Who Is a Choir Member?
Written by Brent Brondyke, Music Pastor
[This blog equally applies to orchestra members. You may insert “orchestra member” anywhere you read “choir member.”]
A choir member is a special kind of person. Of course, he likes to sing. Choosing choir as a ministry would be rather odd if that weren’t the case! But, he is more than a person who likes to sing.
A choir member likes to make music with others. She finds joy in this, even though in some ways it is even more difficult than solo singing. Yes, choir and solo singing and congregational singing share some similarities, many really. But, there are also some definite differences. One of the key differences is the collaborative nature of the choir. A soloist collaborates with the accompanist, but, in reality, the soloist is the leader. The congregational singer sings together with others, but, honestly, are most congregational singers consciously working together? Maybe they should be, but that will be a topic for another blog (wink).
The collaborative effort of choir distinguishes it from many ministry areas. In ministry we all are always working together, technically, but not in such a specific way as the choir is. Consider teaching, for instance. Teachers meet together for direction and encouragement. They have a similar goal. They teach from a uniform curriculum, perhaps. But, are they really collaborating? Possibly, but not in as specific a way as choir members who constantly have to rehearse together, listen to others while performing, watch a single director, blend their voices into one sound at a single moment in time. There is constant give and take, cooperation, encouragement, and also potential pitfalls if collaboration is lacking.
A choir member not only has a unique collaborative ministry with unique joys and challenges based on collaboration, he also makes unique sacrifices and commitments. All ministry is demanding and requires sacrifice, and in no way is this meant to elevate choir ministry above other ministries. The choir member simply has his own unique set of challenges, and he should be esteemed (and maybe thanked) “for his work’s sake.”
A choir member comes early most Sunday afternoons for rehearsal. While others finish their naps, she is loading herself, and maybe the rest of the family, into the car right around 4:30 or earlier. She leaves her ABF class a few minutes early each week to warm up. She wears a robe (everyone’s favorite!). She sits apart from her family for the beginning of nearly every Sunday service. However, that does not mitigate her responsibility to make sure her children are where they need to be. She comes to special rehearsals near holiday times, just when everything is already at its busiest. She ministers faithfully in choir, while often also faithfully fulfilling other ministry roles. She sings in choir about 80 minutes most weeks, so it’s good that she likes it!
And, yes, he likes it! And she looks forward to starting a new choir year each year! A choir member is a special kind of person. Maybe you’d like to be one. It is not too late. See me about it right away! Or send me an email (firstname.lastname@example.org). Or shoot me a text at 919-830-8708. I’d love to talk about the possibility of your joining us for the coming year… if you’re a tenor (just kidding… if you’re a tenor, I’ll find you!). Oh, by the way, we are performing Handel’s Messiah this Christmas!