We have also had many people express an interest in learning/presenting some more offertories or “word-in-songs” in the services, in addition to the worship songs. And with our 4:15pm model, there just didn’t seem to be time to get that accomplished.
SO, after much thought and prayer, we have decided to try something new this year. And we are really excited about it!
In short, for the next year, Encore will be turning into a special-event choir. Instead of singing every weekend, Encore will be singing in worship 5 times over the next year. But on those 5 weekends, Encore will be the primary musical and worship-leading focus. The group will lead the worship songs, and sing a special or two. And then the really exciting part is that we will be bringing in some amazing guest conductors to lead you!! I’m still pinching myself to believe that every person we asked was able to commit. Here is the lineup:
• October 16/17 – Pop/Gospel Style – Scott & Vonda Dyer (Former worship leaders at Willow Creek who lead amazing vocal coaching seminars all over the world – you’ll learn a ton!)
• December – Dramatic Advent Songs – TBA (We will be singing some powerful, dramatic songs to tell of Christ’s coming)
• February – Southern Gospel – Eph Ehly (Former choral professor from UMKC, who is probably the most-loved state choir and college choir director ever. Lance and I have both had the privilege of working with him in various choirs in our life, and can’t think of a more inspiring, engaging, and extraordinarily talented director to work with. Thrilled to have him coming!)
• April – Urban Gospel – Randall Fears (Music minister at Memorial Missionary Baptist Church in Kansas City, and a gifted worship leader, songwriter, recording artist, and gospel choir director. He will have you singing like you’ve never sung before! We are hoping to have his and our choirs collaborate this weekend too – will be incredible!)
• July – Pop/Rock – TBA (We will be bringing in an artist who’s presenting at the National Worship Leader Conference next summer, and plan to invite all of our choirs to join with them in worship the weekend before the conference.)
For each weekend that we sing, we will have an all-afternoon Saturday rehearsal (likely from 1-5pm) to learn the music. And then in October/December, we will be presenting the songs in the two contemporary services. We will be sending out a calendar of specific dates very soon so that you can add those to your calendar.
So now each weekend there is choir it is a more intense time commitment during that weekend. Too bad if you have an unmovable commitment that weekend! That was one of the charms of this for me. It was not dependent on a schedule. If you could come, you came, and had a great time. If not, then try again next week. I almost would rather they had scrapped the whole thing then come up with this half assed solution for people's weak excuses and guilty consciences! :-P
And that is the way I feel about it!!