The mission of St Leo’s music ministry is to help people pray. Music during Mass or any other service is not a performance but an attempt to express the inexpressible, by fostering emotion from within the soul to reach out to God. However, there is still a performance aspect to any work of music ministers. The following is a brief synopsis of the requirements / commitments of those who would like to be a member of the music ministry. If you like to sing, or play an instrument, and you can give of a couple hours per week, then please consider joining our music ministry.
The adult choir is open to anyone from high school age on. It sings a mostly traditional repertoire of music every other Sunday at the 11 o’clock Mass. There are also other special occasions such as Christmas, Holy Week, Confirmation etc., when the music ministry will sing at additional Masses or services. Rehearsals are every Wednesday night from 7 pm until approximately 8:30 pm. Although these are the set times for the basic involvement of the music ministers, it is understood that members have personal and family matters that on occasion will take precedence. Nevertheless, if those occasions are kept at a minimum, there should be no problem “keeping up” with the activities of the ministry, or maintaining the necessary continuity for successful participation.
Musical requirements / abilities
The only real mandatory requirements of being a member of the music ministry are a love for singing (or playing) liturgical music and the ability to match pitch and timing with the musical part that your voice best suits your voice (soprano or alto for women, tenor or bass for men). The rest simply determines to what extent you can or will become involved. Our members come from many backgrounds and with widely varying degrees of musical skills and/ or experience. The ability to read music is not required, but is certainly helpful. If you can’t read music, or are a bit rusty at it, you will find that as you progress in the ministry you will almost certainly acquire that skill. Musical notation is based on simple math that anyone can understand with a little sustained effort. It may be a bit frustrating or intimidating at first, but once you get a few basics down, you can then use those skills to sing harmonic parts, which have become a “signature” aspect of our choir. .
Moreover, your involvement in the ministry will be only at a level that you are comfortable with. Some choir members choose only to sing only as a “general member” of the choir at rehearsals or at Mass. Others will sing an occasional small solo such as leading the psalm, or intoning the Gospel acclamation. The most advanced members will solo other pieces, or cantor an entire Mass. Whatever your skill level, the music director works with all members of the choir to ensure that they are competent, comfortable, and fulfilled with their particular roles. It also goes without saying that all members of the choir are more than willing to help anyone with any aspect of the ministry.
The hardest step to take in any new endeavor is the first one. If you are considering becoming a member of our music ministry, then give it a try. If it doesn’t work for you, then nothing is really lost. But the odds are that you will be glad you took that first step. and will greatly enjoy becoming a member.
If you desire further information, or just want to discuss anything about the music ministry, please contact the music director Mickey Stitt (firstname.lastname@example.org) 216-661-1006, x.107). She will be glad to talk to you.