What should I know to play in a church band with a choir?

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by Vstern, Jan 20, 2012.

  1. Local 357

    Local 357 Banned

    Jul 1, 2011
    Church work is just free advertising for your playing. There does come a limit to my generosity at times though. My own congregation, ie the one I regularly attend doesn't pay me anything. Not even during the high holidays of Christmas and Easter. Thus I go where I'm PAID on those days.

    It kind of bugs me to be so mercenary but I need the money. And the church elders know that too. Besides they could always cut me in for the same dough the Methodists do but they won't.
  2. shooter

    shooter Piano User

    Jan 12, 2007
    A few years ago, your post would have upset me. Now, after dealing with the "church" (I use the term loosely) I'm in complete agreement with you.
  3. PatMurphy

    PatMurphy Pianissimo User

    Aug 9, 2009
    Cherry Hill NJ
    At least call the pianist and go to his house to go over a few pieces
    I can play even songs I don't know "cold" BUT only after I have heard the others play a chorus or 2
    It can be fun but not when you KNOW you are doing bad and you still HAVE to play for 20 minutes more.
    An hour with the pianist may be all you need to learn the music, style, tempo and have the proper confidence.
  4. veery715

    veery715 Utimate User

    Mar 6, 2007
    Ithaca NY
    Don't want to - or are you afraid to? Two different things. Fear is conquered by facing it and doing what scares you. But it you do not wish to play, then don''t. Simple enough.

    This is as much about knowing yourself as anything. Tomorrow is Sunday. Good luck with whatever you choose to do, and if you decide to play, God be with you.

    I began playing in church last fall. I am 65!!! I am not an advanced player by any stretch of the imagination, and I was scared. But I went ahead and dove in and I love it. Folks come up to me afterwards as say things like "The trumpet adds so much! Thanks for playing!"
  5. Ed Lee

    Ed Lee Utimate User

    Aug 16, 2009
    Jackson NC
    Yes, transposition from the hymnal is essential whenever the accompaniment is organ or piano. Yes, a whole step up as I always say "2 half steps", but that is only part right. You must also add 2 sharps to whatever the key signature is, each sharp cancelling a flat if one is present.

    Initially, you might suggest songs from the hymnal as are in the concert key of B flat (2 flats) as then you won't have to worry about adding 2 sharps as in the paragraph above as you will need no sharps or flats unless the note itself has them or there is a natural notation on the note.

    Truly, in transcribing from church music I once missed this last "natural" and such was a disaster ... seemingly to me alone as neither the choir director, organist or anyone in the congregation made any comment. Then I was only in the sixth or seventh grade viz 12 or 13 years old or about 62 years ago ... but I've never forgotten it. Yes, my Mother, who played piano IMO as well as anyone, had heard my error and too never mentioned it, until I directly asked her many years later.

    Here, I'm not yet often asked to play in church, but have played now about a dozen times, but all prior to my heart surgery and needing my dentures. I hope soon to play again.
  6. Chuck Cox

    Chuck Cox Forte User

    Oct 3, 2008
    Cary NC
    I'm the same way with church gigs. I love to play my church, but, I never turn down a pay gig at other churches. I'm Methodist. The Baptist Church in town paid me $300 as a visiting trumpeter. I played all the music at the 11:00 though.
  7. kingtrumpet

    kingtrumpet Utimate User

    Sep 20, 2009
    New York State USA
    YES, serving versus playing --- I always LIKE TO SERVE in my church, and there is NO PAY, and I don't really care as long as I am able to serve. ALL CHURCHES are not created equal though. I know of one church who wanted me to play every time, twice on Sunday, 1 time on wed. services, and they EXPECTED THAT I play ALL THE TIME - EVERYWHERE (of course I no longer go there) --- but the current church is completely voluntary and makes less (almost NO demands), and it is easier to SERVE there - IMHO.

    Of course if people need money bad enough --- perhaps they should lay the horn down, and go get a real job --- they would probably make more money, and there would be less hassle. Gee, I heard Wal-Mart is looking for a couple of greeters on Sundays, then you could earn a buck, and hand out those smiley faces for the little kids, as well as smiling and saying good morning --- which is what most people do in church anyhow.. Smile, say hello, and then -----hurry up, let's get this service over --- cause football is on this afternoon (IMHO) ROFL ROFL ROFL
  8. Ed Lee

    Ed Lee Utimate User

    Aug 16, 2009
    Jackson NC
    If I am available and any church asks me to play, I'll try to do it. While I don't ask to be paid, I don't refuse honorariums.
    Exceptions occur when there is a "King" or Queen" as "Minister of Music" and we don't see eye to eye and get along, then I just get along and won't play. Really, its a real pain for me to keep records of expenses and payments for playing church gigs and making appropriate entrys of such on my income tax filings. Believe it or not, only one church ever sent me a Form 1099 misc.

    Here in Jackson NC, the Episcopal Church is 1 1/2 blocks from our home, the Baptist Church 1 block more, and the Methodist Church still a half block more viz as much as I'm impaired now walking, I can walk to any of these and back home. There are no Catholic or other religious places of worship around or nearby this town that I know of.

    One other stipulation I present to play in a church and that is if my name is not in the program to play, I'm not going to. In years past when I was reporting such misc income and expenses on my taxes, having such program validated my report. Even if I was not paid or received an honorarium from a church that is not my own, the expenses were accepted as valid per the printed program.
  9. rowuk

    rowuk Moderator Staff Member

    Jun 18, 2006
    There is no sin in picking which church that you go to. There is no requirement to limit to only one congregation. I think that our own congregation is not the only group "deserving" good music.

    Christmas Eve I play at a church about 40 miles away. There are about 1400 in the congregation for that service and we have a small orchestra that plays for money. These are people that I really like to be with. The level of musicianship is top and I donate my honararium back to the music in the church fund. My wife, daughter and oldest son also now come to that service and sing in the choir. This past year we played the first cantata from Bachs Christmas Oratorio and Herrscher des Himmels from the third cantata. We also played Telemanns Concerto for three trumpets and arrangements of the hymns.

    I guess my point is, we need to think about our souls too and money is for most of us not the reason that we make music - even if we earn a living by it. The paid gigs are often with people that we can relate to in a much different way.
  10. shooter

    shooter Piano User

    Jan 12, 2007
    The trick is finding a church that's more interested in your soul than your money.

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