• A blessed Nativity / Theophany season to all! For users new and old: the forum rules were streamlined when we transitioned to the new software. Please ensure that you are familiar with them. Continued use of the forum means that you (a) know the rules, and (b) pledge that you'll abide by them. For more information, check out the OrthodoxChristianity.Net Rules section. (There are only 2 threads there - Rules, and Administrative Structure.)

Is your choir director and/or protopsaltis a paid position at your church?

Does your parish have either or both your choir director and head chanter as a paid position?

  • Yes for both

    Votes: 3 13.6%
  • Yes for one

    Votes: 7 31.8%
  • No

    Votes: 12 54.5%

  • Total voters
    22

scamandrius

Merarches
Joined
Jan 22, 2006
Messages
9,377
Reaction score
1
Points
0
Age
44
Location
Omaha
We are thinking that to help improve the quality of music at our parish for all services that the choir director and/or protpsaltis should be paid.  In addition to answering the poll, please indicate the size of your parish, the jurisdiction, and, if possible, what the compensation may be.  Thanks.
 

Agabus

Taxiarches
Joined
Apr 10, 2009
Messages
6,324
Reaction score
3
Points
0
Our choir director is just a member of the laity who sings really loudly.
 

Dominika

Taxiarches
Staff member
Global Moderator
Moderator
Joined
Dec 23, 2011
Messages
7,627
Reaction score
164
Points
63
Age
29
Location
Poland
Website
www.youtube.com
"Yes for both"

1. Choir director is paid, and, moreover, he has a flat in the parish house. He's paid a month salary; probably national minimum or little above it. He has also other stuff to do, like helping in the parish and cemetary office.
2. The protopsaltis lives in his own flat, and has also other job, not connected to the Church, but he's paid some money (half month salary? don't know exactly). He also leads the youth and student choirs.

Size: ~300 people regularly attending, as for the whole, maybe 400?...
Jurisdiction: Polish Orthodox Church
 

minasoliman

Stratopedarches
Staff member
Moderator
Joined
May 24, 2004
Messages
20,198
Reaction score
1
Points
0
Location
NJ
I don't know any Coptic Church in the world that would pay for a choir director, unless the director is of the clergy, and not every parish pays deacons.
 

Isaac14

Jr. Member
Joined
Aug 31, 2013
Messages
41
Reaction score
0
Points
6
Age
43
Location
North Dakota
Neither are paid. We're an OCA mission parish with an average Sunday morning attendance of 60 (adults & kids).
 

Porter ODoran

Toumarches
Joined
May 8, 2014
Messages
12,135
Reaction score
1
Points
38
Age
48
Location
Eugene, OR
We don't. (We don't pay deacons either.) Our choir is far from the best, but would I want to hire in some outside professional? That smacks of entertainment, to me. I'd much prefer to worship with someone who has been a local brother or sister, knows me and the rest, and has shared in the parish's ups and downs, and desires from the heart to worship with us. Wouldn't it be preferable to pay for someone's musical education? And to give the congregation some lessons as well? Now if it were a fulltime job, by being combined with other duties, as Dominika seems to be describing, then, yes, that person should be compensated so he or she can live.
 

Dominika

Taxiarches
Staff member
Global Moderator
Moderator
Joined
Dec 23, 2011
Messages
7,627
Reaction score
164
Points
63
Age
29
Location
Poland
Website
www.youtube.com
Porter ODoran said:
We don't. (We don't pay deacons either.) Our choir is far from the best, but would I want to hire in some outside professional? That smacks of entertainment, to me. I'd much prefer to worship with someone who has been a local brother or sister, knows me and the rest, and has shared in the parish's ups and downs, and desires from the heart to worship with us. Wouldn't it be preferable to pay for someone's musical education? And to give the congregation some lessons as well? Now if it were a fulltime job, by being combined with other duties, as Dominika seems to be describing, then, yes, that person should be compensated so he or she can live.
Oh, I've forgotten to add that our choir director also teaches Church Slavonic at parish everybody who wants it, for free (in a group, but also individually); it's something valuable, since he's also an academic professor of Church music and Church Slavonci at the Christian Theological Academy in Warsaw.
 

