This is easily the highest prestige stuff that I'm doing right now. I sing in the baritone section & we're doing a lot of really nice 20th C. classical stuff (Dominick Argento, Pablo Casals, Francis Poulenc, John Rutter). The standard of musicality is top drawer (and we're the second-tier choir). My key goals here are to develop my abiliities as a singer and to learn as much about choral directing as possible by working under Matt Walsh. In the short time that I've been with the group, I feel I've advanced remarkably on both fronts.Holy Name Singers
As close to a folk choir as Holy Name gets. With this group I play guitar and sing tenor or bass depending on who's there on a Sunday. I think that musically the group is a bit lacking, not for the abilities of its members but because it ends up being neither fish nor fowl, it isn't quite a classical choir nor a folk choir and in dwelling in the middle ground succeeds at neither.
Well, I've played there twice at this writing, so I guess this qualifies as at least being an irregular gig. The only church gig where I've been asked to turn up the bass.
This had been an unnamed group until it acquired the appelation above courtesy of Mary Prete when she directed us at the Corpus Christi mass at Soldier Field (June 2000). The quality (and size) of the group varies from occasion to occasion, but we frequently are graced with notables like Mark Fechner on sax and Bill (Plu) Harmon on drums. The group sings 2-4 times a year including the Focus conference and Theology on Tap closing mass.
I've filled in for absent choir directors/organists on a few occasions, not as much as I'd like (although the Gallery Singers commitment has also reduced the time I have available for such things as well). Past churches have included St Pius X (Stickney) and St Benedict (Irving Park in Chicago). I am not an organist although I hope one day to remedy that.
I suppose that I should admit that this has become a "past" gig. It was fun, but the scheduling was difficult to work out (especially with half the Sunday mornings being taken over by singing at Holy Name).
I played at St Michael's for about a year and a half before leaving with some frustration over the musical direction. We tended to play only songs from the 70s and the director was not only loathe to stretch the musical boundaries of the members of the music ministry, but seemed incapable of detecting the members' strengths and weaknesses (or even vocal ranges). During my time at St Michael's I played guitar, bass, keyboard, percussion and sang tenor or bass as needed.
I was at Old St Pat's for a year playing bass. Musically it was great, but I never really cared for OSP as a parish and Bill Fraher, the director, while excellent musically was interpersonally a disaster. When I moved and getting there on Sundays became difficult, I decided to move on.