Rebuild & Renew!

By Patti Drennan

The musical world more or less came to a screeching halt in March 2020. Unsure of the effects a deadly Coronavirus could bring, most churches and businesses shuttered their doors until medical officials could analyze the seriousness and duration of this pandemic. For many months, choirs quit singing in worship and large performances then later members began wearing singers’ mask as they sang, though in much smaller groups. As the median age of our choir members often ranges above age sixty, and with no vaccinations then available, many singers stayed in the safety of their homes, especially if they were immuno-compromised. Creative technology later began to be devised to allow for online worship, even adding music. It was a testimony that music cannot be silenced!

            Even as most choirs have returned to their vital role in worship, some singers are hesitant to resume singing. Health, aging voices, and the convenience of online worship are explanations for their absence. In addition, singers within the congregation may have the gifts to offer in worship but other duties take higher priority than choir membership.

            With the writing of this book, Rebuild and Renew: A 12-Step Program to Fire Up Your Choir, I hope to offer affirmation and encouragement, as well as practical tools a director can select for use in his or her rehearsal and worship service.  Whether it is working to bring back singers to the choral “fold” or acquiring new members, it is part of our ministry work to enliven music and the arts in our church, schools, and community. Rebuild & Renew offers tips, tools, and ideas on how to do just that. 

            I contacted several choral directors and music ministers to ascertain the scope of impact the virus had on their churches and particularly their music ministry. I received quite a bit of affirmation that they, too, have struggled to bring their choirs back to pre-pandemic level of attendance and commitment. Within this book I incorporated their ideas and tips to renew and revive their choirs, plus reach others who had previously not been involved. It is my hope that making directors aware of the fact that their own church is not on an isolated island. Many churches nationwide are struggling with a new image of worship that causes us to brainstorm new and innovative ways to make music and encourage our fellowship of believers.

            As a retired high school choral director and a current church music director, I have brought to light resources and ideas that will help not only the seasoned music minister, but the person new to choral directing. Some you may have used before; others you have not.  This book is designed for novice and seasoned directors alike…to be enlightening, affirming, and inspiring. 

Chapters include The Choir as Community; The Productive Rehearsal; Recruit, Rebuild and “Youth-anize”, and much moreplus choir devotionals, reproducible responsive readings, and suggested easy anthem ideas.

The time is now to truly “rebuild and renew” our church choirs and entire music programs in this new era!  Excellence and excitement always inspire people to get on board.  When that happens, ordinary people can truly do extraordinary things. 

Patti Drennan is a church music director, retired music educator, and active composer/arranger with hundreds of anthems published with all major publishers (and sales of over two million copies).  Patti resides in Oklahoma.

© Copyright 2022 Jubilate Music Group.  All Rights Reserved.

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