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JERICHO1991's Photo JERICHO1991 SparkPoints: (451,088)
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4/23/17 10:18 A

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regular worship service attendance.

Fort Wayne, Indiana Eastern Time Zone
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JERICHO1991's Photo JERICHO1991 SparkPoints: (451,088)
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1/22/17 1:43 P

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spiritual, physical, and musical dexterity growth.

Fort Wayne, Indiana Eastern Time Zone
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APRILANDANN7's Photo APRILANDANN7 SparkPoints: (11,379)
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1/8/16 7:01 A

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Hi there from New Zealand
I Play the cornet in the Salvation Army Brass Band
and use l new Zealand sign language I sing in sign language




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SPARTICUS13's Photo SPARTICUS13 SparkPoints: (0)
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8/18/12 3:12 P

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Too Right!!!

Many of the people who see themselves as modern day Levites miss the point of serving.
Remember that the Levite left the wounded man on the side of the road.
The continue to do so to this day.

Give me a Samaritan over a Levite anyday. It can be a lot more fun.

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R-U-JELLEN's Photo R-U-JELLEN Posts: 1,175
8/17/12 6:28 P

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Your reply sparked a memory of something that happened when we had a ladies' chorus in our church. It was after the Whoopie Goldberg movie "Sister Act" came out. I found a really fun medley of several of the most popular songs from the movie. Everyone loved it--both the chorus and the congregation. We had one woman that quit the chorus over that music. She said she couldn't participate in music that supported the ideas and lifestyle of Whoopie Goldberg. If only they knew about the lives of the "great" composers of the past. We would never be singing Bach, Handel, etc. Wagner was anti-Semite, yet how many weddings use his music and Mendelsohnn,(who was Jewish) in the same service. The music and the words stand on their own merit. And, let's face it, style and genre are just a matter or personal preference. We can't judge songs by the man who wrote them or the singers that perform them.

Edited by: R-U-JELLEN at: 8/17/2012 (18:30)
"Music gives a soul to the universe, wings to the mind, and life to everything" ~Plato

"Shout with joy to the Lord, all the earth, burst into jubilant song with music" ~Psalm 98

Jo


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8/16/12 11:00 P

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I got born again. It helped a lot.

One night I was a strung out doped up punk rock front man.
Next morning I walked into the Wonderful and Weird World of Worship.
Had no Idea what I was going on or what I was doing.
Twenty one years later I've found that those moments of break-through in skill and growth always centered around the realization that although I've figured out what was going on I still have no Idea what I'm doing.

The church was just over 250 when I showed up and over 10,000 when I left.
My current adventure started with fewer than 200 and is somewhere close to 350 now.
I am just as likely to do a James Brown song as I am a Charles Wesley number. The crowd I run with tolerates my quirkiness with much grace. It remains comforting to me to know that many of the great hymns were simply cover songs of the popular culture of the day.

I love how Gilles explains it, "Charles Wesley wrote 6500 hymns. Many of them only made sense after his brother, friends or later hymnal committees reined his genius in, calmed his exuberance down and whittled his excesses away. And others were beyond repair."

There's a hidden tool for improvement in the relationships that you allow to speak truths into your ministry I think.



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QUENNEVILLE's Photo QUENNEVILLE Posts: 12,937
8/12/12 3:54 P

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I have done much in my years of music ministry. I started out as organist in a small town Catholic parish where my mom sang with choir. My piano teacher was also an organist so she taught me the basics and kept on encouraging me to do church stuff. I am well suited to hymn playing, but not so great at the fancy organ stuff. My body size does not accommodate - no long legs and short fingers. But that did not stop me from seeking out some more professional lessons as I got older. I was able to obtain a bursary through the church and got 10 free lessons. After that I carried on and took more lessons until I figured I was as good as I was gonna be. My gift is definitely in hymn playing and accompanying the congregational singing. I have gone to many music workshops to help improve my skills and these give me a chance to interact with other church musicians. My parish is very blessed to have numerous organists, so at one point I decided to venture out and try my talent with a Protestant church that was looking for an organist/choir director. I have been to various churches and learned much from each one, however, it seemed I was not the person they were looking for. About 8 years ago I landed a position in a small town United church, they love me dearly and say they won't get rid of me. We just have a lot of fun together and no one is looking for absolute professionalism. I have enough choir members that I can do some four part harmony, it takes a long time to put together some anthems. We like to keep it simple but also give ourselves some challenges. I have a volunteer pianist who plays along with me at the organ, we get along great and she fills in for me when I need a Sunday off. In my own parish, I started up a children's choir and have a lot of fun with them. I seek out a teenage musically talented person to help me out with the group and I have an individual with intellectual disability that loves to play the xylophone along with us. She has amazing talent and her xylophone has a nice tone to it. It was I who helped fulfill her dream of playing in church. I also tried to start up a funeral choir for my parish but it did not work out. Maybe some day in the future it will happen. Two weeks ago, I went to a three day liturgical school for church musicians. I took lots of notes and bring back the information to my parish. Going to these schools and other workshops always help me to stay motivated and involved in church music. I doubt I will ever give up on church music - well maybe when I'm 85 yrs old?? My original piano/organ teacher continued to play organ in her small church until she was quite old so I will probably follow in her footsteps. And, I am always looking for ways to help improve my skills as an average musician. Praise the Lord! Oh, I also tried out to be a cantor - I discovered that yes I can sing, I just have a low voice range. I don't do much cantoring because I am mainly an accompanist though. And I try to sing with my parish adult choir for Christmas and Easter if it does not conflict with what I do in the United Church. The choir always welcomes me as I am a 'true' alto. Can you tell I am a very busy church musician?

