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Updated: Jan 30


music, art, and letters from the middle west from the desk of www.nicholaslemme.com

In this newsletter... Introductions | Propers Solfeggio | Music for small choirs | New Publications | Pelican Printery House | Square Notes Podcast | Skiing Powder

Introductions Welcome to The Buffalo Roam Newsletter! A monthly newsletter from me, composer and musician Nicholas Lemme. You are receiving this because we have collaborated in the past, you have expressed interest in what I'm up to, or simply because I find what you're doing interesting and want to stay in touch. If you ever want to unsubscribe (I hope you won't) just click the unsubscribe link at the bottom of this email. I'll understand. Why Buffalo? "Oh give me a home where the buffalo roam, and the deer and the antelope play." My roots are in western South Dakota--"the black mines and hills of Dakota"--where, believe it or not, a good number of buffalo still roam. I now live in Nebraska, just north of where Brewster Higley penned his frontier lyric in 1873 that later became known as Home on the Range. In this newsletter I hope to let you know what I'm up to in my little corner of the musical universe. e.g.

  • newly composed music, both scores and recordings

  • sacred music projects around the country

  • tutorials and resources that will help you and your choir find beautiful, prayerful and mysterious music for the liturgical seasons

  • the smaller, yet fun, secular musical experiences I'm having

  • and much more...

So, that said, welcome to The Buffalo Roam Newsletter, "where never is heard a discouraging word, and the sky is not clouded all day." First up: Propers solfeggio In Advent 2021 I began recording the propers for the Liturgical Year (1962) using solfege syllables . This past December 2022 I put all the recorded score videos for Sundays and major feasts in one spot. Despite these recordings being less than perfect (i.e. they are simply me with a hand-held recorder in a classroom on good & bad voice days) it is my hope that schola members world-wide will find them beneficial in learning this great treasure that has been handed down to us, and that directors will find them useful as another tool for training their singers.

Advantages of using solfege

  • Improves sight-reading skills

  • Improves tuning

  • Improves Latin vowel formation

  • Improves ensemble cohesiveness

  • Improves knowledge of the ecclesiastical modes in their form and function


Directors, send these to your schola members in your weekly choir emails. HERE'S THE LINK. New to Solfege? No problem. Here's a simple beginning tutorial. New Compositions for your small Church Choir As some of you may know, I've been posting video recordings of my choirs singing both my compositions and those of the great masters of times past. Some of these scores are available now at www.nicholaslemme.com, but I have plans to add many more of my own scores and those of lesser-known works of Renaissance masters in an easily searchable format soon! Below is a rehearsal recording of my Tone 1 Fauxbourdon set to the Marian psalmody from the Communio: Beata viscera. This is part of an ongoing fauxbourdon project, which aims to set both the Magnifcat and Communio Psalmody for the liturgical year to all EIGHT ecclesiastical tones/modes.


It is my hope that these will benefit smaller scholas who are limited in number and time but want to elevate special feasts throughout the year. I'm slowly in the process of engraving each tone for the specific texts of the year. Presently, I have all fauxbourdons written except Tone 4 (coming soon). If you need a specific Communio psalmody set to one of these tones give me a shout and we'll make it happen! My thanks and all hats off to all of the wonderful singers I get to work with! Make sure to subscribe to my youtube channel if you're in that neighborhood to get the latest recordings. You can find the score to this recording HERE.

Publications During the past year I was honored to have a few of my works stand among a list of works by composers whom I deeply admire.

Art you can see and touch. Pelican Printery House is run by artist Elizabeth Lemme, my better half. At her printery you'll find hand illustrated letter press cards, stationary, and more. Her collection is growing every month, so check in often. You can also contact her about specific commissions. This past year Elizabeth made a beautiful set of altar cards for Archbishop Cordileone of San Francisco. Podcast(s) I'm listening to... The sacred music podcast, Square Notes, is still going strong. Season 5 has started off with the Story of Musical Notation (Dr. Thomas Forrest Kelly); a discussion with musician/sociologist, Dr. Kensley Behel, who is studying burn-out amongst church musicians and how to prevent it, and an inspirational interview with Franco-Lebanese organist and composer Naji Hakim. Dr. Donnelson-Nowicka asks the veteran composer/musician/organist about improvisation within the Catholic Mass and Hakim shares anecdotes from his time studying with Langlais in Paris. If you have not yet listened to some of these interviews be sure to do so at your earliest convenience. It is time well spent. The questions are insightful and the guests are experts in their field. I always learn something when listening. Lastly... When I was growing up skiing our little "mountains" in the Black Hills I'd dream of skiing big powder. We'd have maybe one day out of the year where the snow would accumulate to over 12 inches of goodness and freshies. Here's looking back to those days...and maybe forward to them, if my knees can hold out while I work towards someday purchasing a getaway mountain abode.


Did you like this? Feel free to share it with someone you think would benefit from its content. In the next newsletter...a free score beautifully engraved for you! And, maybe a bit about a piece I wrote for 80-some guitars suspended from the ceiling of a large room. Until next time...God be with you. Benedicámus Dómino! ~n.e.lemme © NicholasLemme | All Rights Reserved Lincoln, NE, USA Share on social www.nicholaslemme.com

This Passiontide alternatum is designed to accompany the adoration of the Cross for the Good Friday Liturgy.

Vexilla Regis, a hymn to the Holy Cross, which is believed to have been first sung as a processional chant on November 19, 569. It accompanied the translation of a relic of the True Cross from Byzantium to Poitiers, where the Frankish queen, St. Radegunda, had retired and founded the Abbey of the Holy Cross. Venantius Fortunatus, a 39 year-old cleric and Italian “poet in residence”, was inspired to write its eight verses to mark the occasion. In the 10th century the last two verses were replaced before being adopted into the Latin Church’s universal divine office for Passion-tide and the feast of the Exultation of the Holy Cross (Sept 14). In the interest of Latin prosody, the hymn was heavily revised in the 17th century but restored to its ancient form at the turn of the 20th century.


Find the score here.


This is part of an ongoing series of equal-voice fauxbourdons designed to accompany antiphons and psalmody for both the Mass and Divine Office. I plan on making these for all eight tones and setting them to the Magnificat as well as Sunday Communion Psalm verses that accompany the antiphons. Tones 1, 2, 7, and 8 are completed. Four more to go!

Plainchant Antiphon: Beata viscera from Communion Proper from the Common of the Blessed Virgin Mother

Psalm 44: Communion verses

Fauxbourdon: Nicholas Lemme


Recorded Feb.4, 2022 at Our Lady of Guadalupe Seminary, FSSP

Singers: Jacob Kasak, Adrian Fyda, Quinn Gomez, Christopher Eichman, Charles Ohotnicky, John Francis Sulzen, Andrew Daniels, Conan McGonagle, Marhall Harmon, David Carter, Thomas Clovis, Joseph Falciano, Dominic Rumore, Michael LaRochelle, Michael Mays, Joshua McDonald

Director: Nicholas Lemme


Purchase the score here.

More info about Our Lady of Guadalupe Seminary here.



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