BUT WHAT ABOUT CHOIRS?

Discussion in '2000-02 Archive' started by Bill Rayborn, Nov 23, 2002.

  1. Bill Rayborn

    Bill Rayborn
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    WHAT ABOUT CHOIRS? In the past few years some churches have abandoned choirs and opted for a six or eitht person Praise Team - usually made up of the most attractive and talented (and sometimes youngest) musicians in the church.

    Has this trend hit your church? Has your choir grown in the past two years. Is the choir on its way out.....or on its way back? Will the pendulum swing back?
     
  2. Dr. Bob

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    We have praise teams (two) that alternate month by month. One is keyboard/guitar/drums and the other is organ/piano. Not a good solution, but working.

    I pushed to get a choir for Advent and we had over 20 come out! Everyone was thrilled and we have a volunteer director that has picked out some tough music. We start singing Dec 1 and I am looking forward to it.

    It will add a missing dimension to our worship.
     
  3. TaterTot

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    I believe the choir is the praise team. No scripture to back it. A praise team would never work here in the country; the choir is "where its at"! We have gained 3 new members recently, too. Praise teams dont bother me, unless 1) they are exclusive and 2) they replace the choir.
     
  4. JonathanDT

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    Our choir went down, not enough people to do it well. Now we have a praise team, which consists of the praise leader(Who sometimes strums the guitar like he's really playing ;) ), a singer who also plays flute(quite beautiful), another singer, a piano, an organ, and an electric keyboard(which is awesome). It sounds pretty good, though we're trying to add some more instruments, a bass and drums would be awesome. As is though, its far and away is superior to anything else we've ever had before.

    For Christmas we've always brought back the choir for a cantata, but this year apparently it's going to be just a small, 8 person singing group, that somehow I got wrangled into singing with. [​IMG]
     
  5. Molly

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    We have a choir...a really nice large one...no praise team,but the church we were at before this one was doing all that...band,praise team,etc. We felt it was very distracting and non-reverent at times. The music was louder than the congregation's voices and it sounded like a freight train. :eek: I guess it can be done in a reverent way....I haven't seen it yet,though. Our church worship music is great,mostly hymns,a few good spritual songs,some Psalms,an orchestra once a month or so....great songs that teach as well as praise a Holy God. We love our corporate worship time! The choir usually sings maybe 2 times a month and on special events,like Christmas.
     
  6. Ransom

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    We have both. The choir is getting bigger all the time, in fact.
     
  7. Johnv

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    Give me a choir, give me an orchestra, give me a pipe organ with lots of ranks. Call me traditionalist, but these are unfortunately becoming lost art forms. When was the last time you saw a church with a REAL organ, not an electronic one? And even less likely, when was the last time you saw a church whose organ console has more than two manuals (keyboards)??
     
  8. Ransom

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    All other things being equal, I'd rather have a real pipe organ than an electronic one. But do realize that a real pipe organ a) is fabulously expensive both to install and maintain; b) must be built into the structure of the church. In fact it is probably prohibitively expensive for the vast majority of churches.

    Also, a pipe organ would likely require a greater amount of skill than most organists have. An ex-girlfriend of mine once attended a day camp of some kind to hone her skills; she told me that when you played a note on the keyboard, it took 15 seconds for the air to travel from the compressor to the pipes. How many organists today could play 15 seconds ahead of the organ without being distracted?

    By contrast, modern electronic organs are less expensive, the quality of digital sound is constantly improving, and you can hear yourself as you play. Our church has a Rodgers organ, which is essentially a Roland synthesizer built into a console - two manuals, pedals, pistons, the works. Looks great, sounds great.
     
  9. Johnv

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    she told me that when you played a note on the keyboard, it took 15 seconds for the air to travel from the compressor to the pipes

    In modern organs with blowers systems that are connected to the console by computer, that's pretty much a thing of the past.
     
  10. Ransom

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    Ah, so you're not really opposed to the electronics. ;)
     
  11. Johnv

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    As in electronic equipment used in traditional instruments? No. But if I want a flute, I want to see someone with a long silver want thingy with holes, not a keyboard with a "flute" setting. If I want a drum, I want a dude sitting behind a drum kit, not someone with a keyboard set to "drum" setting. Likewise, if I want an organ, I want an instrument with pipes, that makes noice when the air passes through the pipes, not someone at a keyboard with the "organ" setting turned on.

    Now there are several organ companies that make electronic organs that meet the criteria of the American Guild of Organists, and those are fine. My beef is that, we seem to spend money for the best synthesizer, the best guitar, the best piano, etc, but our organs become the victims of 'the least we can get away with'. It's a frequent occurrence that a congregation will spend millions to renovate their sanctuary space, and will make sure they've made room for the praise bad to perform, but will consider altering the building for an organ installation too expensive. Unfortunate for the 'King of Instruments'.

    [ November 26, 2002, 04:33 PM: Message edited by: Johnv ]
     
  12. Grace

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    We have a choir. I'm one of three second sopranos. We'd have more seconds, but no one wants to sing with us. They all want to sing first soprano. Oh well, we carry along pretty good, and it's fun learning the harmony. We did a musical that featured a three person praise team. That was me, my friend, and our minister of music. After that though, the praise team happily went back to being "regular choir members" We do have a problem with our choir director playing favorites. There are three or four of us that he gives all the "good" solos to and the others get fill in stuff. It's an awkward position, because we do have talented people in our choir. But, there's only a couple of us that he gives the tough stuff to.
     
