If your church has a choir, do the choir members sing in a choir loft?
Ours always sings in front. Seems like our choir loft is only used now for overflow crowds at Christmas and Easter.
No, we don’t have a loft–there’s a section over on one side where the choir sits, but it’s on the same level as the rest of us. New building–thought being that a loft might keep some physically infirm yet gifted singers from being in the choir.
We have a balcony in the rear of the church that was never used as a choir loft in my 9 years. I don’t think it had the acoustical properties for it either. The church was built in 1980 with an organ and ample praise band space on the Epistle Side of the sanctuary. The choir space has plenty of outlets and inlets for microphone cabling but none of it is used, we stretch them across the floor. We also have invisible white steps with two layers of warning stickers on them. I can’t remember ever being in a choir area that wasn’t a hazard to the able-bodied and unfriendly to the disabled.
Our choir sings from the loft, up and back behind us. I love to hear them, and yes, you can always tell the tourist and visitors. They are not only always looking up at the dome, but their necks are turned backward towards the choir.
At our local parish they sit up front on the left side of the horse shoe (church in the round) immediately to the right of the lectern.
The two parishes that actually have choir lofts do use them. I prefer the one where the choir is in back supporting the people, rather than the loft that is in front/above and behind the sanctuary where they sing toward the people.
The choir sings in the choir loft. It’s an old church so it still has one.
Our choir was only formed several years after the organ was moved to the front right side of the nave and a few years after the loft had been turned into a “crying room”, so they sit up front near the organ – or at least where the organ was at the time. Now that there is no organist it has been relegated to an area outside the church to make more room for guitar stands. :rolleyes:
We have a raised choir loft in the back of our church.
Our choir is suprisingly good. I’d love to join, if I wasn’t a horrible singer.
Ours is in the back of the church in a choir loft. Our cantor sings in front presently, but there is talk of also moving her to the loft eventually… a gradual process. We just got a new sound system in the church, and even so… the choir is only broadcast from speakers at the rear of the church, facing forward to enhance the choir behind everyone.
Active in two parishes. Older one has a traditional loft in the rear, and that’s where the choir is. Newer one is 5 years old, choir in front to the left of the sanctuary.
I thought having the choir sing from behind was supposed to take attention off the choir. :rolleyes:
Sorry, I’m being snarky. I personally think that in the 21st Century in the United States, most people turn to look at musicians behind them, and so having a choir or any musicians in a balcony in the back of the nave backfires, and the musicians actually get MORE attention than if they performed their liturgical duties near the front of the nave. Things have changed since the first millennium.
If the purpose is to prevent the musicians from getting any attention, I suggest that modern churches be designed with a screened area so that no one can see the musicians. Oops, sorry, being snarky again! Of course this is silliness.
All snarkiness aside . We all need to learn not to think of liturgical musicians the same way we think of secular performing musicians, even if those liturgical musicians are really talented. It is possible to learn to control our thought patterns.
At my local parish, the choir is off to the side, along with the piano, bass, and drummer (and multiple guitars, if you go to the later mass.) There’s an organ in the vicinity, but I think I’ve only seen it used at Christmas and Easter. :banghead:
At the Cathedral, where I more frequently attend on Sundays, the choir is in a loft in the back, along with the organist. :yup:
Heck I was going to applaud and second your suggestion. Far from being silly I’m not sure it might be one of the best solutions not just for those that are distracted by the choir/band, but also for those in said groups that see it as a performance.
As alluded to above it is not just the people in the pew that need to change their thoughts, but also those in choirs that see it as a chance to perform. I am not saying all or even most are like that, but I have seen many musicians that do act like that. We have one choir that demands that a box of doughnuts be set aside for them for “all their hard work”.
thats why I am all for putting them in the loft.
]We all need to learn not to think of liturgical musicians the same way we think of secular performing musicians, even if those liturgical musicians are really talented. It is possible to learn to control our thought patterns.
It’s too bad that you allow a few bad apples to ruin the whole barrel.
Do you know how it makes me, a pianist/organist, feel to know that you are out there thinking that I am considering myself “a performer?”
I don’t think the poster was directing that at any one person. In fact, the post contained a disclaimer (bolding mine):
"As alluded to above it is not just the people in the pew that need to change their thoughts, but also those in choirs that see it as a chance to perform. I am not saying all or even most are like that, but I have seen many musicians that do act like that.
I’ve no doubt you’re not one of those being described - it’s usually pretty easy to tell.
Not silliness, it’s actually one of the recommendations in Pope St. Pius X’s Motu proprio on sacred music* “Tra le Sollecitudini”*
%between%14. Finally, only men of known piety and probity of life are to be admitted to form part of the choir of a church, and these men should by their modest and devout bearing during the liturgical functions show that they are worthy of the holy office they exercise. It will also be fitting that singers while singing in church wear the ecclesiastical habit and surplice, and that they be hidden behind gratings when the choir is excessively open to the public gaze.