Choral Clarity Blog Presents:
Keep “Religion” Out Of High School Choir!
Public high school choirs and choir directors should not be preaching religion; how can we be effective choir directors who expose our students to the high-quality, historically significant music as well as the greatest works of living composers?
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We must simply share the music with students. If it is a work of great historical and musical significance, Handel’s Messiah, Gruber’s Stille Nacht, or anything by Bach, share it and encourage students to enjoy it and appreciate it for what it is. You don’t have to “preach” religion by simply sharing a piece of amazing music. If it is amazing and beautiful then it stands on its own regardless of “religious” subject matter or not. At least that’s my view. You should be prepared and able to defend your choices when you make them as well. Probably picking out your favorite Praise and worship hit from the top 40 on Christian radio or something would not go over well. Unless it is amazing and beautiful and you can defend your choice. But there is no need to defend Bach and Handel. Those guys are pillars of music and their music is almost exclusively “religious.”
Adam Paltrowitz says
Well said! Thanks for reading:)
Mark Reeves says
I am saddened and disappointed, not only with Adam’s blog (which I wholeheartedly disagree with), but with the impression I am left with of ACDA’s agenda in publishing the material.
Sacred music is a significant part of historic, western choral heritage. It also serves our students as a reminder of our cultural heritage, which is (like it or not) Judeo-Christian. It also provides a means for us to proactively engage those students who may be interested in that heritage in dialogue which may help them understand the rich historical and moral content Sacred Music promotes.
When I think of the great musicians and composers who have gone before us, I can’t help but wonder what their response would be were they to read the words of this blog. I will resolutely continue to select Sacred Music literature within and without our schools and communities as long as I am able to “drop a downbeat!”
Adam Paltrowitz says
Did you actually read my article, or did you read the introduction here? It appears, based on your comment, that you didn’t read further than my initial statement, as I am a huge advocate for non-secular choral music.