RaphaCam

Patriarch of Trashposting
Joined
Oct 22, 2015
Messages
8,682
Reaction score
112
Points
63
Age
23
Location
Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Website
em-espirito-e-em-verdade.blogspot.com
Our choir director is a subdeacon who spent many years in Poland (we're PAOC) studying music and other subjects. I'm not sure whether he's paid, but there are at least plans that he be. Our congregation isn't very large, never gets to 40 people outside Pascha and Christmas large clergy included, but he and the vicar bishop (not the one in town) arranged all music for the whole archeparchy from absolute scratch (as everything in our archeparchy, which basically started with a group of friends deciding to be baptised in Portugal and now has received +2000 people).

I don't think we have a head chanter.
 

scamandrius

Merarches
Joined
Jan 22, 2006
Messages
9,377
Reaction score
1
Points
0
Age
44
Location
Omaha
Porter ODoran said:
We don't. (We don't pay deacons either.) Our choir is far from the best, but would I want to hire in some outside professional? That smacks of entertainment, to me. I'd much prefer to worship with someone who has been a local brother or sister, knows me and the rest, and has shared in the parish's ups and downs, and desires from the heart to worship with us. Wouldn't it be preferable to pay for someone's musical education? And to give the congregation some lessons as well? Now if it were a fulltime job, by being combined with other duties, as Dominika seems to be describing, then, yes, that person should be compensated so he or she can live.
Nowhere did I say anything about hiring an outside professional.  We already have a choir director, a pretty good one, but with things slipping as they have been, perhaps if there were a financial incentive, we can demand some accountability.  I don't understand how this would smack of entertainment.  We are talking about the worship of God , not entertaining.
 

Mor Ephrem

Hypatos
Staff member
Moderator
Joined
Oct 3, 2002
Messages
36,283
Reaction score
166
Points
63
Age
39
Location
New York!
Website
www.orthodoxchristianity.net
scamandrius said:
Porter ODoran said:
We don't. (We don't pay deacons either.) Our choir is far from the best, but would I want to hire in some outside professional? That smacks of entertainment, to me. I'd much prefer to worship with someone who has been a local brother or sister, knows me and the rest, and has shared in the parish's ups and downs, and desires from the heart to worship with us. Wouldn't it be preferable to pay for someone's musical education? And to give the congregation some lessons as well? Now if it were a fulltime job, by being combined with other duties, as Dominika seems to be describing, then, yes, that person should be compensated so he or she can live.
Nowhere did I say anything about hiring an outside professional.  We already have a choir director, a pretty good one, but with things slipping as they have been, perhaps if there were a financial incentive, we can demand some accountability.  I don't understand how this would smack of entertainment.  We are talking about the worship of God , not entertaining.
I would love to get paid for worshiping God.
 

DeniseDenise

Taxiarches
Joined
Apr 22, 2013
Messages
6,807
Reaction score
4
Points
38
Age
50
scamandrius said:
Porter ODoran said:
We don't. (We don't pay deacons either.) Our choir is far from the best, but would I want to hire in some outside professional? That smacks of entertainment, to me. I'd much prefer to worship with someone who has been a local brother or sister, knows me and the rest, and has shared in the parish's ups and downs, and desires from the heart to worship with us. Wouldn't it be preferable to pay for someone's musical education? And to give the congregation some lessons as well? Now if it were a fulltime job, by being combined with other duties, as Dominika seems to be describing, then, yes, that person should be compensated so he or she can live.
Nowhere did I say anything about hiring an outside professional.  We already have a choir director, a pretty good one, but with things slipping as they have been, perhaps if there were a financial incentive, we can demand some accountability.  I don't understand how this would smack of entertainment.  We are talking about the worship of God , not entertaining.

Hmmm is paying someone who was good but must have an issue and is thus 'slipping'. Really going to solve the issue?

All it does is let you 'fire' them.

I would suggest instead that the priest sit and talk with the director.