  13. Wisdom Seeker

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    Our choir grows each year. I am a part of it... and I love it. Our choir has about 300 members now...we are actually running out of room to stand...and are in the process of building a choir practice room...because we are so large that no room can adiquately contain us any more...praise God.

    We also have quite a few different groups that sing "specials" They are made up of the strongest singers and most devoted servants...and they sure are a mix of age, size and beauty etc...no, our Choir director picks people to sing according to prayer and the Lords leading...not the "youngest, or prettiest/handsome" That wouldn't be trying to please God... I would think..but trying to please man.

    Speaking of choir... our Christmas musical is coming up...and we are giving up our next two Saturdays to practice... I love this time... the only tinge I have is giving up the only day I have to spend with my husband...who doesn't sing. :( Oh well...it's only a few Saturdays a year...he'll probably have to work anyway....work, work, work...that's my guy. [​IMG]
     
  14. Wisdom Seeker

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    Hey Grace... I'm a second soprano too. Our section is growing but it's hard... all the music seems to be directed towards either the firsts or the alto's...our section get very little attention. Our second soprano section has about, oh I don't know 15 woman in it...on a good day. We try to recruit from the alto section...which is the biggest section for the woman.

    And what is the problem with men? the men only take up about 1/4 of the people...we need more men in the choir...maybe they think it's unmanly to sing or something... I just don't get it. My father was the choir director and a tenor when I was growing up. He used to sing in a Barbershop Quartet in college too and other chorals...and has a really strong and full bodied voice...I think it's very manly for the men to sing...yea men! lol
     
  15. Ruth

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    Well, I belong to a small church (about 100 to 125 active members) so our choir is not nearly as big as the one mentioned above! But we do still have a traditional choir, though it is losing members - we have lost three since our new music minister has come. Now our choir has about a dozen people left. We also have the same problem with men that WisdomSeeker mentioned - how about it, guys? Nothing better than a strong male voice to make a song! We have 3 men in our choir.

    Our alto section is pretty loaded too, and I am the only first soprano left. It is really hard to make things sound like they should, particularly when my lower range is so weak (by lower range, I mean ANYTHING below treble clef. I just can't do it like I could when I was younger!).

    It is really an odd feeling to be the only first soprano. It used to be, back in the "olden days" that sopranos were a dime a dozen. Now it seems that we are an endangered species, like tenors!

    We have a small church instrumental group, mostly brass, that I arrange hymns for. But we don't have a praise band - the closest we come is when my son does something on electric guitar that he has composed or arranged. From visits to other churches in the area, it appears that we are one of the very few who has not started a praise band type thing. Our worship services are still done with mostly traditional hymns, some choruses, and accompanied by a piano and organ. Special music does vary widely though; it is left to the discretion of the performer as to what is done. I have hopes of sometime convincing our brass players to accompany me while I do the special music - there is something about the sound of trumpets, horns and trombones that seems to reach out to even the most stubborn of hearts! And after all, that is what we are trying to do, isn't it?

    Ruth
     
  16. Wisdom Seeker

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    Our brass section has been playing in the "breeze way" another term for the paved section of ground between the two auditoriums. I love it...we have a strong brass section...and our lead or first trupet position is a woman. She's also one of the soloists...she's got a real talent.

    Going to be in a Christmas musical this weekend...wish their was someway to share with you all. Music...Doesn't it just make you feel like worshipping? Powerful, powerful the awesomeness of music.
     
  17. Bro. Curtis

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    Our musical service is coming up, also. I like the children's number the best.

    We have a version of "It Came Upon a Midnite Clear" that I have arranged for guitar, mandolin, and violin, that I'm pretty psyched about.

    We also have the accapella men's quintet doing a version of "Go tell it on the Mountain".

    I love music.
     
  18. Wisdom Seeker

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    Very cool Bro. Curtis. Our Childrens Choir did their presentation last Sunday evening...and they have never sounded better. It was called "A Peanut Butter Christmas" it was awesome...two of my kids are in the Childrens choir.

    We also have some children singing a part of one of the songs we're doing for our musical. We're doing the Chrismas Shoes...actually only part of that one, mixed with another one and a drama presentation that was written by someone in our church.

    I guess I never mentioned to you that Mandolin is one of my favorite instruments...we don't have a mandolin in our orchestra. Isn't that what Seals and Crofts played? ( I'm trying to remember...it's been awhile, I may not have the groups name correct)

    We have the college choir presentation tonight...they are doing something with hand bells. The college choir is the best...probably because they are instructed for much more intense practices and spend more time. They sound heavenly...you know...the kind of music that gives you goosebumps and tears in your eyes.

    If this is what humans can do here on earth... how awesome music will be in Heaven...awesome thought.
     
  19. Gayla

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    Seeker,
    Is bro. Paul chappell your Pastor?
    I've heard only good things about him and the church he pastors.
     
  20. Bro. Curtis

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    WisdomSeeker...

    Seals and Croft, eh ? well, I guess they had a mandolin, but I prefer the styles of Bill Monroe, or Doyle Lawson, or even Jethro Burns. David Grisman is great, also. Ricky Skaggs, Sam Bush, John Reischman, Mike Marshall.

    I tend to lean towards the Country-Folkie thing.

    My music director hates bluegrass music. So I'm very suprised that he's letting me do this, but my arrangements of other hymns have gone over real well, so he's trusting me.
     

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