This past Sunday I had the privilege to co-lead at one of local churches as we held a joint event. The service went fantastically well, we had a great mix of our congregations and followed it all up with a huge barbecue and piles of puddings! And to top it all the weather was perfect. Great day!
Over the past few weeks I’ve been looking at rehearsals on this blog, both in terms of frequency and structure. This Sunday I was able to put it into practice with a new band, something I rarely have the opportunity to do.
We had begun the planning for this some time back, mainly in terms of basic orders and themes. I met with Rachel, my co-leader, to put together a band and to choose songs. We both had different sets of music that we use on a regular basis, including different arrangements and chart formats. But as we have a relatively small song list (around 60), it was relatively simple to cut down all commonly known songs according to this, and then devise some sort of a set list. We agreed on quite a large selection of 8 songs, and then booked in some dates for rehearsal.
It was difficult to fit extra time in as we were all still maintaining our weekly service schedules and associated rehearsals. But we made the decision to have a few rehearsals, as this would be the first time that we would be playing together. And while I was confident that we were all competent and capable of making a joyful noise together, I still wanted to meet more than once, as our first get together would be less of a rehearsal and more, as in the eternal words from The King and I, a “Getting to Know You” evening. There was also the added bonus that we were using the other church’s hall, so we had to get accustomed to their set up which also included In Ear Monitoring. So we met, we plugged in, we tweaked and twiddled and then concentrated on playing through the songs.
As we had already agreed the songs, I printed off several sets of the music that we use at EBC so that we had something to start with, and it also meant that we were (literally) all singing from the same (hymn) sheet…so to speak. And I had also loosely worked out arrangements, repeats and transitions between the songs.
The first rehearsal went very well, we all got along well and started to get to know each other, and worked on being accustomed to the IEM system and everyone’s playing style. I am sure we would have made a good noise if it had been the only rehearsal we’d had, but we had agreed to more, so…
Our second rehearsal we were much more familiar with each other and new what to expect of each other, and the equipment. So we were then able to start honing what we had…developing the arrangements, sharing out parts, working out intro and endings, transitions and leads, harmonies and lots more. By the end of this evening we had a very tidy sounding set and a plan as to how we were going to lead on the Sunday.
Getting to Know You
Now clearly some of this may be obvious, and maybe you do this every week. But as I’ve outlined in my previous posts, meeting frequently and arriving prepared will go a long way to making you the best that you can be come your service. We met more than once, we started with a shared set of music and a rough plan, and together we polished it into something that, come the Sunday, was extremely special. And it went so well that we’re already planning to follow it up on a regular basis.