THERE ARE A NUMBER of opportunities for trained and untrained musicians and vocalists to participate in worship leadership at Atonement. Those with some degree of musical training can become a part of one of our instrumental ensembles or praise teams. Virtually anyone who can count to four has an opportunity to learn to be proficient at making music with bells or chimes. Novice and experienced singers may want to join one of our choirs or become a vocalist on one of our contemporary worship teams.
Adult Handbell Choir
The Adult Handbell Choir rehearses weekly on Wednesday mornings, 9:30—11:00am. An experienced ensemble, this group challenges its members with interesting music and many special techniques. Full-time positions occasionally open up and substitute ringers are often needed as well, so new ringers-in-training are always desired. Reading music is helpful, but counting rhythm accurately and having a good sense of rhythm are more important for becoming a member of the choir. Be prepared to have fun!
The Atonement Singers lead worship at the 8:00 and 9:15 services (usually alternating weeks) from September through May, about three Sundays a month. Rehearsals take place on Saturday mornings at 8:30 until 10:00am. This mixed ensemble of adult singers (high school and up) is open to all who enjoy singing—music reading is not a requirement and no audition is necessary! The choir sings a variety of music from Bach to gospel, enjoying good music and fellowship each week. Making the connections between music, faith and worship is their calling and their delight!
Instrumental musicians of all ages participate regularly in worship as soloists or in ensembles. Brass, strings, woodwinds, reeds, and percussion instruments are often used to lead and enhance worship. The Youth Band (youth who play band and orchestra instruments), plays on Thanksgiving Eve, Christmas Eve and during the Easter season. An intergenerational orchestra accompanies the “Schubert Liturgy” 4-5 times per year. Many other opportunities for duets, trios, quartets, small ensembles and accompanists occur throughout the year. Rehearsals are scheduled as needed.
Flute players of all ages and abilities come together on several occasions during the year to play in worship. Rehearsals are specially scheduled in advance of each occasion. Do you have an idle flute in your closet? Many who participate are reawakening a love for an instrument laid aside long ago, and are finding a community for rebuilding skills while having a fun together. Others are experienced musicians, or young novice players. Bring them all together, and it’s a great sound and a great time.
Participation in Handbell Choirs provide opportunities to serve in worship and grow in faith, learning and using musical skills and developing community among the youth. The Middle School and High School Youth Handbell Choir meets on Wednesdays from 5:15 to 6:00 p.m. (following the Confirmation calendar).
We offer two children’s choirs which meet weekly during the Sunday School year. Rehearsals are on Sundays from 10:30 to 11:00am following Sunday School. The choirs sing in worship approximately once a month, and also participate in the Christmas eve family services. Through the choir experience, we strive to give children an enjoyable and solid foundation in learning about God, worship, the basics of singing, and what it means to offer our gifts in service to our church and Jesus Christ. The choirs currently offered are the Cherub Choir (age 3 to third grade) and the Children’s Choir (4th to 8th grade).
The perfect way to introduce music participation to babies and toddlers! There are many benefits children gain by taking part in this music and movement program encompassing musical, physical, emotional, social and cognitive growth. This class also addresses faith development as well as basic music concepts. Open to children from birth to two years old for Atonement members and all residents of the Barrington area and surrounding community. Meets Wednesdays from 4:30 to 5:00 p.m., registration cost is $85 for the school year and one parent is expected to accompany the child and participate with them in each class.
Ten-Fifty Prayz Worship Teams
Our 10:50 am worship services are led by a praise team (live band) that consists of vocalists and instrumentalists each and every week unless there is a special musical offering. There are currently three worship teams that serve on a three-week rotational basis. Steve Witwicki is the Director of 10:50 worship.
Practices are generally held at 9:00am on the Sunday that the team leads worship. Music, charts and recordings to use for practice are available for download on our online web page (you will need a login). For more information about current openings or access to our planning page on the web, check the ‘I’m interested’ link above. Interested persons are always welcome to drop in to join us and fellowship at practices.
Each team has a core band that includes drums, guitars (acoustic, electric and bass) and keyboards. From time to time we may also include hand percussion, violin, mandolin, flute or horns. Instrumentalists should have a few years of musical training or playing in a band and do not need to read music. While most of our key positions are filled, we are always seeking talented individuals to help as substitutes or temporary team members.
In addition to the band and worship leader, a group of three to six vocalists is assigned to each worship team. Vocalists typically form a background ensemble, may sing in two or three-part harmony and are encouraged to help model worship for the congregation. Reading musical notation is not a requirement but can be very helpful for learning parts. Both men and women are welcome to try out for regular assignments on our praise teams when we have openings or to be considered as a substitute.