Date: September 18, 2009
Hello Collective Choral Wisdom,
I have recently moved into a new job as Director of Worship and the Arts for a mid sized church (650 on the books, 400 in worship). The traditional choir (60 on books, 45 in worship) is well established and has had little turn over in its recent history but it has also had little growth. I am finding myself in weekly conversations of "Well I can't make it..." "I am away next week..." "I have Broncos tickets..."
There is currently no attendance policy and I am considering establishing one even at the cost of losing half the choir. This is my fourth church job in as many states and I am astonished to hear these excuses over and over again. The net result is that rehearsals become catch-up sessions for the habitually absent and it is nearly impossible to make any choral progress or from a selfish perspective plan worship effectively.
I have serveral thoughts.....and a few questions that I would love to have help processing.
1. In this day and age with crazy schedules and family responsibilities (I have three kids under 9) is it resonable to ask members to attend weekly rehearsals to sing on Sunday?
2. What should the attendance standards be?
3. In your experience is recruiting easier or more difficultwith a set time commitment?
4. Has anyone inherited a choir with a lax ateendance culture and changed it for the better without being skewered and set aflame?
I welcome any thoughts, comments, suggestions, and anecdotes that you have.