My choir was told not to sing too good

Hi. I am a member of a choir. There are several choirs in my church.

We had a meeting for all the choirs.

The person assigned to supervise all the choirs of the church told us that it is not good to sing bad, BUT it is also not good to sing too good. It will distract the congregation from focusing on the mass.

Is it right to be told that?

There is a man that reads the first and second readings…his voice is like a VoiceOver for an audio book. It sounds really good…so is this man supposed to not sound good? Actually because this man reads the readings well I pay more attention to the readings.

I see videos of priests that sing panis angelicus and it’s beautiful to listen too…should they be told to not sing good?

IMO, that’s an odd instruction. I can understand not wanting the music to be too “concerty” though.

For example, I have a few CDs with gregorian chant on them. On one of the CDs the chants are sung by a wonderful british non-Catholic choir. They are so talented and it sounds just amazing and according to my musically untrained ears they are close to technical perfection. But it definitely sounds like a concert. One of my other CD’s is of monks praying the same chants and while I can hear small mistakes in pitch and timing here and there, I like this CD better because it’s just more of a prayer, and because I can tell the monks really are praying I can pray with them much easier. It’s easier to pray with people who are praying than with people who are obviously just reciting music. Perhaps this idea is what the person who supervises your choirs was getting at??

One person does not represent the Church’s opinion.

We don’t go to mass for entertainment, but that doesn’t mean it shouldn’t be beautiful. He probably phrased it badly and meant something like don’t turn it into a concert. Keep the focus on the words. Beautiful, but not showy. You know what I mean?

I think we should sound our best. I sing in a Gregorian schola. We are supposed to sing in unison, as one voice, with no individual voice dominating. Our voices are supposed to blend. But we also strive to sound good as a choir. Perhaps that was what was the supervisor meant?

Thanks, I guess I misunderstood him.

We sang at mass this morning and I’m very conscious now of how I’m singing… if I make a mistake during the song, then the next line I will try to do better but I’m thinking I shouldn’t do too good… its very confusing. I want to the best I can and now don’t know if its too much or not…

I guess that’s another challenge in being part of a choir… we have been persevering and working real hard the last few months. We are really blending well together recently and sounding like one voice… improving timing and dynamics… no adlibs, just following the notes on the music sheets

Really enjoying the choir until yesterdays meeting.

you’re taking this too personally. Perhaps some are belting it out and not blending. :shrug: We see this a lot. Ever since “Starsearch” people believe that singing loud equates to singing well. Don’t fret over it. Do the best you can, blend, and understand that your song is a prayer.

If you are singing for God, you should sing your best.

LOL! I have much pity for your predicament.

When I am visiting my family I often get asked to solo, cantor, etc. Perhaps it’s because the choirs are so small and there’s nobody better, but I’d like to think I have the proper chops.

The only problem is that in my home parish, I am FORBIDDEN from cantoring. It’s not my music director, of whom I have had several in my years at the parish, but the pastor, who remains the same. The pastor does not like my voice and does not like the idea of me even singing three notes of the “Sanctus” to lead the assembly.

I remain, obedient but insulted.


Taking a cue from OraLabora, I can say that I have occasionally heard people who “sing too well” in choral settings and they should not have been hamming it up. Sometimes we have someone with a very operatic voice that’s sticking out, sometimes it’s someone with a powerful projection combined with pronounced vibrato. The whole point of choral singing is to blend. Yes, you should project, sing out and loud and boldly, but you should also attempt to match the others.

I don’t quite practice what I preach because I tend to drown out the weak singers in my home choir, but if we all blended we’d be sooo weak…

We have an oblate that’s a professional opera signer. Even the monks asked him not to sing because it threw them off. For the life of him he could not make his voice blend.

It wasn’t that he was a bad singer. Quite the opposite, he has a magnificent voice. But chanting Gregorian, and singing opera, are two very different genres!

Just sing to glorify God. The rest will fall into place. :thumbsup:

It sounds like someone is jealous.
Offer your best sacrifice of praise
to Jesus!


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