Ministry Of Praise Church Cultural Studies Essay

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Traditionally, venue PA systems are installed and operate at the optimum level once a engineer test the room and find the best acoustic sound signals to travel from one or more microphones to a mixing console The mixing console is where all signals will be assorted together in the right balance and sonic levels before being sent out to an external amplifier. The signals are then converted to larger signals which will be sent to the PA speakers creating sound waves for the performers and audience to hear.

In order to achieve the highest quality playback the engineer will need to consider the stage layout, the stage layout for band and singers, location of power supply on-site, the total audience capacity for venue as well as fire exits and high track walk ways, loading area for all.

The Front of House engineer (FOH) is located centrally at the rear of the church main ceremony hall will be responsible for monitoring all the mixer desk / music levels during sound-check in addition to managing Live Services PA's providing adjustments to the overall atmospheric sensitivity of the rooms acoustics in cooperation with the Master of Ceremony and Head of Musicians.

The assistant engineer is positioned at the right-hand side on stage and controls the music levels on stage where this environment is separately managed from the rest of the room with backline monitoring also known as the bottom line which are the backbone of on-stage amplification; these are traditionally a line of speaker cabinets and/or combo amps running laterally across the back of the stage. The simplest backline arrangement is for a full band consisting of vocalist (9), bass players and keyboardist, and guitarists; players each to have a reference speaker cabinet placed directly behind their playing position. Each player then hears his/her own instrument source directly, and if the drums are set up in the middle of the stage, the drummer can usually hear the centrally-placed cabinets reasonably well. Wedge monitors help to provide the best acoustics for the singers, choir and speakers to deliver the highest quality of sound on stage during their performance. It's also the assistant job to liaise with the other entire performer and relay any information. (Sound on Sound, On-stage Monitoring, Gavin Harrison 2004).

It is important to create, establish and regularly update systems of work flow and communication between all departments as the knowledge of each other's job roles undoubtedly allows for a greater level of quality output as well as additional room for safety if anything was to fail during the running of the service, I worked directly under the Head of the Department Talbert Wilson who oversees all the arts service provided by the church which includes the Visual Effects/Teleprompter and Camera Operations Team (VECO Team), who's job involved controlling the visual aspect on the jumbo screens found around the hall synchronising song lyrics, words and scriptures plus aesthetics visual to enhance the impact of both vocal and music performances.

Socio-political

All throughout the Holy Bible there are scripture within book such as Exodus music can be used to worship God (Exodus 15:1). All these were the sons of Heman, the king's seer, for God had honoured him with fourteen sons and three daughters. 6 All these men were under the direction of their fathers as they made music at the house of the LORD. Their responsibilities ...that speak of the importance of Music within ministry, in the book of "Job 38:7 - When the morning stars sang together, and all the sons of God shouted for joy" speaks of Lucifer being otherwise known as the first sound of the morning star implying he was the most divine sound (Holy Bible, Job 38:7).

An old and anonymous English author cites a passage from Isidore to this effect, "Of the ancient custom of singers in the old church of the Jews, the primitive Church took example to nourish singers, by whose songs the minds of the hearers might be stirred up to God;" adding "And the psalmist or singer ought to be most excellent both in voice and art, that he may the better delight the hearers with the sweetness of his music." ["The praise of Musicke." Oxford, 1586. Chap. IX. on "the lawful use of Musicke in the Church."] In confirmation, he quotes many other of the ancient Fathers and Historians, e. g. Theodoret, Pliny, Zozomenus, Socrates' tripartite history, Hieronymus, Augustine whose concurrent testimony is equally satisfactory. Wherefore it may be considered as a point firmly and indisputably settled and established, that, as Music was the gift of God to man, but principally as the appropriate vehicle for the celebration of His praises; so it was encouraged in the ancient Church by the institution of bodies of singers expressly set apart to "laud and magnify His holy name," and so it has continued in use, with more or less of corruption and decay, and occasional resuscitation, until the present time.

Economical

To contextualise the economical impact and value of gospel around the world I will focus my investigation on the Kenya where Gospel music is believed to be not only the fastest growing musical expression and industry but has also become an important aspect of Kenya's socio-political discourses. Gospel music has intricately interwoven with politics in Kenya and has been reported to of been used to steer social change and reform. The gospel music industry has been active in Kenya for sometime but in the early 1980s but more prominently in the 1990s it witnessed tremendous growth (Parsitau 2006). It was however during the cry for social change as well as political reforms at the dawn of the millennium that Kenyan gospel music acquired the power to be harnessed for social/political significance.

