30 November 2003

First Sunday of Advent

Today is the first Sunday of Advent. We are in preparation for the Coming of Christ at Christmas, but we remember that we are also in spiritual preparation for the Second Coming of Christ at the end of time.

Were it not the first Sunday of Advent, today would be the Feast of St. Andrew. Today we begin the St. Andrew Novena, saying this prayer fifteen times a day until Christmas:

Hail and blessed be the hour and the moment in which the Son of God was born of the most pure Virgin Mary, at midnight, in Bethlehem, in piercing cold. In that hour, vouchsafe, O my God, to hear my prayers and grant my desires through the merits of our Savior, Jesus Christ, and of his Blessed Mother. Amen.

22 November 2003

The Feast of St. Cecilia

Happy feast day to all you musicians out there! Lizzy and Gavin and I will be celebrating by going to the recital of one of our friends this afternoon and generally having some fun.

My inside source at Nashville has told me how the Sisters of St. Cecilia will be celebrating the feast of their patroness. She says they awoke to the sound of one of the sisters playing the organ full throttle, sang Lauds, and had a truly elevating Mass. This evening the novitiate sisters will perform a sort of operetta they have written on the life of St. Cecilia. It sounds as though they are being very true to the spirit of their lovely patroness!

She also offered a quote from St. Therese on St. Cecilia:
"Everything in her thrilled me, especially her abandonment, her limitless confidence which made her capable of virginizing souls who had never desired any other joys but those of the present life. Her life was nothing else but a melodious song in the midst of the greatest trials, and this does not surprise me because, 'the Gospel rested on her heart,' and in her heart reposed the Spouse of Virgins!"
Friday Five
(Yes, we made it back from Newport alive. Somehow we managed to get a bus and get the harp inside the bus. I may put the picture up on the other website if it turns out.)

1. List five things you'd like to accomplish by the end of the year.

1. Make it through my jury alive.
2. Get no exam grades lower than a B.
3. Actually get around to telling my parents that I have a boyfriend, instead of hinting at like crazy.
4. Not get sick again this year.
5. Learn one more chant Mass setting.

2. List five people you've lost contact with that you'd like to hear from again.

1. Colin McDonald, my good friend and "twin" from kindergarten.
2. Sharon Olson, children's choir director.
3. My fourth grade teacher.
4. Mr. Wright, now Br. Shawn, who was my literature teacher in sixth grade (he now resides in a monastery in Oregon and makes fudge).
5. Clare, nutty artist/general genius friend from high school who never replied to my letters.

3. List five things you'd like to learn how to do.

1. Accompany Irish tunes on the harp.
2. Write a piece of music using a whole-tone scale.
3. Play a reel on the tin whistle at actual dance-speed.
4. Contemplative prayer.
5. Jitterbug.

4. List five things you'd do if you won the lottery (no limit).

1. Force Gonzaga to build a performing arts center before I graduate.
2. Buy a piece of property for my alma mater and make sure they have a good arts program in perpetuity.
3. Buy antiques, especially instruments and rare books.
4. Build a colonial-style mansion with a music room and library in which to put the antique instruments and rare books.
5. Help undo a 1970's renovation of a Catholic parish church, install a huge pipe organ, and donate money for decent artwork and decently-paid musicians.

5. List five things you do that help you relax.

1. Praying.
2. Listening to/playing/singing/dancing to music.
3. Laughing with Lizzy.
4. Hugging Gavin.
5. Wrapping up in my shawl, reading fiction, with a cup of tea and a plate of my dad's oatmeal-raisin-banana cookies. (Everyone wonders why he always sends the same kind of cookies. They don't get that it's a special me-and-dad thing.)

20 November 2003

Snow, Snow, Go Away!

It's snowing again. A lot. It's been snowing continuously for at least five hours and there must be three inches worth out there. Ordinarily, I would have rejoiced and gone out and made a snowman and had a few snowball fights and maybe stolen a cafeteria tray and gone to the slope behind the Admin building. But, as it is, the choir and their harp-accompanist (moi) are driving north tomorrow evening for a concert, and we have to get there under our own power.

I'm from California. I've driven in snow...let's see...once. I don't have snow tires, don't really have the time or the money to get them by 4pm tomorrow, and don't know how to put on chains. My dad pretty much said, "Go slowly, don't do anything stupid, stay away from the crazy people, and take your cell phone." Lizzy's parents, on the other hand, are exhibiting much more concern. I think her mother is going to email our lovely director.

On the one hand, we're not children. We should be able to take care of ourselves, including standing up for ourselves if we feel it necessary, including driving ourselves to Newport. On the other hand, we're still very much dependant on our parents. Since this is a mandatory event, the school should be providing transportation. After all, the basketball team doesn't have to drive to their games, does it?

Oh great. Now the neighbors are lobbing giant snowballs at our window. This is not improving my mood.

