Posted By Amy McLoughlin on January 27, 2011
It has been long-standing tradition that if you are a church choir member, you sing SATB music. I don’t know when this became the norm, but for music ministers and choir directors, it’s almost an unspoken rule. As a singer you are rarely affected. As a director, adherence to singing SATB music can sometimes create programming problems and unnecessary headaches.
We’ve all encountered these issues in one way or another:
Scenario #1: It’s Sunday morning and half of the tenor (or bass) section is out sick, or is visiting family. The anthem you rehearsed on Wednesday night is now a shell of its former glory and sounds empty and uninspiring. What do you do? You should be able to reach into your library and pull out an “old standard.” The problem with that is… you need your tenors for that, too.
Scenario #2: It’s mid-May and your choir members are experiencing a bit of spring fever. Your numbers are cut in half. The men’s sections are half the size of the women’s sections on a normal Sunday. Now they are really exposed, along with the rest of the choir. What do you program?
Modern composers are not only writing great worship music, they are also experiencing it as many are church choir directors themselves. They too know exactly what it’s like on those musically awkward slim Sundays. Consequently, they have provided us a wealth of music for smaller choirs that is creative, rich and worshipful. One listen will erase any stigma the letters SAB might have carried with them before.
I encourage you to browse through the music listed below for smaller choirs. The ranges are appropriate, the music is detailed and hearty, and the message is not simplified. There is no need to panic or rearrange parts on a slim Sunday. The tools you need for successful worship can be as close as your library shelves. They can quickly derail any dilemma you might have in the choir room without diminishing your worship experience.
Click here for inspiring music for smaller choirs to add to your library.