A typical Assembly will have four or five songs arranged throughout, and your role, should you choose to accept it, is as much “choir director” as it is a performer. We like to think of the Assembly itself as our choir, and you would be the leader and the inspiring force behind the Assembly sing-alongs.
Example Assembly Program:
- Song 1
- Song 2
- Welcome and news – MC
- Inspiration – Guest 1
- Educational talk – Guest 2
- Song 3
- Doing your best – community member
- Moment of silent reflection
- Special Address – MC
- Farewell – MC
- Song 4
- Song 5
As a musician at Sunday Assembly Portland, your first job will be to energize the attendees: get them on their feet, and get them singing (or at least clapping)! This means playing some songs that everyone knows, that have energy, and are positive (or at least not negative). Your second job is to inspire us through the music and your own passion.
If that sounds like something you’d like to do …
- Keep it family-friendly. Kids are welcome, so please nothing that will have parents tracking us down for later!
- Sing-alongs are what it’s about. And people have to know the tune and the lyrics to sing along. Deviations from common songs (like a lot of creative license or ad-libbed solos) will leave the assemblers behind.
- Guitar solos and other instrumentals can make an assembly drag. Long, repetitive choruses are also places where we lose the audience. Consider cutting where appropriate.
- Send us your proposed set-list at least two weeks before the Assembly, so we can be sure to get the lyrics into the program and stuff.
- Once the song is set, we’ll want to coordinate with you to get lyrics of the cut and version you’ll be using, so we can project them for the assembly.
There are some elements we know won’t work for a Sunday Assembly.
- We prefer to avoid explicitly “atheist” songs, since our experience with these has led to jokes at others’ expense. Sure, we’re atheist, humanists, freethinkers, skeptics and whatnot… but we’re here to emphasize what we do believe in! Rules are meant to be broken, so if you have an uplifting atheist number in mind that breaks the mold, talk to us.
- Since we’re not the least bit holy, it doesn’t suit us to be holier-than-though. In other words, let’s keep away from the religion-bashing. Even little jabs can slow down the positive momentum of the Assembly. It’s okay to poke a little fun at ourselves, but we strictly avoid ridiculing others.
- Play overly romantic songs. While they can be touching, they are generally not well received for sing-alongs.
To ensure that “Sunday Assembly” actually means something, we have to be clear on that meaning. Please check out our Charter for an overview. Or talk to one of the organizers–we’re always happy to help.
The band is welcome to plug any upcoming shows and sell merchandise in the back.