Bryson City United Methodist Church’s choir serves to both lead the congregation in worship as well as create an opportunity for those gifted (and those not so gifted) to join together and praise God.
Whether you have never sung in a choir or if you’ve been in a choir since you were old enough to make joyful noise, please consider joining our ranks.
Practice is held in the choir room at 7:00 pm every Wednesday evening. No commitment is necessary, and there will be another practice before worship on Sunday beginning at 10:30 am.
For more information contact Rev. Wayner or the Music Director, Ralph Murphy.
Four Roles of the Church Choir
1. Enliven the Congregation’s Singing
We like to think of the congregation as the “big choir,” and the church choir as the “little choir.” The choir serves as active leaders in building up the congregation’s song. Without a congregation, there could not be a church choir but would instead be a community choir. Choral musicians know that we become what we sing. When we take words and put them to music, it becomes part of who we are and puts the Word into our hearts and mouths. By giving the congregation new singing skills and confidence, we empower them for the rest of their lives to better embody God’s Word through music. By doing this, the congregation is prepared for discipleship through the soul-embracing power of song.
2. The church choir sings music that the congregation cannot.
Let’s be real. There’s lots of great music that needs to be sung that just cannot reasonably be done by a congregation because it’s too complex to be done by untrained musicians or just too difficult to be done without extensive rehearsal. There are some texts set to challenging music that congregations need to hear, whether it’s because it is comforting in times of crises, praising in times of joy, or inspiring in times of apathy. By spending the time and effort to rehearse each week, the choir provides a great service to the congregation by opening up the amount of literature the congregation can be exposed to. Used appropriately, this has significant theological and musical implications, broadening the congregation’s experience of the divine.
3. The church choir serves as a small-group within the church for faith formation.
When we sing together, a bond is created that unites us unlike any other activity. In a church setting, this function can be intentionally formed and nurtured. Because we meet together once a week to do work for the Glory of God and benefit of neighbor, taking care of each other is no longer an option; it’s a responsibility. As the leader of this small-group, a church Music Director’s job is no longer limited to musical direction, but also spiritual direction. He helps the choir gather as one in Christ’s love. Some singers have been singing their faith for decades and have already been formed by the church’s song while other come to learn. And we always pray together drawing us closer to God and closer to each other.
4. The church choir sings challenging music.
Singing challenging music beautifully is difficult to do and takes lots of practice. The choir strives to sing beautifully, because it touches our souls, glorifies God, and helps people experience a holy moment. The Music Director and Organist recognize that musical details can make the difference in someone’s spiritual life. That recognition goes a long way to power the choir through tough rehearsal moments. It is important, however, that the first three priorities are not forgotten when trying to achieve our most beautiful sounds. A church choir’s job is not just to sing beautifully, but rather it is to minister to the congregation and to each other in a variety of ways, helping to change the world into a more loving and peaceful place.
These four roles guides our musical program to help make the choir a conduit of faith for themselves and the congregation and enlivens our congregation’s singing through the faithful discipleship of our choir members.
*Four Functions of a Church Choir is a modified version from Lewis Center for Church Leadership.