Archive for February 9th, 2012

Start-up topic- How do you choose music?

Thursday, February 9th, 2012

From Berkeley Hill

Part of my responsibility at St Leonard’s Church, Hythe, is to choose all the music for all the main services, including all hymns and psalms. With three choirs (boys and men, mixed adults, and a girls choir) this has become a major task, because the abilities of each have to be borne in mind together with their various rehearsal schedules. A major problem is that I forget what possibilities exist when drawing up service sheets. For hymns and psalms the RSCM Sunday-by-Sunday booklets are very useful (we use New English Hymnal but can slip in others that can be typed on the Sunday service sheet). Unfortunately the Common Worship lectionary seems less theme-based than the previous one, so I often am unclear what the choice of music should focus on. For anthems and setting I have a list of everything that has been sung over the last few decades, which can be useful. But I am thinking of sorting this into a repeating three-year cycle, to correspond with the new Lectionary, and using this as a data base from which to choose music when planning each month, at least as a starting point. I have access to service lists of three, six, nine and so years ago. There is a danger of ALWAYS doing ‘Blessed be the God and Father’ by Wesley on Easter Day, but at least a three-year cycle might avoid the stress of making choices afresh every year. What do you do?