Currently, the Assumption Choir has a membership of 16. Historically, there have been over 30 members and, for many years, over 40 members, but recent deaths and some attrition, and the move of the choir Mass from 10am, then to 9:30 am, and now 9am have caused some decrease in membership. The amazing thing is that the quality of the choir sound has not decreased accordingly. The Assumption Choir is well recognized locally, nationally, and internationally for quality and musicianship, and as a model of liturgical music ministry.
There is always a need for new members, and recruitment efforts take place annually in August and September. The repertoire of the choir is vast and includes music of the great masters of old as well as that of more contemporary composers. New members sometimes get a little discouraged in the beginning because of the great variety of music introduced, so every care is taken to pair up a new member with an experienced one to help things along. New members are made to feel as comfortable as possible and are welcomed profusely by the group. The Assumption Choir is welcoming of people from other parish areas. Almost half of our members travel 5 miles or more to sing with us...the trip is well worth it, they say, since singing under the direction of Mr. Englert, and now Mr. Phelps is a privilege and an honor, and the choir is very welcoming and friendly.
A great camaraderie exists in the choir, as, although coming from very different backgrounds and occupations, all members are united through music, the ministry, and service to the parish and to God. All members care a great deal about each other and there are some social gatherings with family members throughout the year.
In recent history, the ministry of cantors in the Catholic Church has been revived. This comes as a result of the Second Vatican Council with the emphasis on increased participation of the congregation in the singing and prayer of the liturgy. Additionally, the responsorial psalms, written to be sung, have reached greater prominence in the Liturgy of the Word. Cantors are charged with the responsibility of proclaiming the psalms and gospel acclamation as well as leading and encouraging the congregation to participate more fully in the liturgical celebration.
Assumption has three choir members currently trained in the ministry of cantors. It has been the custom to have cantors come from the choir membership due to the extensive musical and liturgical training necessary for this ministry. The cantors serve additional liturgical celebrations at times as requested by the director.
The 2012-2013 Choir season will begin on September 5th. New members are not only welcome, they are needed! If YOU can sing, you should be in the choir! The time commitment is stable, so you can plan the rest of your life around the dates and times. Most choir members are very busy people, with full time jobs or several part-time jobs, as well as family and other organization and ministry commitments, yet they find that the time spent with choir is personal and revitalizing to the spirit. Once you experience the excitement of singing in the choir, you will never again say that you do not get anything out of the liturgy. Music totally involves you in the prayer of the Mass and you find that giving through music is the path to receiving. You will be very happy that you took the time and effort to invest yourself in yet another activity and ministry if you join the choir.
Please call Anne or Jim Ketzer at 729-2869. Or, just come to church on a Wednesday evening in September or October at about 7:00pm, so that you can meet Mr. Phelps and be seated in the appropriate section of the choir area. If you want to just come and observe first, you are most welcome to do so, but be prepared to want to sing with us soon after your arrival. Music is catching! WE NEED YOU! YOU NEED US!