Welcome to Choir Room


I’m a choir director, choir member and early string player. My specialty is early music and especially Gregorian chant, but I’ve been known to pick at a guitar and even a banjo. I’ve been a church musician for most of my life, have sung in some really good symphonic choruses, and have taught music at the university level.

When I first joined the university chorus way back in in my student days, we were singing a piece in Latin. I had no clue how to pronounce it, but everyone else seemed to know what they were doing. Not the time place to raise your hand and ask how. I struggled through. Yeah, you can get little booklets and web pages that give you all the rules, but it’s not exactly exciting reading, and you’re really not going to learn Latin pronunciation by reading about it.

That’s just one of the things I had to teach myself by jumping in with both feet. I’ve been in the field quite a few years now, and I’ve had a lot of scrapes and bruises, because not everything I needed to learn was in the textbook or in the classroom. A lot of what’s missing in those places is here on this site.

What do you do with that singer in your church choir who can’t…well…sing? What do you do to stretch your vocal range, or to get your choir to sing in tune? What’s the hardest piece your choir can sing? How do you boost a weak section? Why doesn’t it help to tell singers to sing from their diaphragm, and what do you tell them instead?

How do you pronounce the Lord’s Prayer in Latin? The Pater Noster? Stay tuned! Choir Room has its own Youtube channel

I’d like to make the choral world a little easier for people who want to learn a lot in small bites. Consider Choir Room the school of not-so-hard knocks!

I’ll offer a blog with musings, information, resources, videos that instruct and videos that inspire. You’ll even see an occasional comic strip or gag here. Let’s be serious, but not too serious.

And to keep the lights on, Choir Room has its own Zazzle store. How would you like your very own Gregorian chant iPhone case?

So welcome, fellow choral travelers. Leave your gum, your egos and your American Rs in the trash can and come on in. And don’t forget your pencils!

Oh, one more thing…I mentioned things I had to teach myself by jumping in with both feet, and that includes this website and blog. So please be patient while I learn the ropes.