Prelude Blog

The Choir Rehearsal

Posted on Jun 10, 2013 7:21:31 AM by Travis Beck in Choral Techniques and Repertoire, in community, in efficiency, in housekeeping, in love, in rehearsal, in small group, in warmups

Some of my conducting textbooks spend numerous pages on how to structure the choir rehearsal, covering a host of factors to consider. Personally, I don’t bother putting that much thought into it. It’s already all I can do to spend time getting to know the music and make musical decisions about it, let alone think about a detailed rehearsal structure. So I’ve resigned myself to simply what seems to work, which, for me, is this:

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Epiphany Singing

Posted on Jan 7, 2013 6:46:02 AM by Tim Getz in Assembly Song, in community, in epiphany, in singing

One church I served had an annual dinner and celebration for the feast of the Epiphany. It was my job to arrange for some kind of entertainment to take place at the party, but there was a year that Christmas came and went and I found myself completely unprepared for Epiphany. So I decided we’d have a sing-along. Before the event, I worried that it would float about as well as a lead balloon; people were used to REAL entertainment at these parties! I pulled out some caroling booklets from a dusty shelf in the office and loaded up a cart with hymnals, and prayed that no one would be too upset at my crazy, awful, boring idea. My trepidation continued as I started distributing hymnals at people’s tables after dinner to responses like “Oh, no!” and “What are we going to have to do?” But I soldiered ahead, announced my scheme, and waited for someone to call out a song. And wouldn’t you know… people loved it! Within a minute there were so many requests I couldn’t keep track of them all. We sang Christmas songs from the familiar (Hark! The Herald Angels Sing) to the long-forgotten (The Snow Lay on the Ground). Patriotic tunes were sung with gusto (Onward, Christian Soldiers and America the Beautiful) along with some of the secular Christmas songs (Frosty the Snowman)! Then there were those who asked, movingly, to sing songs that will be sung at their funerals (Love Divine, All Loves Excelling and Abide with Me). We sang for an hour and probably could have gone on an hour more. The next Sunday people were still talking about the fun they had. All in all, one of the more successful events we’d ever had!

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