How This Ministry Operates:
The purpose of the Contemporary Choir and Contemporary Praise Band is to lead the congregation during the musical portions of “contemporary worship” services in a meaningful and enriching way that honors and glorifies God through various diversified musical expressions. Also, these groups sing an "anthem" or "special music" during those services.
Director Jay Isaacson utilizes the musical talents of various musicians inside and sometimes outside of the congregation, including voice, keyboards, guitars, bass, drums and percussion, and brass/woodwind instruments.
Contemporary services are held during the 10:45 service twice per month, September through June. Currently, the Praise Band is involved in the second Sunday, while the Contemporary Choir leads worship on the fourth Sunday. During the service, the singers and musicians are stationed up front, to the left.
Occasionally the Band or Choir performs at other times, such as for a Wednesday evening Lent or Advent service. A highlight for the Praise Band this past year was performing their fourth annual Christmas Caroling event at Brookfield Square Mall (see the Opportunities to Serve webpage under Ministry News and Photos and Media).
Praise for Contemporary Praise:
“The music we’re making should never be considered a “performance” ... for worshipping and performing are two different things, and we come to church to worship, and participate in the service by speaking the liturgy and singing songs and hymns. The singers are up front to help all of you, the congregation, to sing these songs ... it’s a participatory activity, not something to only listen to.” – Director Jay Isaacson
“As a singer, it is really energizing to witness the congregation’s passion for the songs we’re leading. Music has always drawn me closer to God and I’m excited to be in the Band and share that uplifting experience with our members and guests.” – Lisa Jaeger, vocalist
“I really enjoy the opportunity to praise God through the music.” – Paul Halstead, guitarist
“I am blessed to be able to help, along with the rest of the choir, lead the Church in worship through music. I feel music is a gift from God and playing at church helps me to make an offering back to God with music. Let Us Make A Joyful Noise!” – Rick Lacy, guitarist
“I feel incredibly blessed to be a part of the Praise Band. To stand in the middle of all that joyous sound and be able to lift my voice to Him has been one of the most powerful experiences of my faith journey. I'm honored to worship with the Band and the congregation in such a special way." – Bill Haley, vocalist
How You Can Get Involved:
As a Singer: Persons of high school age and older are welcome to join on an ongoing or temporary basis - auditions are not required. Participation requires adequate singing ability, singing in parts (SATB) and a willingness to serve God through music. Also, availability for usual rehearsal and performance times (see below) is very important.
As a Musician: See Contemporary Musicians below.
Crew: Help is needed with equipment set-up and take-down for contemporary services – Saturday afternoons and/or Sunday mornings.
Contemporary Choir -
The singers (usually about 12 - 14) prepare for the upcoming month’s service on 2 or 3 Monday nights before that Sunday. The choir meets in the chapel (i.e. cry room) from 8:05 to 9:05 p.m. (following the Monday night service). The band/instruments usually join the choir on that last Monday, and then put it all together right before the service. Currently the choir is seeking additional vocalists to carry the melody (soprano). If you can sing melody, they’ll gladly welcome you!
Contemporary Praise Band –
Each vocalist holds his/her own microphone and occasionally sings solo. Up to six voices comprise the group plus musicians. Rehearsals are the first Monday of each month at 6:30 in the Youth Room, and again on the second Sunday around 9:45 a.m. to warm-up before the service.
Contemporary Musicians –
Musicians who play guitar, bass, drums, and percussion are used for contemporary services to accompany the vocalists or choir. Winds, brass, and strings are also occasionally desired for special music. Currently Director Jay Isaacson is seeking additional guitarists, bass players and drummers who may be interested in this ministry.
For more information, contact Jay Isaacson. Or, fill out a Ministry Interest Form (in the Fellowship Hall Rack and Catalog of Ministries, or on the Opportunities to Serve Webpage) and put it in Lisa Jaeger’s mailbox.