I would bet there are circumstances going on and the director is overwhelmed
 

Agabus

Taxiarches
Joined
Apr 10, 2009
Messages
6,324
Reaction score
3
Points
0
scamandrius said:
Porter ODoran said:
We don't. (We don't pay deacons either.) Our choir is far from the best, but would I want to hire in some outside professional? That smacks of entertainment, to me. I'd much prefer to worship with someone who has been a local brother or sister, knows me and the rest, and has shared in the parish's ups and downs, and desires from the heart to worship with us. Wouldn't it be preferable to pay for someone's musical education? And to give the congregation some lessons as well? Now if it were a fulltime job, by being combined with other duties, as Dominika seems to be describing, then, yes, that person should be compensated so he or she can live.
Nowhere did I say anything about hiring an outside professional.  We already have a choir director, a pretty good one, but with things slipping as they have been, perhaps if there were a financial incentive, we can demand some accountability. I don't understand how this would smack of entertainment.  We are talking about the worship of God , not entertaining.
The other aspect of it is it can show appreciation for the extra effort someone is putting in. That's how I've always understood such stipends.
 

Agabus

Taxiarches
Joined
Apr 10, 2009
Messages
6,324
Reaction score
3
Points
0
DeniseDenise said:
I would bet there are circumstances going on and the director is overwhelmed
Right. Sometimes people just get worn down over time.
 

Porter ODoran

Toumarches
Joined
May 8, 2014
Messages
12,135
Reaction score
1
Points
38
Age
48
Location
Eugene, OR
scamandrius said:
Porter ODoran said:
We don't. (We don't pay deacons either.) Our choir is far from the best, but would I want to hire in some outside professional? That smacks of entertainment, to me. I'd much prefer to worship with someone who has been a local brother or sister, knows me and the rest, and has shared in the parish's ups and downs, and desires from the heart to worship with us. Wouldn't it be preferable to pay for someone's musical education? And to give the congregation some lessons as well? Now if it were a fulltime job, by being combined with other duties, as Dominika seems to be describing, then, yes, that person should be compensated so he or she can live.
Nowhere did I say anything about hiring an outside professional.  We already have a choir director, a pretty good one, but with things slipping as they have been, perhaps if there were a financial incentive, we can demand some accountability.  I don't understand how this would smack of entertainment.  We are talking about the worship of God , not entertaining.
Oh okay then that's just bizarre.
 

scamandrius

Merarches
Joined
Jan 22, 2006
Messages
9,377
Reaction score
1
Points
0
Age
44
Location
Omaha
DeniseDenise said:
scamandrius said:
Porter ODoran said:
We don't. (We don't pay deacons either.) Our choir is far from the best, but would I want to hire in some outside professional? That smacks of entertainment, to me. I'd much prefer to worship with someone who has been a local brother or sister, knows me and the rest, and has shared in the parish's ups and downs, and desires from the heart to worship with us. Wouldn't it be preferable to pay for someone's musical education? And to give the congregation some lessons as well? Now if it were a fulltime job, by being combined with other duties, as Dominika seems to be describing, then, yes, that person should be compensated so he or she can live.
Nowhere did I say anything about hiring an outside professional.  We already have a choir director, a pretty good one, but with things slipping as they have been, perhaps if there were a financial incentive, we can demand some accountability.  I don't understand how this would smack of entertainment.  We are talking about the worship of God , not entertaining.

Hmmm is paying someone who was good but must have an issue and is thus 'slipping'. Really going to solve the issue?

All it does is let you 'fire' them.

I would suggest instead that the priest sit and talk with the director.

I would bet there are circumstances going on and the director is overwhelmed
She is good, but she's been gone a lot for her sons' graduations and a wedding. However, they also take a lot of trips and because she is gone so much the music gets sloppy and unrehearsed and sounds bad. 
 

DeniseDenise

Taxiarches
Joined
Apr 22, 2013
Messages
6,807
Reaction score
4
Points
38
Age
50
Well paying her won't release her from family obligations and make her do what you want. 

You need a better backup. That she needs to train. 
 

Agabus

Taxiarches
Joined
Apr 10, 2009
Messages
6,324
Reaction score
3
Points
0
scamandrius said:
DeniseDenise said:
scamandrius said:
Porter ODoran said:
We don't. (We don't pay deacons either.) Our choir is far from the best, but would I want to hire in some outside professional? That smacks of entertainment, to me. I'd much prefer to worship with someone who has been a local brother or sister, knows me and the rest, and has shared in the parish's ups and downs, and desires from the heart to worship with us. Wouldn't it be preferable to pay for someone's musical education? And to give the congregation some lessons as well? Now if it were a fulltime job, by being combined with other duties, as Dominika seems to be describing, then, yes, that person should be compensated so he or she can live.
Nowhere did I say anything about hiring an outside professional.  We already have a choir director, a pretty good one, but with things slipping as they have been, perhaps if there were a financial incentive, we can demand some accountability.  I don't understand how this would smack of entertainment.  We are talking about the worship of God , not entertaining.

