I have been lurking around this site for a little while, I enjoy reading and getting a feel for where other worshipers are at.
Our church has a large worship band, particularly vocalists, that have true hearts for leading out in worship and do a nice job. The problem I am having is keeping them all plugged in to the point that they feel fulfilled in their roles. Roughly once every six weeks we have a choir of usually twenty or so members accompany our band, this adds a nice effect on different levels. Unfortunately this requires a lot of extra organization that I don't have time for week to week.
However, I am thinking about starting to use a mini-choir of 4-6 vocalist almost every Sunday. Does anyone else have any experience with this?
I'm not sure what you mean by mini-choir of 4-6 vocalists? Is this in addition to your praise team vocals? How many praise team vocals to you typically use? Clarify for me ... good topic, though.
Vocally our worship band typically consists of 2 male vocals and 1 or 2 female vocals.
However, when we use a choir we scale that back to 1 male vocal and 1 female vocal. The choir takes care of any extra harmonizing and vocal dynamics.
Basically I'm trying to find a way to aid members emotionally and spiritually.
Example: Sue, Charlene, Jane, and Pam (made up names), all have a calling to lead out in worship by lifting their voices. Pam has a EXCEPTIONAL voice that when raised, encourages the congregation to worship and reaches people. I feel, and the Bible backs me on this, that I should use Pam as much as possible/she's willing to be used.
What to do with the rest? Using a mini choir (quartet/sextet you get the drift), consisting of both female and male vocalists is an idea I've brainstormed to help nurture members on my worship team as well as add a dynamic. They would be sharing a choir microphone and give a full congregational sound.
Which takes me back to my original question, has anyone else used this approach?
I've seen the approach used, but on a larger scale. It's one thing to have 4-5 lead vocals with mics, then a choir of 15-20 backing them up. Those in the choir realize that there is a specific team of really skilled vocalists who have the skill and style/technique to be dominant leaders with mics. I can't help but think it would be a bit awkward w/ a smaller # of people, though. I'd personally be more inclined to work with my 4-5 vocals to get them strong, and use them consistently, then build a choir to supplement that.
I've done teams where it was just a worship leader and then a choir (sometimes as small as 4-5 folks, but area miced), and I've done choirs of 10+ with 2-3 vocalists close miced out front, but never something where I had a nearly equal number of each. I agree with Fred that that type of situation could be awkward, especially for the folks in the choir. If I was in your situation, I'd probably be doing the same thing you're doing now.
How many vocalists do you use on a normal Sunday? Do they rotate? If not, that may be something to consider as well to keep more of your singers a little more plugged in.
This wasn't what you were after, but anyway:
I'd be thinking more about a regular rotation for all your singers so they all feel involved, but perhaps give more responsibility to the more able/willing singers. For example, can they lead songs more often? Can they perhaps do some mentoring of the weaker/younger singers? Can you encourage more harmonies from your more able singers? There's ways of activating ready singers without resorting to a choir in order to prevent the rest from feeling left out.
Does this help at all?