If you want something young folks will listen to voluntarily, it would be good
to avoid slowing down the tempo. Some of the arrangements I've heard over
recent years have been slowed down quite a lot, I think in an effort to make
them more thoughtful, but the outcome has been to suck most of the life out of
them on at least a few occasions. Also (if anybody is reading this who can
help), slowing down the final few measures of congregational hymns could be
avoided as well -- those without choir experience are unlikely to be watching
the music leader, and it tends to cause problems. Especially during General
Conference, in every meetinghouse I've watched it from. Great for musical
performances, but not great for congregational hymns.
I can appreciate the need to appeal to a broader audience. But I'm
wondering if a way to possibly generate more excitement might be to expose them
to more of what the choir sounded like before? Maybe it's just me, but I
really miss hearing the combination of organ and choir. I'm not in a place
where I can get Music and the Spoken Word so maybe it's still there.
It's great in General Conference. But there seems to be very little of it
on the latest CD's. There are a couple of selections which the organ is
prominent in the orchestration on the latest recording, but nothing with just
organ. I really miss that and I find the recordings that I listen to the most
are from General Conference or some of the older recordings from the Richard P.
Condie (Columbia Masterworks) years. Maybe there are others out there who
haven't ever heard that and they would really like it a lot. It's not
that I'm old (40ish). I've always love the choir and always will.
I think it's great that the choir wants to reach young adults, and I wish
them the best of luck, however, I fear it may be an unobtainable goal. The choir
sings beautifully, but (speaking as a young adult myself) the Choir's music
never makes my playlist for several reasons. First, the music is frequently slow
and, worse, often has no beat to speak of, nothing to really move the words into
the listeners. Second, it's hard for me to understand the words being sung
by the 300+ voices in the choir. Third, the music is usually all one style:
ancient European (with very rare exceptions) and I prefer more mixed-style
music. Fourth, when the Choir does have soloists, they pick soloists who sing in
a weird warbly voice that hurts my ears (instead of soloists like Cherie Call or
Hilary Weeks, both of whom performed a significant percentage of my playlist).
Fifth, I have more trouble feeling the Spirit with Hymns than with the more
modern-day songs (such as "Beautiful Heartbreak", "Not the Only
One", and "Eyes of Faith"), but the Choir typically sings hymns.
Still, I wish the Choir the best of luck!
My hope is that the choir will return to simply doing worshipful music that
honors and praises God. Show tunes and such seem like an awkward effort toward
One Month Later: In light of the recent surprise announcement of lowered
missionary age requirements, I find Pres. Ron Jarrett's vision "to be
on the young adult playlist" a sign of pure inspiration. The Lord obviously
has great things in store for His church, His missionaries, and His Choir. I am
enjoying watching it all unfold.
I know this is old news now, but I have been really impressed with the choir!
I'm in my early 20's and I've been a fan of the choir for about
10 years now, but I've especially appreciated the recent guest artists
(especially for the Pioneer Day concerts). For those who have concerns about the
choir "changing" you have to remember that they have done songs like
"Blowin in the Wind" and "Bridge over Troubled Waters"... To say
that they can do songs from your generation and not from the generation now is a
little unfair. The hymns of the church will always be first and foremost, but
there are inspirational songs that have come out in my lifetime, and it would be
a shame if we limit the choir's repertoire just because a song is appealing
to a different audience that you don't fit in. For me, I would LOVE to see
the choir do more from recent Disney songs. "Circle of Life" by the
Choir is probably the #1 most played songs by missionaries.