You've done all your score study, and you've got your rehearsal plan outlined to the minute. Your group sounds great. But one piece of the puzzle is missing. You always (and I mean always) have trouble when the time comes to put your choir together with the band or orchestra. What to do...
This may seem simplistic, but rehearsing multiple ensembles on the same night is a way to solve the “us versus them” mentality found in so many worship and music ministries. Yes...schedule your band, orchestra, handbell, and choir rehearsals on the same night.
Depending upon your local situation, it may be best to have the rehearsals overlap, so that the two ensembles can have some joint rehearsal time. In other cases, it may be best to have them back to back, so that your vocalists can fully participate in both ensembles.
Don’t stop there, however. If you have separate directors, spend some time at each other’s rehearsal. It’s a great way to understand the differences in vocabulary, methodology, rehearsal technique, and repertoire. Do a joint Bible study with all the groups so that they are “on the same page” with a clear understanding of worship as outlined in Scripture.
Finally, once or twice a year, have a combined rehearsal for the entire evening. Include a bit of social time, so that everyone can get to know each other better.
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