Choir members at congregational levels, meet twice during weekdays for one hour in the evenings and once at the weekend for 2 hours 30 minutes. In the rural areas the arrangement is the same, except that they meet in the afternoons instead of evenings.In addition to congregational choirs, there exists a “special choir” – a small group of selected voices at Regional or National level. These groups are meant to sing during special gatherings.
How the Choirs are taught:
Choir practices begin and end with a prayer by any minister available. Choir leaders teach the members phrase-by-phrase and voice-by-voice, and members learn by memorizing because most of them cannot read music. The choir members then sing back to demonstrate that they have mastered the phrases until harmony is achieved. However, before teaching begins, the words and meaning of the hymns are explained.At the next choir session (practice), the choir will first go through the previous hymns, to ensure that they have not forgotten the hymns they learnt in the previous sessions.
Song books in use:
The following song books are used:
- New Apostolic Hymnal (NAH)
- New Apostolic Hymn Collection
- German Collection
- Canadian Hymn Book
- Male Choir Book
- Messiah : By G.F. Handel
- Creation : By Joseph Haydn
- Locally composed hymns approved by the District Apostle.
Most hymns are translated into local languages. This makes it easier for the choir members and the congregation to understand and appreciate the meaning of the hymns.Committees are in existence to translate hymns into local languages.Choir members are not auditioned prior to joining the choir and membership is open to all ages. It is the duty of the choir-teachers to train these members.
In some congregations, the organ and the orchestra accompany the choirs. In some cases Choir-teachers use pitch pipes where there is no organ or orchestra. However, organists and orchestra members have to be taught on how to read music before handling the instruments. The teaching is done in-house.