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How to get rid of the Music Director?

Discussion in 'Stage Management and Facility Operations' started by Anonymous067, Dec 23, 2008.

  1. Anonymous067

    Anonymous067 BANNED USER

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    Every summer our church puts on this summer kids program, involving about a 5 piece band and 10 channels of wireless.

    For two years, I've been thrown into command, and, although stressful, enjoyed it. Played piano, directed the band, ran all sound.

    I want to be officially in charge without it being short notice this year.
    Problem is, for the last two years, out music director hasn't been there, and I'm worried this year, he'll get to be in charge (rightfully).

    However, i kinda want to be "in charge", since I've done a decent job the past two years.

    How do I talk to him about asking him if I can take over? (by take over, I mean get him out of the picture)
     
  2. Sayen

    Sayen Active Member

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    I know this guy, who knows a guy, who works down by the docks...


    Or...can you talk to whoever is in charge and who makes the decision? If you've done a good job the last couple of years, and it's your baby, hopefully they'll let you remain in charge?
     
  3. jwl868

    jwl868 Active Member

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    You might not be able to get rid of the music director. The church may require having an adult and/or church employee in charge of the program. There may also be administrative tasks (such as dealing with parents) that the music director is in the best postition to do. Now, that doesn't mean you can't do what you've done in the past under the music director's supervision (such that it is). Sounds like you need to talk to the music director.

    Joe
     
  4. Hughesie

    Hughesie Well-Known Member

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    I obviously share this friend ;)
     
  5. DaveySimps

    DaveySimps CBMod CB Mods Premium Member

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    You know Big Tony The Rat too???


    ~Dave
     
  6. Hughesie

    Hughesie Well-Known Member

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    No Dave, you must have another guy. Ours is called Charlie Beta, it might a codename maybe.

    hmmm
     
  7. rochem

    rochem Well-Known Member

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    What all does the Music Director do? Generally, a Music Director is responsible for helping the actors to learn their music and interpreting the show from a music standpoint, where the actual conducting of the show is just a small part of it. Also, as Joe mentioned, there may be some other administrative tasks that he does that you don't know about. So what exactly is it that you want to do? From what I read, you're interested in conducting the orchestra (and playing piano), but not necessarily those other tasks. Maybe try talking to him to ask if he would allow you to conduct during the show (if that's what you want to do). If he hasn't shown up for two years, then he's probably not very interested in the actual conducting part. So he might be more than willing to let you take over that part of the show.

    If conducting the show really is the only responsibility of the Music Director, then there is a bigger problem. He is being hired (paid?) and receiving program credit for being at the show and conducting. If he doesn't even show up, then replacing him should be a fairly easy decision for the director or producer or whomever is in charge. If he is not doing the job for which he has been hired and credited, he should be replaced.
     
  8. philhaney

    philhaney CBMod CB Mods

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    Depends on how things are done at your church. At the church I go to, the "music director" is called the Worship Pastor and has complete and total control of all musical worship aspects of all services. On the other hand, the Youth Pastor is in charge of VBS (our week-long summer event) as well as our children's Christmas musical (which is our annual 10-wireless mics with children event). For the children's Christmas musical, he has a volunteer who directs, and she always gets with me ahead of time and we go over everything (can we do this? How about that? etc). I'm not on staff at church, I just volunteer, but I am the lead sound/lighting/video/computer guy in the booth.

    Best advice I can give you: Politely and respectfully go to your music director and explain your situation, "I've done so-and-so for the last two years and I was wondering if I could do such-and-such this year?" Whatever he says, respect his wishes (after all, he's the guy in charge). If he bails again or there are problems, follow your church's protocal for things like that (talk to the senior pastor, church board, etc.).

    When all else fails, pray! (Which is the first thing you should do anyway.....)
     
  9. Anonymous067

    Anonymous067 BANNED USER

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    I'd like to point out this is a church VBS program, not a professional theater.

    Our music director is in charge of directing the "band" (however large or small) and getting the sound set up (or having whoever he wants to set it up).

    He HAS NOT performed any of these administrative tasks as MD, as there are none. He did not attend any of the planning meetings for the past two years, I did that. He actually went to a different church to do THEIR VBS, instead of ours, claiming "nobody asked him to do our churches" (which, imo, is fine by my, because I don't want him around).

