The Role of the Chant Director
As promised, here is another excerpt from the book Gregorian Chant by Father Andrew F. Klarmann. Why choose this particular passage? We have often spoken of the function and life of a Schola. But we have never really pondered together the role of the Schola director. Here are but a few of Father Klarmann’s thoughts:
“The director should not lay too much emphasis on the grace of the chironomy. At the final performance, it is the director’s duty to start his singers together, to keep them together throughout, and to bring them to the finish together. Any other instructions should be given them prior to their appearance and should be practiced during rehearsals. Furthermore, some directors execute the most graceful chironomy while the minds of the choir members wander and their eyes are fixed on some foreign object. Other directors need only to chironomize in a calm and unobtrusive fashion: the rendition is good because they have the attention of their choir. Whatever signs of direction are used, they are good if they are understood by the choir. An attentive, well-schooled choir needs very few of them.”
How aptly and succinctly stated! Our role as a Schola Director is one of education and guidance. Let’s take this to heart as we prepare for our next rehearsal!