When are your rehearsals?

27 January 2006 at 3:34 am 11 comments

Our ward choir used to meet an hour before church started. Then, starting in January, our ward switched to morning meetings. I switched the rehearsal so that it is right after church. Unfortunately attendance has dropped. I don’t think people would want to rehearse at 8:00 AM, so I haven’t considered changing the time back to before church, but after church it seems people are ready to go home. Our ward boundaries are huge, so we try and meet at a time when people have already made the trip to the church building. Maybe this is a mistake though since people are already churched out by the time rehearsal starts.

My sister in Conneticut is in a ward choir that rehearses twice a week. Maybe requiring this kind of sacrifice makes people take it more seriously.

So when does your ward choir rehearse? Does requiring the extra trip to the church building make for higher attendance? Just what is the ideal time for ward choir rehearsal?

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Entry filed under: Attendance, Scheduling.

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11 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Jennie  |  27 January 2006 at 3:43 pm

    When the ward is geographically large, I have found it is best to have choir begin 10-15 minutes after church. Except on fast Sunday, have some food because everyone’s starving. My current favorite snack is a big bag of trail mix from Costco: no mess, not pure sugar. Have a nursery if you need to. (Have someone called to run it-maybe a teen whose parents are singing.) I wouldn’t practice twice a week regularly unless I felt really compelled to do so.

    Reply
  • 2. wardchoir  |  28 January 2006 at 3:47 am

    I think officially starting 10-15 minutes after church is a good idea – our rehearsal is set to start “after church” but maybe people figure that they are late so they don’t come, when really no one arrives anyway until a while after anyway.
    Trail mix is a great idea. I’ll have to try it this week. We are rehearsing in the “serving area” this year, so any clean-up should be easy as well. How do you serve it? Just hand the bag around, or in paper cups?
    It seems that all of the couples that participate in our choir have small children. I need to recruit some adults with teenagers for the nursery. Rehearsals definitely are distracting otherwise.

    Reply
  • 3. Brent  |  31 January 2006 at 8:19 am

    Regarding attendance dropping: Our attendance drops for a while every year when the meeting times change, no matter whether we’re changing to before or after church. It usually picks back up when people get used to their new schedules. Inevitably, some people can no longer make it, and some people who couldn’t come last year can finally make it this year. Another reason for lower attendance is Christmas practice burnout, I think. Nice blog!

    Reply
  • 4. wardchoir  |  12 February 2006 at 7:04 pm

    We tried the trail mix today and it went over wonderfully. Thanks for this idea! Someone in our choir said that in another ward choir they would sometimes plan having a potluck before the rehearsal, or someone would be designated to bring something to eat. I’ll have to try that next.
    Today attendance was up and I think this was in big part thanks to my wife who made an announcement at the end of Relief Society, which is our last meeting, so it was fresh on everyone’s mind.

    Reply
  • 5. Slev  |  21 January 2007 at 6:17 pm

    We used to have practice at 9 am and attendance was pretty good. Now our meeting time has changed to 1pm, and now attendance is not so good. The only time we can get the building is 2:30pm (or later). Technically we could come at 8am before church, but that makes it hard for people who have children to get ready (like me!). Our ward all lives in close proximaty to the church. Any suggestions?

    Reply
  • 6. Slev  |  21 January 2007 at 6:18 pm

    Ack! Sorry! Our meeting time changed to 9am (we USED to have 1 pm).

    Reply
  • 7. Katie Robison  |  25 August 2007 at 5:27 pm

    My husband and I were just called as choir directors for our ward and I’m seriously considering having rehearsals on Saturdays from 8-9 am. That way Sunday isn’t too busy and most people can be done before kids start having soccer games, etc. I hope my choir goes for it–I’ll let you know!

    Reply
  • 8. Katie  |  25 August 2007 at 5:28 pm

    My husband and I were just called as choir directors for our ward and I’m seriously considering having rehearsals on Saturdays from 8-9 am. That way Sunday isn’t too busy and most people can be done before kids start having soccer games, etc. I hope my choir goes for it–I’ll let you know!

    Reply
  • 9. John  |  18 September 2007 at 9:55 pm

    I wondered if the sat pratice time worked for you? We only have about 30-40 mins before the next ward comes in to pratice.
    Thanks!!

    Reply
  • 10. Jessica Blakely  |  9 December 2007 at 2:57 pm

    In my area Saturdays are really bad, because we’re all so busy trying to fit one more thing in on Saturdays does not work for me. I have it after church, we have a nursery and snacks. We have rehearsal at a member’s home close by and this has really increased attendance and has helped accomplish one of the goals of choir – to increase unity among the members. People are encouraged to mingle while they’re snacking and the kids are more comfortable. That way we don’t have to compete with the other wards in the building either. It has really worked for us. The only problem is when we switch to 1pm-4pm meeting time. Our accompanist does not like to stay afterwards so we have to have it before church.

    Reply
  • 11. wardchoir  |  9 December 2007 at 5:30 pm

    I like that idea of having it at someone’s home near the church — that would make having the nursery much easier. If I am called again as a ward choir director (I’ve moved recently) I will definitely try to find someone who could host it at their home.

    Reply

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