Church Choir Gigs

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by gzent, Nov 9, 2009.

  1. gzent

    gzent Fortissimo User

    Nov 5, 2003
    Rochester, MN
    Why do church choir directors hire a trumpet player and then:
    A) Act surprised by the volume a trumpet produces?
    B) Ask you to play so softly you can barely hear yourself play?

    Any one else frustrated with them? Why don't they just get a clarinet
    player if they want something meek?
  2. Sterling

    Sterling Mezzo Forte User

    Oct 22, 2007
    Marcellus, NY
    I'm especially fond of the choir director who assumes that a straight mute will make a trumpet quieter!
  3. gzent

    gzent Fortissimo User

    Nov 5, 2003
    Rochester, MN

    Yep, nothing like dialing back on the low harmonics and boosting the highs with a flimsy piece of aluminum in the bell to create that nice mellow tone, eh?
  4. Vulgano Brother

    Vulgano Brother Moderator Staff Member

    Mar 23, 2006
    Parts Unknown
    Play quiet during the rehearsal, and then play correctly at the service. You won't be hired back, but justice will be served. It is worth seeing the look on the conductor's face!
  5. trumpetup

    trumpetup Piano User

    Jan 12, 2009
    Godley, Texas
    Do you have a cornet or flugelhorn you can offer the choir director? If you work with him he will be happy and you will get your gig again.
  6. Ric232

    Ric232 Pianissimo User

    Apr 30, 2009
    Coastal GA
    My thoughts exactly. A shepherd's crook cornet can sound great in a church setting.
  7. gzent

    gzent Fortissimo User

    Nov 5, 2003
    Rochester, MN
    I have both, the difference in volume is not as pronounced as some vocal directors would like. When I get hired by a director like this I just tell them I'm not available if they ask me back. Life's too short to play gigs for idiots.
  8. The Weez

    The Weez Piano User

    Dec 23, 2008
    Wichita, KS
    I have a gig like that right now, it's volunteer though, and the director understands that trumpets are just loud. It's the prima donna vocalists that complain; they think the band revolves around them like the planets around the sun.

    I use a ring mute and just try to play softly where appropriate. It's still not good enough for them, but I can't play the entire gig pp.
  9. veery715

    veery715 Utimate User

    Mar 6, 2007
    Ithaca NY
    It seems to me that most of us would truly benefit from cultivating the quietest ppp playing we can muster. Not only is is excellent for our chops, it has its place in many settings: church, tiny clubs, etc. It is truly harder to control many aspects of play at very low volume, but I believe it can be done and that we become better players by doing it.

    That is not to say that you won't get the hairy eyeball from the MD anyway - churches tend to be inordinately reverberant and will boost the trumpet's presence in the way some cars look fast when they aren't even moving.

  10. operagost

    operagost Forte User

    Jan 25, 2009
    Spring City, PA, USA
    My trumpet sounds loud even when it isn't playing!

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