Church choir hates "traditional high church music" but congregations LOVES it
Date: May 2, 2012
My fiance and I have been leading at a new church plant (Southern Baptist in name) for about a year now, and we have encountered a very...well, difficult group of singers who would like to be leading in worship with us...
let me give some backstory first, We were hired due to our knowledge and practice leading "contemporary" worship. That being said, we have had much more success with bringing in hymns and simple choruses done in fresh and new ways (very acoustic guitar driven) than with any stereotypical brand new praise songs. In that line of thought, we decided the best way to use these singers would be in a choral setting. The interested parties were extremely into the possibility of a choir for this small church...until i mentioned using some "liturgical" pieces (their words, not mine). As example, I recently sang "Ein Feste Burg" with Dr. Philip Copeland at Samford University and brought out an english version of the chorale portion of that cantata. this was met with glares and snears as that piece is "too hotty snotty" and "no one will understand what we are singing". needless to say, i perservered and we used the song in a Communion service and the congregation loved it, we were told how it reminded them of their heritage and their faith as young children. However, the "choir" (which by the way is maybe 12-15 people depending on the day) was not wanting to ever do something like this again.
I have tried many times to bring in simple choral settings of classic hymns and even some of our very simple tunes from the A Cappella Choir...all of these have been shot down in favor of, excuse my bluntness, cheap and boring settings of popular praise tunes that are basically 1-3-5 stacked above each other...I have used both of these in our services and the congregation as a whole really prefers the more "classic" sound of more "traditional" choral works...
so, here is my quesstion. Given that the congregation prefers the more traditional usage of the choir, but the choir seems to think that those works are stale and boring, do any of you have pieces that could bridge the gap between these two vastly different and demanding groups? Think along the lines of more classic texts over anything written for mass production since 2000.
Thanks for your help!
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