MaryBeth from Ontario


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QUENNEVILLE's Photo QUENNEVILLE Posts: 12,937
8/7/12 10:54 P

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Lori, I would love to see some of the musical arrangements you have for hymns. I think that's great that you do this. I would be willing to try them out on my small town choir.

Jo, I belong to the Roman Catholic tradition and we use a cantor to lead (pray) the responsorial psalms every week. The congregation joins in on the refrain and cantor sings the verses to a chant. The Psalms are meant to be sung as a poetic way of expressing the scriptures. So, go with your dream and take the time to just "Be". It's a gift that God has given you. It is worthwhile, even if you only use it in your own church. Be brave, tell them it is time to try something different! I play at a United Church too and when they have a responsive psalm, there is a musical refrain that can be sung and then the people speak the verses responsively while I play soft background music.
The workshops that you attend sound like a lot of fun and I'm glad to hear that your church supported you to go to them, especially since you are a volunteer musician.

God bless you both in music ministry. Thanks for posting. I will post tomorrow what I've done.

MaryBeth from Ontario


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R-U-JELLEN's Photo R-U-JELLEN Posts: 1,175
8/6/12 9:22 P

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As I stated, I have been the choir director of our country church for almost 43 years! (All vounteer-our church does not pay musicians). Sometimes it is difficult to keep from getting in a rut. We have quite a large music library and the choir and congregation both like to hear familiar favorites. I try to go to workshops featuring sight singing sessions. I get exposed to a lot of new music I wouldn't ordinarily see or hear. There is a wonderful one in the Ft. Worth area sposored by Penders Music. I love it because it has practically one whole day devorted to religious choral music presented by the composers. You get the opportunity to go through the packets with the other attendees and get a good feel of the sound and difficulty of the piece. As with most volunteer church choirs, we have quite a few that don't read music. I have attended several Texas Music Educators Association workshops and seminars. That is absolutely the best!! There are so many innovative workshops for choir, band and orchestra for elementery through college. every day, all day there are top notch choirs, etc. from across the state that perform. It is held in the San Antonio Convention (which is huge) and some of the workshops spill over into the nearby Marriot. Musicians and music educators from all over the country attend. The sight reading sessions are phenominal. The majority of the new music I've chosen over the last 9 or 10 years has come from this type if setting. Attending these, one can't help but be inspired and motivated! I've also attended the Presbyterian Mo Ranch Music and Worship Conference in the Texas hill country. It is 5 days long and addresses all kinds of issues for the church musician. The clinicians are experts in their fields. You also get to meet choir directors, pianists, organists, ministers and those who just love to sing and come to get refreshed in spirit. This is pretty expensive but luckily our church footed the bill for me, our organist, choir accompanist and, praise team leader, youth choir director,etc to go. I have attended four times. Been about 8 years since we've gone. One comes back from that conference full of excitement and full of the Spirit.

I have composed a couple of pieces that our choir has performed. I have a dream that I will set many of the psalms to music. I know that many composers have done this but, when we read a psalm, especially in the responsive readings, I get the urge to put it to music. Then when I get home, everyday life seems to take up my time and I don't get to just sit at the piano and let myself just "be" so that the music will form around the beautiful words.



Edited by: R-U-JELLEN at: 8/6/2012 (21:26)
"Music gives a soul to the universe, wings to the mind, and life to everything" ~Plato

"Shout with joy to the Lord, all the earth, burst into jubilant song with music" ~Psalm 98

Jo


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HEARTMEND's Photo HEARTMEND Posts: 22,724
8/6/12 7:54 P

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Good question...and I would love to hear from many on this.
I am part of a large church, and what I do is all volunteer. I answer to others and have little say in the music chosen, or the frequency of participation.
On my own, I like to arrange music, especially hymns. I have not had the opportunity to use them in my current church, but did some of my early ones many years ago when I was in a smaller church in college.
Interested in hearing from others in all different kinds and sizes of churches.
Lori

QUENNEVILLE's Photo QUENNEVILLE Posts: 12,937
8/6/12 7:47 P

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I am interested in hearing what others do to help them grow in their ministry. Please post.

MaryBeth from Ontario


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