18 November 2003

Concert Night

I think that when Dr. Spittal decided to call tonight's band concert "Autumn Winds," he had no idea how appropriate it would be. It is indeed quite the blustery day. They are playing a selection from Carmina Burana, a few Percy Granger pieces, a suite based on three Celtic songs (march, air, and reel), and the chamber winds are playing something or other. I'm accompanying on harp for the Celtic Suite and one of the Granger pieces, so I've been running around like a chicken with my head cut off since 11am, taking my harp to the theater downtown (curse not having a theater on campus!), going to my harp lesson, skipping Latin class.... My harp teacher applauded me for skipping Latin to move the harp. I've got my priorities straight, apparently. I wonder if Fr. Krall would agree?

Must be off. Got to get organized since I'm leaving here around 4pm and won't be back until at least 9pm. Wish me luck!

P.S. Prayers for a friend's father would be appreciated. He is in the hospital and is seriously ill, but she says they don't know what's wrong with him.

Update: The concert was pretty good, considering that our conductor missed the two rehearsals before the concert because he had to go to his mother's funeral in Ohio, and the percussionists were having issues, and one of the trumpet players didn't see the part until about four days before the concert, and neither the harpist, pianist, percussionists, or said trumpet player had rehearsed with the band before the dress rehearsal. I think we did a respectable job, and had a respectable sized audience.

15 November 2003

New Link

There is a new link to the left for y'all to check out: the blog of Mark Brumley, Catholic author, lecturer, president of Ignatius Press, and Vice President of Campion College in San Francisco. I went to school with his kids. He's very cool.
Professorial Wisdom

"I'm a peanut-butterist." --Dr. Clayton

"You need to think about your Cartesian ghosty-thing." --Dr. Clayton

"The watches are reproducing themselves!" --Dr. Clayton

"I'm hooked on styrofoam."--Prof. Thompson

"Chapters 11 and 12 are the hinge on which John's Gospel swings. I should have brought some Glenn Miller to play at this point." --Prof. Thompson

"If it's a neuter king, we're in trouble." --Fr. Krall

"It's nice to see something sticks to the Velcro of your mind." --Fr. Krall

"Less Russian...more Irish." --Dr. Spittal

Based on that, I bet you can guess what they teach.

14 November 2003

Friday Five

1. Using one adjective, describe your current living space.

2. Using two adjectives, describe your current employer.
I'm unemployed.

3. Using three adjectives, describe your favorite hobby/pasttime.
thrilling, lovely, passionate

4. Using four adjectives, describe your typical day.
tiring, happy, intense, interesting

5. Using five adjectives, describe your ideal life.
musical, academic, God-fearing, passionate, peaceful

11 November 2003

I don't usually post quizzes here, but I thought this one was worth it. Apparently it was the question about temperment that did it: I answered something like, "stubborn, given to fits of rage, gifted pianist." I am a half-decent pianist, which almost no one here at college knows because they all just think of me as a harpist.

St Elizabeth of the Trinity
Blessed Elizabeth of the Trinity is praying for
you! To learn more about this gental carmelite
saint go to the Patron Saint Index at

Which Saint Would You Be?
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10 November 2003

Major Concentration

There has been much discussion of majors and concentrations going on in this little red-and-blue corner of the universe. Lizzy's half, the blue half of the room, has been staring at a change-of-major form for several weeks, and seems to have finally decided to double-major in music (concentration on theory and literature) and French. She also wants to abandon me and run off to France all next year. I don't know who I'll live with--everyone's going abroad but me! *cries*
My half of the room, which would be the half decorated almost exclusively in red (it has to match the wardrobe, you know) has moved on from the world of harp. It was hard to admit that I had been wrong to come to college so sure that my concentration as a music major would be on harp performance. I love the harp, but even I don't love the harp quite that much. I haven't filled out the paperwork, but I'm going to double-concentrate in theory and literature (sounds like two but it's not) and liturgical music. The liturgical music concentration has just been added, but I've already taken half the classes required for it (music of the Catholic Church, Gregorian chant seminar, schola). My mother, upon being informed of my decision, said, "That sounds like you. Liturgical music is very much in your 'comfort zone,' isn't it?" Ah, no one knows me like my mother. I'm going to do the theory and lit thing as well, because the only added bits are a class on research methods and writing a thesis. I think that for someone who wants to go to grad school on the academic side of music, this would be a good thing. It will help me know what is entailed in writing a long research paper, and it will look good on the transcript for grad school.

