I met with the choirlet last night, and enjoyed the rehearsal very much.
As soon as I walked in the door, though, they asked, “So, what did you think of the praise band?”
In meaning voices.
They had a lot of very interesting things to say about music and worship. There was some rough language, frankly, so I won’t reproduce the conversation here.
But I mentioned that the Worship Task Force is trying to move toward a more cohesive style of worship. We have consistently excellent sermons, and the music is now pretty satisfying in both services, or definitely on the way. But we want to have the music, the sermon, and a number of other multisensory elements work together and support one another.
So far, the “technology” —
And may I just say here how much I hate the use of the term “technology” for “computers”? An atlatl is an example of technology,too, and it is just confusing and stupid to say “technology” when what you really mean is “computer.” I have to put up with that a lot, too, in several contexts in which I don’t feel that I can complain. Thank you for listening.
— the “technology” tends to be screwed up. The participatory elements come and go. The anthem is often unrelated to the message and the opportunities for reinforcement of the seasonal and scriptural points get lost.
Which is perfectly normal. In worship, and — as CD pointed out — in many styles of music, too, there is a feeling that “polished” is the opposite of “authentic.” No one in our happy little church wants to have the megachurch/televangelist experience of feeling as though the service is a stage show. But I think that having the elements support one another will make the service more satisfying, without the people’s really even thinking about the change. And I think that the whole “No, that’s the wrong screen — uh, sorry, we thought we’d have the words up —” is distracting.
The choirlet played a bluegrass song for us at one point, and CD took the opportunity to mention how excellent the quality of their music was. “The pitch is spot on,” she said. She raved about their timing. I agreed fervently.
I think the choirlet are converts to the idea of precision and quality in the music. They are fun to work with, and good at arranging pieces. They have been able to embrace the idea of working on pitch and dynamics without losing the pleasure they take in belting out a good country gospel tune.
Next, the praise band?