What is the “un-choir?”
The un-choir is a participation choir whose role and ministry is to strengthen and encourage the musical participation of the assembly at Holy Mass and other liturgies. Unlike a regular choir, un-choir members sit among the congregation instead of in a designated place in the Sanctuary, and encourage the congregation to sing better through their own strength, confidence and experience of voice and song.
At least two un-choir members attend each Sunday Mass and sit in different places in the church each week.
Do un-choir members have to rehearse?
The answer is “yes,” but not as often as a regular choir, thereby making participation much easier. The un-choir rehearses once a month on the first Thursday at 7:00 PM in the Music Room in the Parish Office. In this rehearsal, un-choir members learn all the hymns, songs, acclamations, etc., for all the liturgies in that month, so that when they sing among the congregation, they are strong and confident in what they are doing, thereby passing that same confidence on to the worshipers around them.
Around Christmas and Easter, un-choir members will be invited to come together to form a regular liturgical choir and additional rehearsals will be scheduled.
Can un-choir members still sing in parts even though they are sitting in the congregation?
They certainly can. However, remember that an un-choir member’s primary job is to encourage the singing of the people around them, so they will not want to sing choral parts if it will distract or discourage other worshipers. Choir members will only sing the choral harmonies if they know them really well.
Can anyone be an un-choir member?
Definitely. All you have to do is attend the monthly rehearsal. In fact, the un-choir is the perfect opportunity for those parishioners who want to musically contribute, but are not able to commit to a weekly rehearsal and do not like being in front of others. Un-choir members can sing confidently from the comfort of their own pew, and worship with their family at the same time. Also, whole families can be un-choir members. It is important to encourage younger family members to sing with you. Why not?
How do I sign up?
Just talk to James Bartel, Director of Music and Liturgy, by calling (503) 775-6731, Ext. 109, e-mailing him at firstname.lastname@example.org, or simply talking to him after Mass. You can also talk to Dennis Dupuis, Choir Director, by calling (503) 706-2795, or e-mailing him at email@example.com.
Current members of the "un-choir"