That our evangelistic music might be in keeping with the standard of our message, we have, by the choice of songs and hymns and their rendition, endeavored to please God and draw men to Him. We read in Patriarchs and Prophets:
"Music forms a part of God's worship in the courts above, and we should endeavor in our songs of praise, to approach as nearly as possible to the harmony of the heavenly choirs."—Page 594.
Thirty minutes before the sermon the instrumental group—composed of two marimbas, two vibraharps, a violin, and two pianos—begins the musical program by playing three or four hymns. As the instrumental group plays its last selection, the robed choir takes its place, and the song service opens with the theme, "Redeemed ! how I love to proclaim it !" The congregation joins in as the chorus is repeated.
Enthusiasm is added to the congregational singing by the instrumental group accompanying. This is part of God's plan: "Let the singing be accompanied with musical instruments skillfully handled. We are not to oppose the use of instruments of music in our work."—Gospel Workers, p. 357.
We plan a special number from the choir each evening, using songs that are familiar favorites. Many of the selections are found in the new Gospel Melodies. Variety is added to the song service by having instrumental numbers and vocal solos and trios. The choir and band and smaller groups from Auburn Academy have been used on several occasions. Also the local church school has been called upon for participation in the song service.
Choir rehearsals are held following the close of the sermon. Songs are practiced in advance for three meetings. Thus if some miss a practice, they can still be prepared to sing. One contributing factor to the faithfulness of our choir, which averages about thirty members, is the prompt dismissal of the rehearsals. Even if there is time for only a ten-minute practice, we dismiss the choir at nine-thirty. Many are hard-working people, and we realize they sacrifice to come out each evening.
We have been privileged in having excellent talent from our boys in uniform from near-by Fort Lewis. Young men from all parts of the United States and Hawaii have helped in the choir and with special music. We have appreciated their help as they have joined us for a few weeks before being sent on in the service of the nation.
Five aims which we strive to meet in our musical program are: (I) Be familiar with God's standard, and aim to meet this standard. (2) Let each individual sense the importance of his part in the effort of winning souls. (3) Guard the choice of songs and special numbers to be used. (4) Have regular and timed rehearsals. (5) Above all, pray much for God's blessing.