This spring we will begin work on some Easter songs that were arranged by J. Daniel Smith. He recently shared his list of ten characteristics of a great choir member. As in baseball not all of us “bat a thousand” on every point, but nonetheless they remain great goals to set before us.
1) A great choir member loves the Lord and loves to sing. These are the two basic requirements to sing in the Severn Run Worship Choir. There is simply a joy about the choir member who possesses these two passions. They have fallen in love with the One Who has placed the song in their heart.
2) A great choir member is faithful. It’s no secret that we can’t build a worship ministry on people who aren’t there! Many people with the best of intentions just can’t make it to choir rehearsal, but J. Daniel reminds them that “people vote with their feet.” You make it clear where your commitment is by where your feet take you.
3) A great choir member is prompt. Ouch! The old adage is still true: “early is on time, and on time is late.”
4) A great choir member gets along well with others. The great choir member knows how to get beyond themselves and reach out to others.
5) A great choir member cooperates well with group efforts. Being part of a group requires often laying down your individualistic ideas and agendas…for the sake of the group at large.
6) A great choir member is committed to learning the music well. Excellence is valued. Great choir members want to get it right and want the musical presentation to be the best it possibly can be. They will go the extra mile.
7) A great choir member is committed to prayer. Devotional living is a priority and is evidenced by the fruit of their lives. (Can I get an AMEN!, Gwen.)
8) A great choir member is expressive and effective in communicating. No longer is it good enough to just stand there and sing. For the audience to fully grasp the impact of your presentation, you need great choir members who will pour their heart into effectively communicating the lyric with sincerity. No one is asking for hype or artificiality. Just think about the lyric you are singing and sing it like you mean it…because you do!
9) A great choir member is diligent in the rehearsal process. They are teachable and can focus. The hardest part of any choir director’s job in a rehearsal is not teaching or conducting the music. It’s getting and maintaining the focus of attention of the choir members. Sometimes that is easier than other times.
10) A great choir member is accountable. I know of no organization of quality that does not demand some appropriate measure of accountability. In this day of voice mail and email, it’s easy to let the leadership know if you need to be absent from a rehearsal or service. The ultimate point to this is: Never leave the leadership questioning your level of commitment. To me (J. Daniel), that is the full responsibility of the individual choir member. We all have situations and circumstances that take us away from time to time, but there’s really no excuse for not letting the leadership know why you are not at your post of duty. Don’t forget that the leader is counting on you.
I (Dean) feel confident in sharing this list with you because you are an awesome choir that is working on everyone of these characteristics. Let’s continue into 2008 singing with “One Voice for an Audience of One”!