So here is the problem: The high school choir (Sonlight) is the service choir in place of the adult choir for a Sunday morning in December. The reason that the students are taking on the adult’s normal role is because it is the weekend of the adult choir’s huge Christmas music. One of the pieces I had selected for that Sunday w…

So here is the problem

The high school choir (Sonlight) is the service choir in place of the adult choir for a Sunday morning in December. 

The reason that the students are taking on the adult’s normal role is because it is the weekend of the adult choir’s huge Christmas music. 

One of the pieces I had selected for that Sunday was “Let There Be Peace on Earth” Arr: Courtney. It has a wonderful orchestration and I really wanted to use the orchestra to accompany the choir. 

However, the church orchestra was accompanying the adult choir for their major event that afternoon and evening and THEY had the morning off too! 

In a music staff brainstorming session I lamented that I really wanted to do that piece with Sonlight, but it really needs full orchestra for that Sunday, but I couldn’t have our usual orchestra.. . . . and my voice trailed off. 

Here is how the subsequent conversation went: 

Tallowood’s Orchestra Manager: “Why don’t you ask Stratford High School orchestra to come be the service orchestra for the morning?”

I said, “They would DO that?” 

Orchestra Manager: “They just might, if you ask them.” 

I said, “How much would it cost?” 

Orchestra Manager: “A lot of the good school orchestras have spring trips and I bet they would love a contribution from the church for that trip—say $400-500” 

I made the call to their director and they were thrilled to get to play for a Sunday morning! AND they did an incredible job–the church LOVED the idea!

How the school benefitted: 

They got the check to help pay for their trip to NYC in the Spring. 

They also got to be heard by a much broader audience than they would typically, since most of their concerts are pretty much for parents and grandparents. 

They got to perform in the orchestra in a church worship setting, instead of just a school setting. 

How the church benefitted: 

We had a fine orchestra to play hymns, accompany the anthems and play the offertory.

Many of the orchestra parents and grandparents came to Tallowood that morning for worship, since their child (grandchild) was playing for the service. 

Most of them had never been to our church. 

It has been so successful that we have made it a tradition. 

Each December on the weekend of the major production we give the church orchestra the morning off and invite a local high school orchestra to play the service music and accompany the high school choir. 

Our singers love seeing their friends from school at their church using their gift of music to lead the church in worship. 

A side benefit that is perhaps unique to us. 

Tallowood is a regional church, in that people drive as much as an hour each way to come to church here, but we are hidden in a neighborhood—not really in plain sight at all! 

Inviting the orchestra and their families meant that they came into a building that most of them didn’t even know existed. 

We have found them returning again for special musical events, since they now know us, and know where to find us, and where to park. 

Familiarity gives them a greater level of comfort to come back to visit us again.

Introducing a new blog series in the coming weeks:

The Anatomy of the Last Tour 

As regular readers know from this blog, I am beginning the first of my “lasts.” 

With retirement coming in 2017, just 424 days from now, I am currently planning my last choir tour. 

I plan to write a series for the spring/summer on some of the things I have learned from 34 years of choir tours as the final one is unfolding. 

I really pray that there will be some ideas that will help, that series will begin in April and run through July.

I am looking forward to the journey.

Randy Kilpatrick

CueWEB

March 31, 2016

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