    So no, he doesn't do any other tasks, because he's literally had zero involvement. No sarcasm intended, he's never done anything. He hasn't even BEEN there, at all. So again, no, he hasn't done any administrative things. Sorry to be stern about this, but its so very true.
     
  10. Anonymous067

    Anonymous067 BANNED USER

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    With all due respect, I don't think you understand the concept of a church's musical director. We don't have separate people for every role, and he is the permanent hired music director of the church. It is his responsibility to plan, organize, and manage the sound and music for the entire program. (off record, this is the role I would much rather have than him, because he doesn't show any interest in doing this).
    At a church, he is not just hired for one show, he has many other tasks to perform besides just this show.

    He is not credited and has not been in previous years, exactly as it should be. As I stated in my last post, he does not perform any administrative tasks to aid or help this show at all. And in fact, I don't WANT him to.

    Allow me to clarify one last time, for the last two years, I've conducted the band, stepped in in less than two weeks notice, and ran the entire sound for the show (yes...while playing piano). He has done nothing to help the performance.

    Please understand that a Church's Music Director is clearly much different than a Music Director in a true theater setting.
     
  11. rochem

    rochem Well-Known Member

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    Fair enough, I really don't have much experience with churches that put a strong emphasis on music programs. When I read your original post and read "every summer, our church puts on this summer kids program...", I assumed that the MD was just hired on every year for the summer as opposed to being a full year-round position. And without understanding exactly what your "summer kids program" was, I just took a guess based on what some churches around where I live do. Since he is in a full-time position, most of what I said has little or no relevance. My apologies.
     
  12. Anonymous067

    Anonymous067 BANNED USER

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    Sorry to jump on you about that, but in my original post, I just didn't wanna detract with the whole "church" aspect.

    We all know different venues are different and have different positions, so my appologies for this.

    And I can see how you could have gotten confused with my posts, so sorry for that too.
     
  13. lieperjp

    lieperjp Well-Known Member

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    You seem to be repeating a theme here... I... I... I... what about we? What is good for the church you are a part of?

    Remember, the VBS is a thing put on by the congregation. Or, at least, it is in the churches around here. (I'm not a part of a mega church, nor are the churches I am familiar with.) It's NOT up to you. It's up to the church, and the respective committee/board under which VBS falls under. You shouldn't try to "get rid of" your music director... You should work together.
     
    philhaney and (deleted member) like this.
  14. MNicolai

    MNicolai Well-Known Member Fight Leukemia

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    The safe way to go is to make polite suggestions, maybe explain how you've done things, what you've been thinking of for this year, and then finish by asking him on his thoughts. If he's been an outsider until now, it's not at all unacceptable to offer to bring him into the loop (on your terms) and present yourself in doing so as a kind, extremely helpful resource. That gives him an opportunity to become confident in your abilities, and subsequently would open the doorway to allowing you to remain in your previous capacity.


    Don't force it though, as that will not end well. Chances are, if he feels like you're on his side and both of you are on the same page, then you will be his go-to person.


    Consider this; you've been hired at a venue. On your first day of work, they ask you to throw all of the cables in a heaping mess of tangled destruction. Now, you may know better, but there's a point where you must understand that they hired you to perform duties necessary to their nature of business. Ultimately, the cables belong to them, and you're on their payroll, so you do what you're told and provide nothing "extra" beyond a polite suggestion to implement a more organized system. If they insist on something that damages their equipment, it's not your problem.
     
  15. venuetech

    venuetech Well-Known Member

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    you don't get rid of him, you get a better job title that puts him under your direction..
    or at least on par with him
    producer
    executive director
    artistic director
    director
    stage director
     
  16. gafftaper

    gafftaper Senior Team Senior Team Fight Leukemia

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    It sounds like you should be talking to the pastor, church board, elders, or whomever has authority in your church that you can quietly discuss your issues with and ask for guidance. Who is in charge of the program and asks the other person to do music in the first place? It could very well be that the other person really doesn't want to be involved in your VBS program. A third party may be able to politely find a way to make that transition happen. As Lieper pointed out above, anything you do on your own is likely to sound self centered and petty. Work within the church system and ask for help.
     

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