I just had to put in another order for more Parish Book of Chant books. At Monday's rehearsal I gave out all but the last one. We continue to have newcomers joining our group. It slows up the process of learning new things a bit, but I think it is worth it. My philosophy on this is still evolving as I go along... I think it has value to expose as many people as possible to the world of singing Gregorian chant. Whether they come and learn just the ordinaries for the Mass that we will be singing on Sunday, or whether they get totally committed to it as so many others have in recent years, we are building up the total chant-singing ability of the Church.
In working with folks where we lived before, I found that many had no idea what they would be doing when they said they would like to learn Gregorian chant. They had no idea of just how different the music is in the singing style, notation, solfege, rhythmic markings, etc (neither did I, for that matter). As we went along, many found that either the time commitment required was too great, or that it just wasn't their thing. Many who started out with us didn't continue over time.
So... I am gathering a very large group of beginners here... we'll throw a lot of mud on the wall and see what sticks! I ordered 10 more copies of the Parish Book of Chant (PBC). I am thinking I will be getting the new edition this time around, because the availability date was November. With this new batch of books, it will make 25 copies that I will have either distributed or will distribute here. I'll be giving one copy to the local pastor out of this next batch and one to the director of the schola in Louisiana... Let's just think... if each of the 45 or so Chant Intensive attendees distributed 10-20 copies each year and taught that many people the rudiments of singing the ordinaries and a few hymns... in only a few years we'll have our Catholic community growing and learning right along with us...
What if every Colloquium attendee did this?
While I am making copies of certain pieces and marking them with the rhythmic markings and notes in advance of rehearsals now, my plan is to move more and more to using the PBC and teaching them how to mark their own music (in pencil) in the books and to make them their own. Perhaps in the future we'll only need to make copies of propers and a few other pieces that aren't in the book.