Hmmm is paying someone who was good but must have an issue and is thus 'slipping'. Really going to solve the issue?

All it does is let you 'fire' them.

I would suggest instead that the priest sit and talk with the director.

I would bet there are circumstances going on and the director is overwhelmed
She is good, but she's been gone a lot for her sons' graduations and a wedding. However, they also take a lot of trips and because she is gone so much the music gets sloppy and unrehearsed and sounds bad.
Is there no one who can step in and lead a rehearsal while she's gone? Even if it maybe won't be as precise as with the gold standard member, almost anyone with musical training can serve as a stopgap.
 

scamandrius

Merarches
Joined
Jan 22, 2006
Messages
9,377
Reaction score
1
Points
0
Age
44
Location
Omaha
^Yes, but there's a lack of continuity.  Plus, rehearsals have pretty much gone by the wayside for the past couple of years and it shows on Sunday mornings.
 

DeniseDenise

Taxiarches
Joined
Apr 22, 2013
Messages
6,807
Reaction score
4
Points
38
Age
50
scamandrius said:
^Yes, but there's a lack of continuity.  Plus, rehearsals have pretty much gone by the wayside for the past couple of years and it shows on Sunday mornings.
Paying someone won't change that.

An honest talk about things with the director and the priest is what
Might.

Aren't you the protopsaltis?
 

scamandrius

Merarches
Joined
Jan 22, 2006
Messages
9,377
Reaction score
1
Points
0
Age
44
Location
Omaha
I've been thinking about this issue a long time ever since a discussion board of fellow psalti referenced this article which became the springboard for our discussion. I post it for your edification.

https://blogs.ancientfaith.com/musicstand/addressing-crisis/
 

scamandrius

Merarches
Joined
Jan 22, 2006
Messages
9,377
Reaction score
1
Points
0
Age
44
Location
Omaha
DeniseDenise said:
scamandrius said:
^Yes, but there's a lack of continuity.  Plus, rehearsals have pretty much gone by the wayside for the past couple of years and it shows on Sunday mornings.
Paying someone won't change that.

An honest talk about things with the director and the priest is what
Might.

Aren't you the protopsaltis?
Financial incentive means that the person receiving the money has to justify it and the congregation is not going to tolerate their investment not getting a proper return.  Our priest seems content with mediocrity; if he has spoken with her about the issues, I have yet to see anything change for the better.

I am not the protos.
 

DeniseDenise

Taxiarches
Joined
Apr 22, 2013
Messages
6,807
Reaction score
4
Points
38
Age
50
scamandrius said:
DeniseDenise said:
scamandrius said:
^Yes, but there's a lack of continuity.  Plus, rehearsals have pretty much gone by the wayside for the past couple of years and it shows on Sunday mornings.
Paying someone won't change that.

An honest talk about things with the director and the priest is what
Might.

Aren't you the protopsaltis?
Financial incentive means that the person receiving the money has to justify it and the congregation is not going to tolerate their investment not getting a proper return.  Our priest seems content with mediocrity; if he has spoken with her about the issues, I have yet to see anything change for the better.

I am not the protos.
Well then. You are solving a problem that no one else in your parish is trying to solve


Good luck with that

 

minasoliman

Stratopedarches
Staff member
Moderator
Joined
May 24, 2004
Messages
20,198
Reaction score
1
Points
0
Location
NJ
If the congregation is fully involved in trying to resolve this problem, why not have a meeting together to learn the hymns rather than pay someone to direct them?  And then have them become dedicated parents to bring their kids to learn these same hymns.  Have the congregation become the choir.
 

scamandrius

Merarches
Joined
Jan 22, 2006
Messages
9,377
Reaction score
1
Points
0
Age
44
Location
Omaha
DeniseDenise said:
scamandrius said:
DeniseDenise said:
scamandrius said:
^Yes, but there's a lack of continuity.  Plus, rehearsals have pretty much gone by the wayside for the past couple of years and it shows on Sunday mornings.
Paying someone won't change that.