The articles I have researched on the subject of Kenya's Gospel industry focuses on the role of gospel music as a economical factor for socio-political reform, one could argues that music generally, whether gospel or commercial, is a dynamic and highly charged force that affects other aspects of life such as democracy, economic growth, empowerment (Thorsen 2004). There are three main factors which were responsible for the rapid growth of gospel music within Kenya and these are: Economic environment that where deteriorating socio-politically. Proliferation of Charismatic Churches and Neo-Pentecostal movements; which witnessed extraordinary growth in 1970s-80s but further in the 1990s. Liberalisation of radio airwaves, which equally took place in the 1990s (Parsitau 2006).

Gospel music as a standalone genre is considered to have begun in the United States, sometime in the nineteenth century. The first time that appeared in print was in 1874. The English term "gospel" translates to the meaning of good news, or a joyous message.

A leader such as a reverend, preacher or even a choir director usually starts the spirituals off by singing a phrase of the song and the choir or the whole congregation will join in singing. Gospel music denotes the force of emotional as well as a feeling of triumph. Gospel music, as spirituals, is often sung by a choir or a congregation, in a call and response fashion, which has been adopted by main stream popular music performers. With the lead performer starting and then others join in.

Look at how gospel music is interpreted around the world specifically America. Gospel music became popular in the 19th century after the American civil war as musicians of colour were hired to play in saloons and brothels. A couple of forms of popular music are spirituals, gospel, blues, jazz. Spiritual and gospel music reflected the poverty and oppression of slaves. As Jazz entered the popular culture it provoked a great deal of criticism. An artist know as, Louis Armstrong, had a huge impact in the way white people became to appreciate African American music. Blues music came on to the scene, in which it reflected the emotions and struggles of the poorer segments of the black community. Later in the 20th Century Rock and Roll came onto the scene and began to break down the colour barriers in music. Chuck Berry was one of the 1st African American rock and roll artists to appeal to teenage kids no matter their race. The white industry then tried to find somebody to try to imitate blacks to compete in the music industry. In order for blacks to succeed in the music industry, they had to make a change when contracts became exploited; people were not seeing their money and blacks had to give up publishing.

By the late 50's Motown Records became the way for blacks to succeed in the industry. They opened the doors of taking African-American talent and creativity and making it work. This was the foundation for many artists such as The Jackson Five, Dianna Ross and the Supremes. Stevie Wonder, The Temptations etc. In the 80's Record Label Def Jam Records became the foundation for Hip-Hop, Rhythm and Blues, and Rap artists. African American Music has come a long way and has influenced us as being an expression of our culture. The only thing that the slaves were able to bring with them to this country was their culture, and that culture was expressed through their music.

History

Focusing on my placement specially and its historic, I found that church in London do not act dissimilar from the church around the world within the predominately black communities as they serve as cornerstone of community where many young children grow up with the influence of the church from their parent and grand-parents during the early stages of lives. Ministry of Praise hosting a quarterly concert in-conjunction with a body of churches which is called "Power in Praise". Christian music festivals are another huge source of revenue for churches as they bring in large number of congregation as well as tickets sales ect, there are opportunity to sell refreshments and handmade crafts. So of the top Christian music festival are: Big Church Day Out, Festival Con Dios, Unity Christian Music Festival,Youth Conference (Christian)

Youth of The Nation Conference. The word Christmas comes from the old English "Cristes maesse" meaning Christ's Mass. The Holiday celebrates the birth of Jesus Christ. The actual birthday of Jesus is not known; therefore, the early Church Fathers in the 4th century fixed the day around the old Roman Saturnalia festival (17 - 21 December), a traditional pagan festivity. In American/English tradition, Christmas Day it is the day for opening gifts brought by jolly old St. Nick. Many of our current American ideals about the way Christmas ought to be, derive from the English Victorian Christmas, such as that described in Charles Dickens' "A Christmas Carol." The carolling, the gifts, the feast, and the wishing of good cheer to all - these ingredients came together to create that special Christmas atmosphere.

Concert (Power In Praise)

On the 31st March 2013, Ministry of Praise church choir was preparing for its twentieth spring concert after a meeting with the tech team Rev. Talbert Wilson who is head of the technology department appointed me in charge of front of house (FOH). I was to be in charge of organising all things musical, from equipment to musicians as well as establishing all the levels for the venue which will be the main church service hall. On the day of the concert I gather the musicians for a quick rehearsal and found that they were well prepared however the choir still had a few songs they need to learn completely through so I consulted with the choirs director and gave him the idea of running a backing track from one of the earlier rehearsal very low in the mix during the performance which would help hide any imperfection during the live pa and also assist the choir with parts of the song they were not confident in by using the backing track as a guide to prompt lyrics within the song.

