… or at least, that's what the old carol, ‘The holly and the ivy’, says. Church choirs get a mixed reception. Some are outstanding, a lot are mediocre. At Holy Trinity, we try to be the best, and certainly hope we’re not the worst!
Holy Trinity has had a traditional church choir for a number of decades, with a mix of voices (women, men and children) whenever possible. At one stage we also had a ‘music group’ singing more modern hymns at a separate family service. But we combined the two services at which choir & music group sang, and so merged the two groups.
Now we try to lead with a mix of different musical styles in our worship, aiming to give the best of all worlds (though sometimes not achieving that!).
It takes a lot of commitment to sing regularly in a church choir. Unlike secular choirs who work towards an occasional big concert, church choirs ‘perform’ every week. It may not seem onerous – just a few hymns in the main – but it is important that the choir gives a lead, and we do try to sing an anthem to suit the theme of the day’s worship when possible. The choir needs to learn new music too.
So a weekly practice is essential. I am touched that there are people prepared to give up Friday nights to sit in a (usually) chilly church on hard pews, practising so that they can help the worship along and make the congregation feel more comfortable on a Sunday. That’s the aim, anyway!
Choir members also have to commit to singing at other services including weddings which can impinge on Saturdays particularly.
There are all sorts of pitfalls, not least an indifferent acoustic in our church … but the good thing about getting involved in the choir is getting to know the music, having some foresight of Sunday’s worship, and giving members the chance to make something of their voice and to contribute to our worship with others.
Singing has always been a part of worship. As the psalmist said, 'Sing unto the Lord a new song'.
Stella, Music Director
PS: you can find out more on the choir's webpage!