Easter is Here

 Well, Easter is not ACTUALLY here yet, but most of us in worship ministry have begun making plans for the Easter season.  Depending upon your rehearsal schedule, some have already started working on the Easter cantata;  I’ll conduct my first rehearsal of the season this Wednesday evening.

Since I have a seasonal choir only — coming together for Easter and/or Christmas — I have spent much of the week praying for the singers who will join me and getting the word out through Facebook, bulletin announcements, and letters.  I have a number of singers in mind that I would like to see in the choir and I’ve done as much as I can to make it happen.  Now I simply watch God work things out for His ultimate glory.

This year, I have several young ladies between the ages of 12 and 15 who enjoy singing, but have never experienced singing in an organized group.  A few of them read notation; others have no formal training at all.  I have invited these girls to sing in the choir this year and am working on developing a mentorship program that will connect these young people with established members of the music ministry.  I’ll definitely have to let you know how that goes.

Like many seasonal choirs, I have gaps in certain sections of my choir. I have very few sopranos and basses.  That means I have to spend a lot of time searching for a work that is pleasant to sing and listen to that has a limited range.  Normally, I’m not terribly satisfied with my options, but this year I was pleasantly surprised to find Grace in All Its Glory.  This musical from Camp Kirkland features settings of traditional hymns (including O Sacred Head Now Crowned with Thorns) as well as works from the southern Gospel and contemporary praise and worship genres.  The soprano line never extends above the top of the clef and  rarely settles in the upper tessitura. With lots of doubling and unison lines, Kirkland’s musical is easily assessible by virtually any choir.

Now that the choral selections are made, it is time to begin focusing on the new music I will introduce into corporate worship during the Lent season to prepare out hearts and minds for the celebration of Easter.  More on that next week.  In the meantime, I’d love to hear about your Easter plans.  What cantata is on the agenda this year?  Have you found a great song to teach the congregation? 


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