Church Choir

Singing in Church

A choir (also referred to as chorale or chorus), is a musical ensemble or body of singers who perform together. A church choir is composed of singers performing in church. A choral music is written for an ensemble to perform.

The Church Choir

In general terms, a choir is very often applied to groups affiliated with a church, and in general, a choral group performs performs in theatres or concert halls, but this distinction is flexible.In fact the term "choir" has also been defined as a subset of an ensemble of an orchestra or different "choirs" of voices or instruments in a polychoral music.

Way back during the periods (18th to 21st centuries) when oratorios and masses were popular, the choir is implied as an ensemble of more than one singer per part, in contrast to the quartet of soloists.

The Choir Structure

Choirs are often led by a choirmaster (German: kapellmeister).  Most often choirs consist of four sections intended to sing in four part harmony, but there is no limit to the number of possible parts as long as there is a singer available to sing the part. Other parts could be three, five, six and eight.

Church choirs can sing with or without (a capella) instrumental accompaniment. Some church choirs of various Christian denominations join up to become one "mass" choir that performs for a special reason, for example performing Handel's Messiah and other oratorios or cantatas on Christmas or Easter in bigger venues rather than the church itself.

"The Lord Bless You and Keep You"

YouTube Video Credit: Westminster Choir College. Accessed April 29, 2012.

Church Worship Services

Choirs in worship services are performed either with accompaniment or in liturgies.

Accompaniment. There are churches that do not use instruments, including some American Protestant groups, Eastern Orthodox, and some synagogues. Others use the organ, and few use strings and winds instruments. Nowadays, many churches with contemporary worship format use amplified band to accompany the singing. However, songs have become a blend of hymns and contemporary songs, with piano and organ also available. This is to ensure that a mix of congregation of the older generation and the new breed are catered for in the worship.

Liturgies.  Some church choirs still sing full liturgies (communion antiphons, introit, motets, etc.) in addition to leading of singing in which the congregation participates in service music and hymns. These are usually performed at designated times in the service or mass.

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