An honest talk about things with the director and the priest is what
Might.

Aren't you the protopsaltis?
Financial incentive means that the person receiving the money has to justify it and the congregation is not going to tolerate their investment not getting a proper return.  Our priest seems content with mediocrity; if he has spoken with her about the issues, I have yet to see anything change for the better.

I am not the protos.
Well then. You are solving a problem that no one else in your parish is trying to solve


Good luck with that
When I started this thread, I asked  simple questions:  "Is your choir director and/or protos paid? If so, how much? What is the size of your parish and to which jurisdiction do you belong?"  There are issues which you are not aware of. Just because my priest does not address the issue does not make it less of one.  So, just answer the question and if you want to venture your opinion on any future thread of mine, I will just say that your input is neither requested nor required.
 

scamandrius

Merarches
Joined
Jan 22, 2006
Messages
9,377
Reaction score
1
Points
0
Age
44
Location
Omaha
minasoliman said:
If the congregation is fully involved in trying to resolve this problem, why not have a meeting together to learn the hymns rather than pay someone to direct them?  And then have them become dedicated parents to bring their kids to learn these same hymns.  Have the congregation become the choir.
They have to be willing to be taught and they are not willing.
 

minasoliman

Stratopedarches
Staff member
Moderator
Joined
May 24, 2004
Messages
20,198
Reaction score
1
Points
0
Location
NJ
Throwing money at the problem is only a short term solution I think. Prepare the next generation then.  Have the parents bring their kids to hymns learning.
 

DeniseDenise

Taxiarches
Joined
Apr 22, 2013
Messages
6,807
Reaction score
4
Points
38
Age
50
Again. You are solving a problem for a group that does not want the problem solved. Or doesn't see the same level of problem as you do

That seems a futile effort until others in control of such things want to change them


Ps. You cannot dictate who answers threads.
 

Deacon Lance

Protokentarchos
Joined
Oct 26, 2002
Messages
4,206
Reaction score
23
Points
38
Age
48
Location
Washington, PA
You seem to not see eye to eye on Liturgy with your pastor as you have posted similar threads.  For your sake you need to accept it or find a new parish.
 

hecma925

Stratopedarches
Joined
Jul 31, 2013
Messages
20,220
Reaction score
369
Points
83
Age
159
Location
The South
The choir leader in my parish is the retired priest's matushka.  There is also a lady that is kind of a co-director.  Both get a small stipend because if one isn't there, the other is.

 

Porter ODoran

Toumarches
Joined
May 8, 2014
Messages
12,135
Reaction score
1
Points
38
Age
48
Location
Eugene, OR
minasoliman said:
If the congregation is fully involved in trying to resolve this problem, why not have a meeting together to learn the hymns rather than pay someone to direct them?  And then have them become dedicated parents to bring their kids to learn these same hymns.  Have the congregation become the choir.
God bless you.
 

hecma925

Stratopedarches
Joined
Jul 31, 2013
Messages
20,220
Reaction score
369
Points
83
Age
159
Location
The South
minasoliman said:
Throwing money at the problem is only a short term solution I think. Prepare the next generation then.  Have the parents bring their kids to hymns learning.
Ugh, but the kids have soccer practice on Tuesdays and Thursdays and Mondays are always booked with tutoring and Wednesdays they visit yiayia and Fridays always has soccer matches and Saturdays are the only days we even get to relax, but the kids sre so noisy so we send them to the mall and the Sundays after church there are usually soccer matches or visiting with friends.....

Anecdotally, in my parish....

The kids aren't really interested.  If they are, the parents aren't going to drive them to something that they haven't paid for.  Also, at my parish, there isn't any training and practice is only 15 minutes before the Hours in Sundays.  Rather than monetary investment in directors, what's needed is time investment with people willing to put the work in, even if it means studying and learning with free online resources about how to read music or training voices.
 

minasoliman

Stratopedarches
Staff member
Moderator
Joined
May 24, 2004
Messages
20,198
Reaction score
1
Points
0
Location
NJ
hecma925 said:
minasoliman said:
Throwing money at the problem is only a short term solution I think. Prepare the next generation then.  Have the parents bring their kids to hymns learning.
Ugh, but the kids have soccer practice on Tuesdays and Thursdays and Mondays are always booked with tutoring and Wednesdays they visit yiayia and Fridays always has soccer matches and Saturdays are the only days we even get to relax, but the kids sre so noisy so we send them to the mall and the Sundays after church there are usually soccer matches or visiting with friends.....

