14 April 2011


Jeffery Tucker has posted a Faculty Profile of Edward Schaefer for the Sacred Music Colloquium over at the Chant Café. This makes me happy and kind of annoyed at the same time. Ever since the New Liturgical Movement blog got going, I've been trying to tell them about how awesome Dr. Schaefer (or Rev. Mr. Schaefer, if you prefer) is. He was my mentor, and Lizzy's too, and neither of us would be where we are today without him. My whole life as a musician, as a student, and as a Catholic would be quite different--and much worse--without the things he has taught me.

I and my husband have pointed out Dr. Schaefer's admirable work in the NLM comboxes numerous times, only to be ignored or told that his work was not as admirable as we believed it to be. Once upon a time, I emailed Shaun Tribe and asked him to put up a notice on NLM advertising one of Dr. Schaefer's workshops, and was refused, because, "We don't advertise for people we don't know." Well, the tiniest bit of investigation would have presented all the knowledge necessary. A year later they were happy to put up notices for one of his workshops, and even to post a report that I wrote about the workshop. Still, only about a year ago did I finally see Mr. Tucker and his cronies begin to acknowledge that Dr. Schaefer's work was important. Now, here they are, praising him to the skies. I wonder if in private they are eating their earlier words, or if they even remember a little, insignificant combox inhabitant's staunch advocacy of Dr. Schaefer's scholarship and skills.

So, I am really, really happy that Dr. Schaefer is getting more recognition for his work. He is a brilliant, humble, kind, devout, amazing man, and a wonderful musician and teacher. He deserves recognition. I'm just very annoyed that it's taken so long; that not only Gonzaga but also fellow inhabitants of the small sacred music world downplayed his accomplishments and virtually ignored him for years.

Maybe I'm just especially sensitive this week, because of what happened to my high school mentor, being fired from the school he has worked tirelessly for these last eighteen years. And what is continually happening to my husband, the put-downs he suffers at work (have I mentioned that his boss occasionally addresses him as "Boy"? or that the boss has ignored my husband's suggestions about the new church organ and wants a pressure-sensitive keyboard on the new digital monstrosity?). Why is it that people I admire are not--or have to wait years and years to be--admired by people who have the power to put them in the limelight?

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