The liturgical music concentration is pretty cool. One has to study both voice and a keyboard instrument (preferably organ, though piano may be accepted) and do a half recital on the primary instrument. In my case, this entails a voice recital and taking a year's worth of organ lessons. I also have to take two classes in conducting (one of which is applied conducting, which confuses me as it is not in my year-old course catalogue), and do a one-semester internship at a parish, which must involve "some significant responsibilities in planning, preparing, and executing music for a certain number of liturgies." I think I can handle that, considering that as a cantor, the organist and I jointly chose music and I certainly "executed" the music (unfortunately sometimes in more than one sense). Dr. Schaefer did say that he intends to be selective about who he admits to the program, as it is intended to turn out people who will be parish music directors. He doesn't want to release people into that world who will not have high standards (no matter how well they may or may not acheive those standards under the circumstances in which they find themselves). He did say that he is willing to admit me. I guess I'll be his first little student. I wonder if he knows how much I look up to him, or whether he is too concerned with his own projects to notice?
Here's a great site for word-lovers!
Lost in Translation
12.5 %

My weblog owns 12.5 % of me.
Does your weblog own you?
In Basilicae Laterenensis

Introit: Deus in loco sancto suo
Kyrie: Missa super Dixit Maria, Hans Leo Hassler
Gloria: Mass XI
Gradual: Laetatus sum
Alleluia: Bene fundata est
Creed: Credo III
Offertory: O Lord Give Thy Holy Spirit, Thomas Tallis
Sanctus: Mass XI
Agnus Dei: Missa super Dixit Maria, Hans Leo Hassler
Communion: Lucis Creator (chant hymn)

Mass was sung by Fr. Barnett of St. Francis' and St. Patrick's parishes in Spokane. His singing has much improved over the summer, and his homily was as lovely as the ones I remember from last year.

08 November 2003

Saint's Limbs

I just got a holy card depicting St. Peregrin, the patron of cancer-sufferers. Does anyone know why he's lifting his robe to show his bleeding leg?

04 November 2003

Hayley Westenra

I was reading the arts section of the New York Times over lunch today--something I don't do nearly as often as I'd like. There was an article about a 16-year-old singer from New Zealand who has two hit CD's in her native land and now has made the charts in England with her fourth CD, "Pure." When I started reading the article, which had the words "Voice of an Angel" in the headline, all I thought was, "Charlotte Church all over again."
But I checked out her website, and listened to some of the clips. She has a lot of the same material as Miss Church, but I think she does some of it better. From the B-G Ave Maria and Lloyd Webber Pie Jesu tracks, I can confidently say that she should get a diction coach. Her Latin pronunciation needs work. But her English is fine, and she hits the high notes with clarity and precision. She's obviously not pushing her voice, and works well with her young voice, rather than pushing herself to sound older.

Those of you who know me in real life know my loathing of Charlotte Church. Most of it has to do with the comparisions I suffered all through high school. I think she hit it big when I was a freshman. She's a year younger than I am, and since I sing and bear a certain physical resemblence to her, people were constantly coming up to me after I'd sing at Mass and say, "Oh, you remind me so much of that little English soprano!" I'd grumble, "She's Welsh," and nod my thanks. I know they meant well, but at that time I had about four years of vocal training more than she had, much better diction, wasn't trying to sing arias way above my ability level, and for heaven's sake, I didn't sing flat. In other words, I'm better than she is, and she's the one making all the money and doing a Christmas special with Placido Domingo. How does that work?

Ok, Charlotte-bashing over. I was very pleased to find that Hayley Westenra isn't another Charlotte Church. She's better. She does have the voice of an angel (angels don't sing flat!) and she has a much more natural image. The title of her most recent CD, "Pure," seems to fit her pure and almost vibrato-less voice. I might even be induced to buy this CD, since unlike her earlier ones it doesn't seem to contain any Andrew Lloyd Webber dreck, though the lyrics of "Wuthering Heights" are a bit disturbing.

Plus, she shares a last name with one of the characters from Dracula!
More Snow
Please pray for all the people who have to drive the road between Spokane and the neighboring town of Cheney. A friend of ours flipped her car on the highway yesterday. Thankfully, she's all right. There have been several accidents, as the ice on the road tends to take people by surprise. Tonight, of course, I'm praying for my sweetheart who came to visit Lizzy and me, and who has some classes and a job here in town.

02 November 2003

Feast of All Souls

Introit: Requiem aeternam
Kyrie: XVIII (Ad Missam pro defunctis) (9-fold)
Gradual: Requiem aeternam
Sequence: Dies irae (translation
Alleluia: Requiem aeternam
Offertory: Domine Iesu Christe
Sanctus: XVIII
Communion: Lux aeterna (antiphon with psalm-tone verses)
Recessional: In paradisum
Let it Snow Let it Snow Let it Snow!

Welcome to the people who searched for:

poems to an ex boyfriend
latin monk chant mp3
are the Jesuits Catholic
latin quote for fire breathing dragon

...and found our blog.
As far as the "latin monk chant mp3's" perhaps we were able to direct you to what you were searching for. The rest of you...sorry. Perhaps I'll be able to get back to you on how to say "fire breathing dragon" in Latin after I've taken a few more semesters of it.