Anecdotally, in my parish....

The kids aren't really interested.  If they are, the parents aren't going to drive them to something that they haven't paid for.  Also, at my parish, there isn't any training and practice is only 15 minutes before the Hours in Sundays.  Rather than monetary investment in directors, what's needed is time investment with people willing to put the work in, even if it means studying and learning with free online resources about how to read music or training voices.
Oh yea, I know about soccer practices, but they're usually Sunday mornings, which are more important than liturgy.  :p

If they're not interested in hymns, they'll not be interested in liturgy.  And the future of the parish will be dire.
 

hecma925

Stratopedarches
Joined
Jul 31, 2013
Messages
20,220
Reaction score
369
Points
83
Age
159
Location
The South
I try not to get annoyed, but it's sad that a 25+year old parish still handles a choir like its a 5 person mission.  Even better, when I hear the choir of a mission parish that sounds like they actually train and practice (unpaid and non-professionals, just people putting time in); it makes me glad for their parish, but sad for mine.
 

hecma925

Stratopedarches
Joined
Jul 31, 2013
Messages
20,220
Reaction score
369
Points
83
Age
159
Location
The South
scamandrius said:
We are thinking that to help improve the quality of music at our parish for all services that the choir director and/or protpsaltis should be paid.  In addition to answering the poll, please indicate the size of your parish, the jurisdiction, and, if possible, what the compensation may be.  Thanks.
To the OP, money will probably not help the issue.
 

Porter ODoran

Toumarches
Joined
May 8, 2014
Messages
12,135
Reaction score
1
Points
38
Age
48
Location
Eugene, OR
hecma925 said:
I try not to get annoyed, but it's sad that a 25+year old parish still handles a choir like its a 5 person mission.  Even better, when I hear the choir of a mission parish that sounds like they actually train and practice (unpaid and non-professionals, just people putting time in); it makes me glad for their parish, but sad for mine.
Consider it an ascetic exercise. When we first moved to my city, I was in despair at the prospect of sitting under the sound of a bad choir for years to come. But in the event I haven't suffered from it at all. God gave grace. (Yes, I know this probably makes me sound selfish and melodramatic.) Remember, we are always accompanied invisibly in our worship by a choir of angels.
 

Opus118

Protokentarchos
Site Supporter
Joined
Jun 18, 2005
Messages
4,021
Reaction score
15
Points
38
Age
69
Location
Oceanside, California
scamandrius said:
We are thinking that to help improve the quality of music at our parish for all services that the choir director and/or protpsaltis should be paid.  In addition to answering the poll, please indicate the size of your parish, the jurisdiction, and, if possible, what the compensation may be.  Thanks.
I do not know about the protopsaltis. The choir director receives $3600/year. I do not know the number of members, but the pledged stewards is around 160 (individuals or families). GOAA, with a largely American congregation (converts and 2nd-4th generation Greeks). Hope this helps.
 

eddybear

OC.Net Guru
Joined
Sep 17, 2014
Messages
1,097
Reaction score
0
Points
0
Age
49
Location
South-west England
No to both, but we are very small, about 20-30 including children for the main monthly service and half that at other times, so it wouldn't be sustainable. Jurisdiction is Moscow Patriarchate.
 

SolEX01

Toumarches
Joined
Apr 22, 2008
Messages
13,833
Reaction score
16
Points
38
Location
Central Maryland
Website
www.goarch.org
The choir director and protopsaltis are paid positions at my church.  Protopsaltis makes $40K and choir director makes $20K.  I'm in GOAA, about 800 families.
 

scamandrius

Merarches
Joined
Jan 22, 2006
Messages
9,377
Reaction score
1
Points
0
Age
44
Location
Omaha
minasoliman said:
Throwing money at the problem is only a short term solution I think. Prepare the next generation then.  Have the parents bring their kids to hymns learning.
Again, they are unwilling; the kids, too.
 
Top