Sunday, March 27, 2011

The Church Musician: Less is More

Our church choir is pretty small to being with, which means that any absences can have a significant impact on the overall performance (especially in the mens' department!).

This morning, due to some expected and un-expected absences, we found ourselves gathering for warm-ups with a total count of 4 choir members (including our director who decided to don a robe and sing to boost the numbers)! Could we really pull it off? After some deliberation, we decided to go ahead and perform the offertory as a quartet.

It ended up being a beautiful musical offering. While our numbers were diminished and our forces small, we still were able to perform the piece well and in a very moving, convincing manner.

There are times in music when less is more. A small, intimate performance can create the type of ambiance that is much more meaningful than a large mega-choir. There is a time and place for both, but I found myself especially blessed this morning by the ministry of our choral quartet!

Have you ever found yourself as a church musician unexpectedly turning what could be termed a potential disaster into a positive, and even meaningful, experience? I'd love to hear about it!


  1. I have experienced this several times, and I can still remember what a blessing those times were. Even one week in particular I wasn't feeling very well in the morning. I almost got someone else to play for me for the choir number. But I decided I should try to do it, and with much prayer and God's grace, it went so well! I remember thinking as I played, "Wow, they really sound great today!" My husband leads the choir, and later when we were talking he said that he had gotten the same feeling during the choir number- they just did a really great job even though some "key" voices were missing. It was really neat.

  2. Leah- Thanks for sharing! I love moments like that, when as the performer you feel at your weakest. That's when you can only point to God when the result is something beautiful. It's a humbling experience, and yet one that reminds me of just where my talent comes from!