Sunday Summary – Music: September 21, 2008

The nice thing about Sundays is that they are never entirely predictable. You can plan and refine until you’re blue in the face, but once Sunday morning comes, the need for flexibility is essential.

And that’s what we ran in to yesterday as Andy finished up the current series “5 Things God Uses To Grow Your Faith” with the topic “Pivotal Circumstance“.

We had a great closer in both East and West Auditoriums – Desert Song by Brooke Frasier / Hillsong United. Cori Moon sang it in East and Chelsey Brooks in West. Both girls did great.

However, as Andy wrapped up his message, it ended on a quite sombre note, and it became immediately and painfully clear as the closer kicked in after his prayer that it was not the right choice – or at least not the appropriate arrangement.

It comes in with 4 big kicks and then a full band U2-meets-Calypso groove. It’s great, and each band played it great – but, again, it was quickly evident that it was not musically appropriate after what Andy had talked about in the last 10 minutes of the message.

To give you some insight into what he talked about, check out this post from Kelly’s blog – Andy was officiating and it was really, really tough.

So in our review/evaluation after the first service, we discussed ways to make the service end more appropriately. Was it to cut the song completely? Alter the song’s Intro and first verse? Change the song altogether? A verse and chorus of “Blessed Be You Name”? Vocal and guitar only? Piano? Elephants? What????

Eddie and I discussed and agreed on how we could still do the song – especially since the lyrics were so appropriate – but get into it far more appropriately. However, we didn’t have time to tell two stages full of musicians what to do before the start of the 2nd service, so during the 2nd message, minutes before playing the “new” arrangement, we discussed our plan of attack:

– Nix the kick drum and drum groove for the Intro and first verse. Instead, rhythmic cymbal “colors” and light hi hat groove to keep time

– Nix the percussion loop until half way through the song

– Bass diamonds through the Intro and first verse

– Everything else stays the same

It ended up being just what the doctor ordered! We didn’t mess with the actual form or arrangement. It was just a simple adjustment of instrumentation for the first 1/3rd of the song.

So here’s a lesson for us all – sometimes the right song is hidden by it’s instrumentation or arrangement. Don’t be afraid to mess around with a tune if it has the right message!


Blessed Be Your Name

Breathe On Me


Desert Song – Hillsongs

East Band – Eddie Kirkland, Cori Moon, Brad Long, Danny Grady, Earl South, Scott Meeder, Mike Bielenberg

West Band – Mike Gleason, Chelsey Brooks, Danny Howes, Dan Hannon, Wayne Viar, Richard Meeder, Bill DeLoach

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What have YOU had to call an audible on lately?

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One thought on “Sunday Summary – Music: September 21, 2008

  1. This week was unpredictable for us too. It started with a perfect soundcheck, but things changed mysteriously changed before the service. My keyboard was totally missing from the house mix, and our last-minute-fill-in-audio-person didn’t know how to fix it.

    That was fine for the first two songs (Sing Sing Sing and Revolutionary Love), but we had to think on our feet for the closer, Amazing Grace, which was originally arranged to be piano-driven. It involved some MacGyver-like cord changes and a lot of pulling in-ears in and out to see how loud the piano really was out there. Not fun… But you have to roll with the punches and remember God is glorified even in our hardships and struggles sometimes.

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