These thoughts have weighed heavily on my mind for years, particularly since I’ve hitched my philosophical wagon to CMAA. However, what follows may affirm the suspicions that I’ve remained a stealth outlier since my joining up. Well, to thy own self….
*Future DM’s who wish to be effective will have to commit to being both multi-dimensional in their philosophies regarding sacred and liturgical music AND in their personal musical skill sets. This doesn’t mean some sort of dilineation between the DM as “guitarist….organist….pianist…..solo vocalist……choir master……schola master…..etc.” This means that the functionally successful DM will have a thorough understanding of the modus operandi of “all of the above” and be able to implement, encourage and further the development of their cohorts’ skill sets.
*Future DM’s who wish to further the re-alignment of solid liturgical praxis in both ideal and hostile environs will have to develope the best charismatic aspects of their communication skills in order to represent all the values that the traditions, documents and (Lord help us) spirit of the “times” to clerics, other church functionaries, their own staff and personnel, and the Faithful aggregate and individual. Being a DM who will effect growth and positive reformation will preclude those who prefer to sit on fences, prefer confrontation and combat over long-haul collaboration, collegiality, consensus and sometimes compromise.
*Future DM’s must, despite any mis-connotations of above statements, hold and defend, and when asked, identify, core convictions to which they personally adhere, and have the persuasive skills to defend those without causing defensive reactions and any potential divisiveness. They must seize opportunities and then risk (to a calculated degree) some personal capital in order to influence small to seismic shifts in a parish’s liturgical scenario. This basically means that a DM must understand the Church’s traditions in the macro-sense, know them as intimately as possible, and then advocate for them by whatever means and ways at any and every opportunity.
*Future DM’s must accept that cultural infusion is actually a traditional and normative aspect that complicates, at first, then confuses, then complicates by accretion the “purity” of the liturgical processes in any given parish/cathedral scenario. How that will affect the DM’s effectiveness will depend upon circumstances more often out of the DM’s control and certainly in relationship, fealty and humility to the disciplines that authorities and the Church traditions and magisterial documents articulate, either by law or fiat.
That’s enough for now. Think away or not. But, we must face the reality that though we are all equal in God’s eyes at conception, we are not all equally gifted, and the times? They’re still a-changin’ and we shouldn’t have any expectation that such temporal concerns will be eventually excised from consideration when we discuss how we choose to instrumentally worship the Creator of all.