Music at St. Stanislaus

I’ve mentioned before that I am a church musician. Every weekend, I am responsible for providing the music at two of the six English Masses at St. Stanislaus Parish in Modesto. I play guitar and sing on Saturday evenings at 5:30 PM and Sunday mornings at 11:30 AM. Music leaders at the other Masses are: Cathy at 7:00 AM, Mike at 8:30 AM, Kyle with the choir at 10:00 AM, and Jami and the band at the 5:30 PM Life Teen Mass.

Each of the five of us plans our own selections for music with little or no coordination between the Masses. This is not the way I would like things to be. There are two Masses every weekend that have the same music selections. I’ll let you reread the first paragraph to figure out why. There is no Music Director at the parish to provide the umbrella of direction for us. I’m told that the pastor, Fr. Arouje, has announced that he intends to hire a Music Director, so we’ll see how that goes.

Well, I just heard last night that Mike needs to take an indefinite leave of absence from leading the music at the 8:30 AM Mass. There are some people who play with Mike every week; Jodi plays piano and Joe plays guitar. But Mike’s absence leaves them with no singer. So I have proposed that Cathy, Jodi, and I get together to cooperatively plan the song selections for the four Masses we cover, and I will join the 8:30 AM group to sing (and maybe play guitar as well). At the same time, I have asked Kyle to arrange some viola parts for me so that I can join the other string players at the 10:00 AM Mass. I haven’t touched my viola in months so this will be good for me as well.

So the question is: How soon will I be exhausted with this schedule?

Stay tuned.


  • Suzanne says:

    >I give you one week, maybe two with encouragement. It is a foreign concept to me that people are paid to play music at church. If you were LDS, you’d do it for free, but only once per week. This is why I am not sad that I have no aptitude for string instruments. Otherwise I’d be playing the piano every week. Instead, I play the flute whenever called upon to do so.This could be a topic for debate. Which system is better: To pay people to do church work, or to have the members do it gratis?

  • Seaners says:

    I do receive a stipend of $25/Mass for the two I already do. I’m not sure if I would receive a stipend for the 8:30 AM. I suppose I would. But I certainly will not for the 10:00 AM. I have 3 other people who do music with me at 11:30 AM. They do not receive a stipend or anything. Only the person who is accountable for leading and preparing the music is paid. I have done music at other parishes which rely on volunteers only. If that’s the way it worked at St. Stanislaus, then I would still be doing music.

  • >So…is your schedule too much yet??? Well I have not seen a new blog so I am thinking maybe YES. It has been made very clear to me in this last year that you have to make time for yourself and what is most important in your life. Remember your pie chart as well when you are thinking of what and who you have time for.Take care!

  • Seaners says:

    >Dear Regina,Not yet. But I’ve only been on it for one weekend. I enjoyed it yesterday. I like playing with different people. Once we start practicing, we might even sound better! ;)Speaking of no new blogs…..Thanks for being my biggest fan!! 😉

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