Wow...interesting discussion, seeing as our "amateur" church orchestra is playing "Farandole" for the services tomorrow morning. I am also the music librarian for the orchestra and I can tell you that there is an UNLIMITED amount of music available to church groups. We use the "Baptist" Hymnal and the "Celebration" Hymnal, both of which have complete scores for all types of instruments for most every hymntune. Since we are a traditional church, we stick with traditional music. There are tons of well written band pieces for school bands that are totally appropriate for church use, too. Our group is varied: middle-schoolers, high-schoolers, a few music professionals, and lots of us adults that hadn't played since college or high-school. As for instrumentation, we have a pretty good (not neccessarily balanced) mix of strings, woodwinds, brass, and percussion. Last Christmas we accompanied our choir on movements 1 and 4 of Robert Shaw's "Many Moods of Christmas" and we did bring in a few pros to supplement istrumentation we were lacking, and also to support our efforts on some of the more difficult parts (1st trumpet, 1st horn). We appreciated the help!! As a choir we did "Messiah" for Christmas 2 years ago, and will do the "Easter" portion of Messiah this year for Easter...both with paid orchestra. The vocal soloists, however, are choir members who have voice training and audition before they are selected to sing. I guess the bottom line of my really long post is to encourage all musicians to find a church where your talents can be used and appreciated. Worship is a participatory event: what better way to worship than to use the talent that God gave you? There are churches out there who will appreciate your efforts!!!