So, I know the selections I have chosen for my Church Service Mission Choir. We have two numbers that are lively and two numbers that are slower and more lyrical. I chose them weeks ago before I knew what else would be on the program. Come to find out, a family of performers has been asked to join us in the concert. Their numbers are three lullabies (two chorals sung in parts and a violin duet) and "O Holy Night" sung as a solo power ballad.
How to arrange these pieces for optimum impact? Fortunately, the colors of sound will be very different from a 25 voice choir compared to a 10 voice family ensemble that includes some children. Our choir will have two soloists and a cellist. The family will have a vocal soloist as well as two violins. So, even when the pieces have similar tempo and style, the colors will be very different. I'll just have to put one of our lively pieces in the middle of the program to change the pace.
Narration can be useful, too. Skillful use of key scriptures and quotes can provide needed punch and bridge gaps to cover set up time between numbers. It can also break the tonality enough in case some of the pieces are in unrelated keys.
But every good concert needs a slam bang finish. After the final remarks, I decided to do a version of "Joy to the World" that can feature all of our groups and instrumentalists and bring in the congregation on the last verse.
There, that should do it. Mission accomplished. Another Christmas Concert programmed.