Frequently Asked Questions

I’m not a great singer. Can I still join?

Absolutely. Choirs sound good because everyone works together, not because everyone in the choir has an equal and high level of ability or skill. We welcome members of all musical backgrounds and skill levels; if you can pay attention and listen to your neighbor, you’re good to go with us.

I can’t read music. How will I keep up?

For centuries chant was taught and handed down by ear. While the Guild provides every member with printed music, we make broad use of this venerable tradition, and one’s ability (or lack thereof) to read music is not a problem for us.

What if I don’t know what chant should sound like?

Chances are you’ve sung chant without even knowing it. Listen to the following, recorded by the Guild:

Both of these settings are widely used in the United States, and they are our standard Sanctus and Agnus Dei. Even if you haven’t sung these before, the chant ethos is not hard to pick up. Come to practice and just listen, and you’ll get to hear plenty of it.

I don’t speak Latin. Is this a problem?

Not at all. At a normal rehearsal we go over the pronunciation of texts as well as the music, and the director provides translations for new pieces. Pronouncing Latin is easy; unlike English, there are few exceptions to the rules.

Can I miss a practice here and there? Sometimes I’m busy because of (my job | my family | other things).

Certainly. We have several members who are not always able to make every practice, and we understand that. We do ask that if you aren’t able to make the last few practices right before an engagement, you let the director know. Usually, he’ll just ask you to sit out for the more difficult music.

Will you sing at my parish?

While we focus on Champaign-Urbana, the Guild has sufficient flexibility to go to most parishes in Champaign County. We only ask that both the local pastor and music director approve of our coming.