This isn’t a “gig,” it’s an act of service. If someone in your parish suddenly became ill during Mass, and you were sitting next to them, you wouldn’t ignore them and say, “Well, I hadn’t planned on helping anyone that day.” No, you would help them as best as you could.

So do the same thing with the music because it is also an act of service.

The choir will probably be frustrated and may not act in a friendly way towards you, but don’t worry about it. They’ll be fine. They’ve probably had this happen before, and know that it’s not your fault, but it’s the fault of the priest and/or the choir director.

Whatever you do, do NOT tell them that the priest and the choir director didn’t let you know until the last minute. Do NOT denigrate anyone!!! IF anyone in the choir asks, just tell them that you didn’t know until the last minute that you were supposed to play. Don’t even mention the priest and/or the choir director. KEEP your mouth shut about other people in the music world. I can guarantee that if you say anything negative about the choir director, it will get back to him, and you will never, ever be asked to play/sing again in that parish.

So just be incredibly nice. Everyone will love you for it, and you WILL be asked to play again.

The ONLY thing you did “wrong” in this situation is not practicing. Even if you are not playing regularly in Mass, you should still practice and be ready at all times. By practicing, you are demonstrating faithfulness to the Lord Who gave you your musical talent. And practicing is an act of worship to God and a tribute to Our Lady of Guadalupe. So in the future, keep practicing and be ready to play at a moment’s notice.

I hope this advice is helpful to you, and that you will get to play, and that you will not make many mistakes!


#3

I agree… show up and play anyways, though hopefully you will get some sort of practise in. In my case I just heard there’s a High Mass tonight in a parish in the diocese I’ve never been to. I’m going to try and sing with the choir even though I’ve never rehearsed with them before.


#4

Isn’t it terrible that in 2014 where almost everyone seems to have a smart phone, the lack of communication seems to be worse than ever?

I agree with the above post; show up and play anyways. Hopefully there is still some time to get some sort of practise in during the week. Perhaps it will be your first of many Masses playing with this choir! In my own case I heard there’s a High Mass tonight in a parish in my diocese I’ve never been to. I’m going to try and sing with the choir even though I’ve never rehearsed with them before.

Anyways, when our parish schola first got together I didn’t think it would last long as it included two ingenious musicians that obviously weren’t on the same wave length. Once we got rolling and all realized what we were capable of, negative sympathies quickly disapeared. Now we’re one happy choir. Well, in a way. I think our parish should have one choir that regularily practises together rather than one for each Mass, which all gets together only once a year around Easter.

Mistakes aren’t worth thinking about either. I’ve never sang a Mass free of mistakes. I also see my singing as more of a sacrifice than a service. I get up there and sweat bullets as I let it out. I’ve never cared for singing in front of others, but someone has to do it.


#5

Isn’t it terrible that in 2014 where almost everyone seems to have a smart phone, the lack of communication seems to be worse than ever?

Anyways, in my own case I’ve heard there’s a High Mass tonight in a parish in my diocese that I’ve never been to. I’m just going to show up and try singing with the choir even though I’ve never rehearsed with them before.

So, I agree with the above post; show up and play anyways. Hopefully there is still time to get some sort of practise in during the week, yet even when we’ve practiced I don’t ever recall a Mass free of mistakes. Yesterday for example, at the end of Mass when we chanted Deo gratias, I released Deo and came in with gratias far too early, which I realized right away. Afterwords one the other cantors came over smiling saying that I must have been really thankful. :shrug: No biggie.

I agree that keeping the peace is the best idea though have to say that I see my singing as more of a sacrifice than a service. I get up there and sweat bullets as I let it out. I’ve never cared for singing in front of others, but someone has to do it.

At any rate, hopefully your playing on the 12th will be the beginning of many Masses with the choir! When my parish schola first got together I didn’t think it would last long as it included two ingenious musicians that obviously weren’t on the same wave length. Once we got rolling and all realized what we were capable of, negative sympathies quickly disapeared. Now we’re one happy choir. (Well, in a way. I think our parish should have one choir that regularily practises together rather than one for each Mass, which all gets together only once a year around Easter.)


#6

Isn’t it terrible that in 2014 where almost everyone seems to have a smart phone, the lack of communication seems to be worse than ever?

Anyways, in my own case I’ve heard there’s a High Mass tonight in a parish in my diocese that I’ve never been to. I’m just going to show up and try singing with the choir even though I’ve never rehearsed with them before.

So, I agree with the above post; show up and play anyways. Hopefully there is still time to get some sort of practise in during the week, yet even when we’ve practiced I don’t ever recall a Mass free of mistakes. Yesterday for example, at the end of Mass when we chanted Deo gratias, I released Deo and came in with gratias far too early, which I realized right away. Afterwords one the other cantors came over smiling saying that I must have been really thankful. :shrug: No biggie.

I agree that keeping the peace is the best idea. I also have to add that my singing is more than an act of service; it’s also a sacrifice. I get up there and sweat bullets as I let it out. I’ve never cared for singing in front of others, but someone has to do it.

At any rate, hopefully your playing/singing for the Our Lady of Guadalupe feast will be the beginning of many Masses with the choir! When my parish schola first got together I didn’t think it would last long as it included two ingenious musicians that obviously weren’t on the same wave length. It’s sort of a fluke that we even formed a choir the way it all happened but once we did and all realized what we were capable of, negative sympathies quickly disapeared. Now we’re one happy choir. (Well, in a way. I think our parish should have ONE big choir that regularily practises together rather than one for each Mass, which all gets together only once a year around Easter.)


#7

Isn’t it terrible that in 2014 where almost everyone seems to have a smart phone, the lack of communication seems to be worse than ever?

Anyways, in my own case I’ve heard there’s a High Mass tonight in a parish in my diocese that I’ve never been to. I’m just going to show up and try singing with the choir even though I’ve never rehearsed with them before.

So, I agree with the above post; show up and play anyways. Hopefully there is still time to get some sort of practise in during the week, yet even when we’ve practiced I don’t ever recall a Mass free of mistakes. Yesterday for example, at the end of Mass when we chanted Deo gratias, I released Deo and came in with gratias far too early, which I realized right away. Afterwords one the other cantors came over smiling saying that I must have been really thankful. :smiley: No biggie.

I agree that keeping the peace is the best idea. I also have to add that my singing is more than an act of service; it’s also a sacrifice. I get up there and sweat bullets as I let it out. I’ve never cared for singing in front of others, but someone has to do it.

At any rate, hopefully your playing/singing for the Our Lady of Guadalupe feast will be the beginning of many Masses with the choir! When my parish schola first got together I didn’t think it would last long as it included two ingenious musicians that obviously weren’t on the same wave length. It’s sort of a fluke that we even formed a choir the way it all happened but once we did and all realized what we were capable of, negative sympathies quickly disapeared. Now we’re one happy choir. (Well, in a way. I think our parish should have ONE big choir that regularily practises together rather than one for each Mass, which all gets together only once a year around Easter.)


#8

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