Well, my dears, it’s time again for the best part of the choral post-season: Quotes! As I’ve said in the past, I love quoting Floyd. He’s so funny. More than this, however, I find his words sage and witty, pertaining both to music and to life. Now as we near Floyd’s final (full) retirement, I cherish these quips as memories. What a blessing it has been to learn and sing under his direction!
This time around, I’ve listed the quotes under the song title where they were written into my music, and I offer them to you here in concert order. Enjoy!
Resonet in Laudibus
If you sing the way I conduct, you’ll sing a wonderful concert.
Always keep your accompanist happy.
Everybody sing everything.
O Magnum Mysterium
If you wait too long, you’ll sound late; if you’re too quick, you’ll be early.
Just go ahead and try it. You may actually get it right!
Where in the heck do you put the pitch?
There is still some residual pulsation going on.
I’m just gonna give you a three-four ‘cause I have a three-four to spare.
Those two notes are friends.
Ascend, Altos! You may ascend!
You may flip your R in that way if you like.
Sopranos, would you sing “la la la la.” No, wait. That’s not it.
If you were a medieval scholar, you’d be forbidden to write that interval because it would summon the devil.
Ave Maria – Stravinsky
If you’re gonna be wrong, be wrong loudly.
Once in awhile I may even cue your section.
You may generally breathe; don’t specifically breathe.
This is the hardest little piece I know.
There’s our friend the G!
Lynne: Watch out for the nunc!
Floyd: Notice the dynamics?
Lorna: They’re easy to miss.
Howard: Mine says ‘piano for rehearsal.’
Ave Maria – de Victoria
Our tempo meter has gone pfffffft!
It’s gotta be in tempo. You can’t just dribble off.
If I looked up to find you, I…I wouldn’t!
Take a breath on the rest; don’t rest on the breath. Ooooh! That was good! Write that down!
After awhile, the bar lines don’t matter anymore.
If there were a sharp in front of that G, it’d be the pitch you’re singing.
You had a real nice G#. Please don’t do that again.
Nobis? No breath.
Ave Maria – Biebl
We’ll follow the music and see what happens. Then again, maybe we won’t.
Go ahead and sing your fullest forte.
Glory to God in the Highest
Some of you head too much sloppy for supper.
The grammar will defeat you.
We could throw a few more pitches in there. Just for fun.
There’s where the pitch lives!
There’s no chord upon which to sit.
Eat enough to fortify your jazz chops.
Beth: Were we low enough?
Floyd: You’re fine. It’s just ugly.
Nameless Alto: We can’t see you.
Floyd: Why do you want to see me? You don’t watch anyway.
One, two, three, four…twelve…thirteen…square root of eight…
There’s some magical musical mysticism going on here.
I don’t know what I was doing; I was improvising.
I can’t tell what’s coming out of my mouth sometimes.
You could, without knowing it, tripletize the sixteenth note.
Swing: That’s not notated; it’s just felt.
There’s no rushing in Jazz Land.
It’s just here and there and back again.
We’ve got two Jesus Christs, and then Jesus Christ followed by the Holy Spirit—which is very important, theologically.
Don’t think of it as a measure. Think of it as a series of notes upon which I will pounce.
No matter what happens—SING.
Don’t think in rhythm.
The wrong note at the right time equals music. The right note at the wrong time equals noise.
Find your seats and put them in your chairs.
Make them up. (In reference to the words.)
I bet I can unlegatoize you.
I will shoot a cue to you that you can’t miss!
I’m not in the right key, but who cares?
You’ve got a rhythm to wait in expectation of.
You’ll have a rhythmic moment right there. It’ll be short, but you’ll have it.
The minute the tongue touches the teeth, cut it off.
At this point we have a surprising harmonic move. It always comes at a page turn.
I would never look down on good music!
What you just did—write that in.
If you’ve got the notes, I’m not gonna stop you.
Relax. Relax. Blalalalala. Blalalalalala.
Pax Christi, friends!