Advent is on the way, and the choir is rehearsing a series of Magnificats. One, by Rutter, is especially challenging, and I've been practicing it at home with the score and a CD. I reckon I'll have it down by the time we perform it.
This year, the Christmas Eve services are less of a show by the choir, so we won't have many difficult pieces to learn. Instead, we're doing more interesting music during the Sundays in Advent. I like this change. I'd much rather build up a better and bigger repertoire of anthems for Sundays than put on a musical extravaganza for the part time Christians who show up for Christmas Eve. Let's see if the carol singing and Christmas story don't inspire visitors more than what has been in the past pretty much a concert.
The choir works pretty hard, and I suppose that's a deterrent to new participants. The new choir member drive last year yielded one new regular, an outstanding soprano and flautist in her twenties. On the other hand, we seem to be losing one of the older sopranos. Oddly, sopranos have been in short supply of late, and the men have been at their full strength of seven singers. With an average age of 56 years, the men's section probably won't last long at this strength. I suppose as long as we can field an octet, we'll be OK.
There's no farm team. We have choirs for small children but no youth choir. The youth are doing their own thing at a Sunday evening service, and young adults have been spun off to a satellite. I reckon that older teenagers would be a huge asset to the choir if they could tolerate hanging with us codgers. Perhaps with outreach, some could be enticed to serve the church by enduring choir membership. We could at least find out what's keeping younger (30-50) singers away.
If we don't do something, the concept of the chancel choir might just fade away, and all we'll have left are contemporary groups leading praise songs. Man, I hate me some repititious praise songs, and I don't think I would be able to drag myself to a contemporary service week after week. I get enough Power Point at work, thank you very much.