Church Choral Music Poll
Date: August 3, 2012
Greetings to all of my fellow Ministers through music!
I'd like to ask for your help in gathering some information that will be helpful to me and to other composers who write or arrange music for church choirs. Please take a look at these questions about what kind of music works best for your choir and congregation. Your reply will allow others to get to know you, help us all to better understand our Music in Worship Community and its members, allow us to pray for each other or for the group with greater insight as to the needs and challenges we face in ministry, give others some anthem ideas, and provide useful feedback for composer/arrangers like myself.
1. What is the size of your choir in membership and in average attendance?
2. What voice parts (sections) in your choir are strongest, and which need the greatest help and support?
3. Are unisons within a choral anthem something you try to avoid or something you embrace for the ease of learning a piece as well as for the overall flow of the arrangement?
4. What difficulty level or range of difficulty levels works best for your choir?
5. What style or styles of music does your choir prefer, and which styles work best from the standpoint of an effective performance? (Traditional, contemporary, gospel, classical, etc.)
6. Do you prefer to use mostly anthems that are a solo with choral back-up, or do you prefer parts throughout, a combination of unison and parts, melody + counter melody, or parts + descant..
7. Complete this sentence: "Most of the choral music that I have seen lately is too ______________________________., and some of the anthems do not have enough___________________________.
(Feel free to re-word as necessary to fit your response.
8. Would you appreciate having a choice of difficulty levels (in other words, perhaps a fairly easy arrangement or an arrangement of medium difficulty level .... both for the same anthem)
9. Is it important for you to choose choral arrangements that have a full orchestration available? How about chords for rhythm section, an obbligato part for single instrument where that works well, or parts for Brass and rhythm?
10. Do you need an accompaniment track for every anthem you use? (or simply prefer having one due to fuller instrumentation than you have available)?
11. Do you use an organ and piano as accoompaniment? Or, just an organ or just a piano?
12. What kind of message or text do you prefer. Do you prefer hymn texts, texts that are a re-wording of scripture, or more contemporary texts that have something meaningful to say (or all of these options).
13. Does your choir handle tricky or syncopated rhythms well?
14. How would you describe the vocal structure of your choir? SATB, SAB, SAT, SSA, etc.?
15. Are there particular seasons, messages, or special events for which you have been unable to find an appropriate anthem for your choir?
16. Is budget a major consideration for you in the purchase of new music?
17. Does your church have the equipment and the manpower to print music from a downloaded PDF Master Copy?
18. (More specific stylistic preferences) Do you prefer anthems with a beat and some rhythmic intensity to match a more joyful or challenging message? Would you prefer for your choral anthems to be in more of a ballad or hymn style? Do you prefer anthems that steadily build in intensity to a glorious big ending, or do you prefer anthems with a quieter, more contemplative ending? If your repertoire includes a mix of styles, it's okay to just list your favorite styles.
19. What kind of anthems have seemed to resonate most as far as speaking to the hearts of your choir and congregation?
20. Name a few of your favorite anthems (with composer./arranger and publisher if possible).
Thank you so much for taking the time to read through these questions. If you would like to just copy and paste the questions to your reply and then answer, that would be fine. It would make it easier for your fellow Music in Worship community members to know which question your response was intended to answer.
Blessings to you in life music, and ministry!
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