small church choir

How to Choose Music for Your SAB Choir (+ 18 Anthem Ideas)

How to Choose Music for Your SAB Choir (+ 18 Anthem Ideas)

Choosing music you like and think will work well in your worship service is one thing; choosing music that’s accessible for your choir is a whole different ball game.

It's important to think about what your choir can realistically do and what they can do well; what will challenge them to grow and learn and yet be meaningful for them, as well? What will lift them up and build their confidence while also inspiring their faith?

The Adult Church Choir Rehearsal

The Sanctuary Choir has had an exciting year! First of all, look how we've grown from 12 members last summer to 21 members at Christmas time! We have a great group of enthusiastic singers who are very faithful to the music program and are eager to learn! What more could a director ask of a choir? Take a seat on one of the red velvet pews in the back of the Sanctuary and observe one of our Thursday night choir rehearsals...

Sanctuary Choir Rehearsal

7:00-7:10 p.m. - Warm-Ups

  • Stretches, sighs, sirens, humming, chewing, facial massage

  • Breathe in for four counts, hold for four counts, breathe out for four counts

  • Me-ahh (starting with a D Major triad going up: 15-4321)

  • Vi-va (starting with a D Major triad going up: 1234-5656-54321)

  • Vocal Siren

  • Reminders: singing through the consonant to the vowel, sitting on top of the note instead of reaching up to it

Opening Prayer

7:10-7:15 p.m. - Sunday’s Anthem

  • Prayer for Peace (Lightfoot)

  • Reminders: tall mouth-shape, tempo changes, dynamics, cut-offs, more breath preparation before entrances

7:15-7:20 p.m. - Service Music (all a cappella)

  • Introit: O Worship the King (Traditional Hymn)

  • Prayer Response: Breathe on Me, Breath of God (Traditional Hymn)

  • Benediction Response: Amen (Danyew)

  • Reminders: breathing together, imagining first note before singing it, singing into the sound around you, enunciate!

7:20-7:50 p.m. - Anthems

  • Come to the Water (Hasseler) - new

  • Reminders: direction of phrases (most important word of phrase), breath preparation, phrase-shaping

  • An Hour of Hallowed Peace (Danyew)

  • Reminders: "hushed" text painting (singing the word in a way that depicts its meaning), breath support for soft singing, preparing to sing 5ths, direction of phrases (most important word of phrase), phrase-shaping

  • Jesus, Savior, Friend (Glass)

  • Reminders: consistent tempo, syncopated rhythm review, tall mouth shape/vowels, confidence, relationship of vocal parts to accompaniment

7:50-7:55 p.m. - Announcements

  • Choir picture is up on the website!

  • Joke Time

7:55-8:00 p.m. - Talk Break

8:00-8:30 p.m. - Anthems

  • You Are the Song (Courtney)

  • Reminders: syncopated rhythm review, parts review, relationship of vocal parts to accompaniment

  • The Gift of Love (Traditional Hymn) - a cappella, rehearse in circle

  • Reminders: look up!, blend with people around you, direction of phrases, phrase-shaping, dynamic contour

Prayer Circle

What does your church choir rehearsal look like?