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Funding

According to the Church of England webpage it takes just over £1000 million a year to run the Church of England, financing its 13,000 parishes and 43 cathedrals. For more details see The Church of England Today and Financial Overview 2000-2010 (http://www.churchofengland.org/about-us/facts-stats/funding.aspx)

Around 3/4 whihc roughly estimates at around £750 millionout the Church Of England funding comes from member of the church known as worshippers in all the different parishes which come together to make the body of the Church of England. Over the past five years, all the different parishes have increased their giving by an estimated £100 million which is to help meet the meet increased ministry / pension costs.

Reading on I gather that that money generated is spent over £200 million is for tax-efficiently each year distributed through Gift Aid and a additional £60 million is to be recovered from the Inland Revenue in taxations; almost £200 million is paid in cash and donations by congregations and visitors; where as a figure which is believed to be in the region of £250 million is generated through legacies, events, the letting of church halls, bookstalls, fundraising and parish magazines and other venues.

The core department of the Church of England constrict of The Archbishops' Council, The Church Commissioner, The Church of England Pensions Boar, Giving and Christian Stewardship and Today approximately 15 per cent which is over £160 million comes from the Church Commissioners whom manages assets of also £4.4 billion the figure recorded at the end of 2008 on behalf of the Church (Church of England, 2008)

Evaluate

After working within Ministry of Praise for the past six weeks I feel I have reached all my target and learning outcome set out to achieve. I set out to get hands on experience working with live PA equipment and running the front of house during Live PA set up and recording and have been able to do so at Ministry of Praise under the mentorship from Rev. Talbert Wilson who is head of the Technology Team at the church which over the Music's and all the Music set up within the ministry.

Equipment:

MONITORING:

Focal Twins 6

Yamaha Ns 10M Studio

Behringer B3031A

COMPUTER SYSTEM:

Mac pro 8 Core 16 gig ram

Pentium 8 Core 16 Gig Ram

Pentium 4 Core 8 Gig Ram

SSL Alpha-Link Soundcard

Motu 2408 Mk 3 Soundcard

Motu MIDI Express 128

Dual Display Graphics Card

Midiman Midi Sport

2 x 24 Inch Monitors

MICROPHONES:

Neumann U87

SE Electronics SE2200a

Audio Tecknica 4033

Shure 57

Shure 58

Shure D 12

Shure D 11

Shure C 430

Sennheiser

AKG C1000

HEADPHONES:

Beyerdynamic

Sennheiser

Audio Tecknica

STUDIO OUTBOARD:

Mackie 56 Track Mixer

Avalon VT-737 SP Tube Pre

TL Audio VP5051 Valve Pre

Steinberg CMC Controller x 3

Joe Meek Twin Q

Behringer U-Control UMX25

Akai MPD16

Focusrite Voicemaster Pro

Focusrite preamp

Drawmer Dual Compressor

Drawmer Dual Gate

D-drum Pro Drum Trigger Set

Roland TMC6 Drum

Behringer Powerplay Pro Xl

Behringer Ulfrafex 2

Digitech Studio Quad

XRI 300 MTC

Samson Servo 170 Amp

Rotel Ra 820 Ax Amp

Tascam Da 20 Mk 2 Dat

Philips Twin Dac CD Player

Technics M215 Tape Player

BACKLINE GUITAR/BASS:

Marshall JCM 800

Marshall 4x12 X 2

Guitar Rig 4

Guitar Rig 5

AmpliTube 3

Marshall El 84 20 20

Pod X3 Pro

Ampeg Bass Rig

DRUMS:

Tama Rockstar custom 5 piece drum kit

Iron Cobra double bass pedal

Cymbals:

Zildjian A Custom 16 crash

Zildjian A Custom 18 crash

Zildjian K 19" china

Paiste 402 20" ride

Zildjian K Hi Hats

SOFTWARE (SEQUENCING / PLUGINS):

Pro Tools 9

Cubase 7

Albleton Live

Revoice Pro

Soundforge 10

Antares Auto Tune 5

Antares Filter

Sonalksis Bundle

Sugar Bytes Artillery 2

Reaktor 5

T-RackS 3 Deluxe

CSR Classik Studio Reverb

Battery 3

URS Bundle

PSP Bundle

Lexicon PSP 42

Drumagog

KEYBOARDS / SYNTHESISERS:

Korg Sp250

E-mu Vintage Keys

Roland 2080

Roland D5

Roland A33

Alchemy

Native Instruments Komplete 6

Native Instruments Komplete 7

Native Instruments Komplete 8

Albino 3

SampleTank 2.5 XL

Sonik Synth 2

Miroslav Philharmonik

SampleMoog

SampleTron

Blue

Fm8

Kontakt 3

Native Instruments Classic Piano Collection

NEW YORK CONCERT GRAND

VIENNA CONCERT GRAND

BERLIN CONCERT GRAND

The UPRIGHT PIANO

Absynth5

Kontakt 4

Massive

Gladiator 2

Stylus

Trilogy

Atmosphere

Predator

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