Audition to sing?

Discussion in 'Music Ministry' started by matt wade, Feb 8, 2009.

  1. matt wade

    matt wade
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    Something I've been seeing in more and more churches is a requirement that a person must "audition" to "qualify" to sing.

    Most commonly this is for people singing solos. Am I alone in thinking that anyone singing to glorify God should be allowed to sing? Are we putting on a show or worshiping our creator?

    I've also seen auditions for the choir as well. Auditioning for a solo I can almost understand the reasoning, but for the choir? Give me a break!
     
  2. StefanM

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    Don't churches generally require pastors to preach in view of a call?

    That's basically a preaching audition.
     
  3. Joshua Rhodes

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    No auditions for my choir. Anyone can get in! However I do give a range/vocalization test to every new member to place them in the right section.

    For solos/ensembles? You bet they sing for me first. I wouldn't put anyone in front of the congregation without hearing them first. I see that as part of my job. The one time I did allow a person to sing without hearing them first was a complete fiasco... the person "preached" a 5 minute rambling sermon, and then mangled a song... embarrassing themselves and everyone in the congregation. After hearing some of the adverse reaction from the congregation, he hasn't been back. If I had heard him first, I might have been able to work with him, helping him get better and more ready. I don't really see this as an audition, but more of a screen. I'm sure some would have issue with that, but if you come to sing in our church while I'm on staff, that's how it will be.
     
  4. Tom Butler

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    Joshua, this is sound advice. A church service is a place where one may exercise gifts and talents--not to display egos.

    I have found that those who do not have musical talent often don't know they don't have talent. Most everyone knows they don't except them. You can hide the folks in a choir, but you don't want to put their non-talent on display where it can kill a worship service.
     
  5. matt wade

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    See, I thought the church service was to worship God, not exercise gifts and talents. I really think it is a shame when people are stopped for participating in the worship of God because "they aren't good enough'.
     
  6. StefanM

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    No one is entitled to a sing a solo. One can worship God without doing that.
     
  7. matt wade

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    OK, but why are some people "entitled" and others not? Is one worshiping God better than another? When decisions are made that one person is allowed to sing a solo, but another is not, is the decision made based on man's ideals or God's? Does God distinguish between (what we believe to be) a beautiful voice and one not so beautiful, if both are singing praise to Him?
     
  8. StefanM

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    NO ONE is entitled. If one has a gift, then one may exercise it.

    The decision is based on what will be the least distracting to the congregation. If someone who cannot carry a tune in a bucket is up there singing, do you think that the people in the congregation are going to notice? Of course they will. It will be distracting from their worship.

    Now, I figure you'll say that they should be focused on God, etc.,etc., but we have to be real here. It is wise to minimize distractions.
     
  9. rbell

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    And, I think most of us here would make exceptions...years ago, I had a girl who had Down's syndrome and other physical and mental challenges. She wanted to sing one morning. Her pure love for Jesus was so very evident...there wasn't a dry eye anywhere.

    Funny, though, how we have no problem auditioning instrumentalists but singers give us more pause. No editorial there...just an observation.
     
  10. padredurand

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    :thumbsup: :thumbsup:

    Some folk think they have musical gifts.... Brings to mind my first church. The choir was all geared up for the anthem they had prepared...

    After they finished I got up to speak. I had tears rolling down my cheeks. The choir director asked, "Pastor, were you moved by our song?"

    "No," I replied, "I'm a music lover!" I called them the Prison Choir - behind a few bars looking for a key...

    They were terrible- passionate- but terrible nonetheless. There were only 7 or 8 members. They wanted to sing! Oh, my! The voices were 20 years past shot. The soprano section was led by a woman whose hearing aid hit higher notes than she could.... They'd start wailing and the hound dog next door would join in. As a side note, the howling hound actually helped with the overall sound of the prison choir.

    Had a feller sing one time who started with, "The Lord give me this song..." Three measures into it and I was thinking, "If the Lord gave you this song it is because he did not want it stinking up Heaven..."

    Folks do not have to audition to sing at church. They do, however, have to demonstrate that music is actually one of their gifts. You wouldn't want a treasurer that couldn't do math now would ya?
     
  11. annsni

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    If a worship service was only about each individual worshipping in their own way, then I could see not auditioning musicians/singers and even speakers. However, it is CORPORATE worship and as such, we work to be sure that what is done is glorifying to God and allowing other people to enter into worship too.

    My husband is the worship pastor. In our old church, before he was ordained, they hired on a woman as the organist/worship director who couldn't play the organ to save her life. It was a large church organ and had the foot pedals as well as the regular keys. She'd regularly hit more than one note (DH said it sounded like she had dinner dishes on her feet) and her tempo would change throughout a song. This made it nearly impossible for my husband to worship because as a musician, he was completely distracted by the terrible music. We had been thinking about leaving the church for many reasons but this ended up being the straw that made us leave. It was just too much.

    In our current church, we want the service to be God glorifying. We will not allow someone to sing who is terrible because, honestly, it will not glorify God (unless there is a situation like rbell had where it was a woman with disabilities and it WOULD glorify God). I will be honest and say that we even stopped a woman from singing who has an amazing voice and who has sung the national anthem for a number of ballgames in NY - but who's pride is evident and it is distracting enough to bring glory to herself and not the Lord. We do not look for perfection - the woman who sang special music last week would have been trashed by Simon on American Idol but it was still touchingly beautiful.

    So yes, we require auditions for singing special music and definitely auditions for singing on one of the worship teams. We do not want the music to be a distraction but a beautiful addition. It takes skill and talent to do that.
     
  12. rbell

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    good point, ann

    Not too long ago, I dismissed a member of our student praise band.

    They were living a life that was contrary to how a Christian should conduct themselves.

    We attempted to be redemptive, but it became obvious that the ideal situation wasn't going to happen right now.

    This person was extremely talented...but they weren't right with God, and that is never worth the tradeoff.

    So...it works both ways.
     
  13. Joshua Rhodes

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    Again, Matt, I don't see this as an audition for MY standards and MY preferences (God knows I've let a few things through that I hated, but that I could tell would edify someone) but it's more along the lines of making sure that this person does not embarrass themselves, has no agenda or axe to grind, and is truly doing it for God and not their own selfish needs to be praised. Also, does it fit with the theme of the service? I've moved a few soloists back a few weeks because they needed some more time, and because it fit the service better. Again, because I'm the worship pastor, this is my job. I agree with Ann's remarks about the solo not distracting in the service.
     
  14. Aaron

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    That's why ya shouldn't have choirs during church.
     
  15. Jon-Marc

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    As a song leader in churches, I have to say that although God said to "Make a joyful noise unto the Lord", that does not qualify just anyone getting up and inflicting their horrid voice on everyone. I have heard some of the most horrendous sounding voices as people who think they can sing force others to listen to them. My dad was one of them, and as the song leader l wouldn't let him sing. The only time he ever got that chance was when I wasn't there, and he proudly told me about it later. I didn't care as long as I didn't have to listen to him. I know that sounds harsh, but people who can't sing should confine their "singing" with the congregation.

    I agree with finding out first if a person can even carry a tune before allowing them to sing in the choir or especially as a soloist. I've heard a lot of so-called professionals who were mediocre at best, and some weren't that good. I've also heard singers that I envied and wished I could sound that good. I've been a soloist most of my life (with some choir singing), and God has blessed me with a better than average voice. However, I occasionally hear someone whose voice I would like to have, and I suppose that would be called "coveting".
     

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