Formerprincess asked if I had a plan for improving the early service music, or if I intended to just see what happened.
My plan is not complete, because I am still gathering information, but here it is so far:
1. I have a growing list of talented people who are willing to provide special music for that service, and a short list of people willing to help me keep the calendar for it. I figure I can schedule special music for most Sundays.
2. I am supporting the fledgling choir in any way they want me to. So far, that includes singing with them, helping them get music legally (which turns out to be a specialized skill), and being the one bold enough to point out when we need to work on a section.
3. I am supporting the longterm goal of having a paid songleader for that service by working along with other ministries to increase attendance enough that they can afford one, and by helping to find such a person.
That seems like a good starting point. One of the things people have asked for is a “consistent” musical experience for that service. I’m not quite sure what they mean by that, but if I can arrange that they will have special music every week and a songleader, that may do it. I’ll be attending that service for a while to see what I can see.
Their pianist is very competent, and she found us a nice little three part SA Rutter piece to work on for Easter. Three more people asked to join the group as I was leaving the sanctuary, and our choir director agreed to get a dozen copies of the music for us. We are working on an easier piece for February 3rd, as well, a country song requested by the Christian Education Minister. I’m hoping that, once the group has had the experience of working together on a piece until everyone is actually singing the right notes and paying attention to dynamics and vowel tuning and blending and whatnot, they will find it satisfying enough that they will prefer it, and want to do it on a regular basis.
Yesterday, the early service had the little choir singing a hymn in two-part harmony, and a few 1970s praise choruses led by the pastor. He told the congregation that they weren’t singing loudly enough, and they sang their choruses a couple of times, sitting down, with piano accompaniment.
Had I been a visitor, I would have thought that there wasn’t nearly enough music for me, and gone elsewhere next time.
The pastor has expressed the view that the early service needs a dynamic songleader who can whip up some enthusiasm, but this group is sitting down, not clapping, singing “Awesome God” a couple of times in unison. It seems to me that there is a limit to the amount of enthusiasm this experience can engender, especially at 8:45 in the morning.
I also have a plan for the children’s music, but that is really in the information-gathering stage. I got some rhythm instruments to the woman who leads their Sunday School gathering music, and that’s all I’ve done for them so far. I think it could be a positive step, though.
The jacket isn’t going as well. I sewed all the parts together, and the lack of set-in sleeves made that pretty easy until I got to the collar. The notches didn’t match. Now, is that because I cut them inaccurately, because the pieces were drafted badly, or because I sewed it on upside down?
I can’t decide. I am letting it sit while I think about that.
The boys have the day off, and I have not yet had a phone call saying that their frozen corpses were found in the canyon, so I guess that their camping trip is going well.
I am hoping that they will stay out long enough for me to get my work done without the extra energy required to ignore them. Then I have a business meeting this evening. So the jacket will have time to sit in the corner and think about its behavior, and perhaps when I go back to it, I will be able to tell what I’ve done wrong.