Church Gigs?

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ttf_anonymous
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Joined: Thu Apr 05, 2018 10:09 pm

Church Gigs?

Post by ttf_anonymous » Sat Apr 22, 2017 9:52 pm

Hey y'all,

So I've seen some of you guys playing at churches and getting paid. Currently, I am playing at the church I've been going to for years for free, but I would like to start being hired at various churches and play for profit. How are y'all requested to play at churches, how much do you charge per gig, and how do you go about with the entire thing basically, as I'm curious to learn on how to play and make money at churches. Thanks!
ttf_hyperbolica
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Church Gigs?

Post by ttf_hyperbolica » Sun Apr 23, 2017 5:58 am

I think most church gigs happen by word of mouth. Its not bad to play some free gigs where people will hear you, like at the library or in a park, or downtown, or nursing homes. You could also market directly to music diectors of larger churches. Call the church office and ask for the music director. They might ask for a sample recording or want you to play for free once.

If you are involved in the local music scene at all, you probably already know a church music director or know someone who knows a church music director. Getting a gig is about connections. Ketting asked back is about professionalism, how easy you are to work with,  and of course the quality of your music.

How much you get paid is an entirely different thing. In the 1980s in Boston or Rochester you might get $250 each at a big church for a 4/5tet for an important service like Easter or Christmas. But if you're in a smaller southern city these days you might only get $25-50 each.

Its different also if you are an individual freelance or you have an established group. My quartet has never performed for pay with all regular members. We almost always have a sub (or 2 or 3).
ttf_Stan
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Joined: Sat Mar 31, 2018 12:36 pm

Church Gigs?

Post by ttf_Stan » Mon Apr 24, 2017 5:24 am

Meet a trumpet player and make it a package deal. 

Seriously. 
ttf_anonymous
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Church Gigs?

Post by ttf_anonymous » Mon Apr 24, 2017 5:39 am

To play at a church for profit, find LARGE churches.
Most churches has a small music budget, and can't swing for hire players.

Most budgets afford Piano/Organ (if paid at all), and enough funds for Christmas & Easter Music.
Playing for church is fun, but isn't going to be a very regular "paid" gig.

JMHO
ttf_timothy42b
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Church Gigs?

Post by ttf_timothy42b » Mon Apr 24, 2017 6:37 am

Christmas and Easter are also known as brass players full employment days.

The rest of the year, not so much.  A lot of churches in my area have bands that play many if not most Sundays, but they aren't paid. 

Pay in our area ranges from $75 to $300 for a Sunday which often includes a rehearsal.  I paid the brass quarter $150 each for Easter for my church.  (of course I play free at my own church.)  The trumpet teacher at VCU in Richmond said his students were getting as much as $300.  Occasionally the choir anthem might need an instrument accompanying, that would usually run towards the low end of the range.

Now, this is sad to say, but it is not unusual for a church to stiff you.  You really don't have any recourse except to never play there again.
ttf_Radar
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Church Gigs?

Post by ttf_Radar » Fri Jun 30, 2017 8:18 pm

The church jobs I've got were all word of mouth through other brass players I know and have played with before.  I play at my own church for free, and they are my first priority so I usually miss out on the higher paying Christmas and Easter Sundays (although I almost always get a request for these dates).  If you want to play regularly throughout the year you might consider putting together a brass quartet and quintet and market yourselves as a group.  There are a lot of opportunities for weddings, garden parties, etc. senior centers, etc.
ttf_BGuttman
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Joined: Sat Mar 31, 2018 12:15 pm

Church Gigs?

Post by ttf_BGuttman » Fri Jun 30, 2017 8:29 pm

Warning about Senior Centers.  They don't have big budgets either.  I've played in two Big Bands at Senior Centers where the musicians were "volunteers" and got no pay.  One gave free coffee (awful) and donuts (not prime quality).
ttf_SilverBone
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Joined: Sat Mar 31, 2018 11:59 am

Church Gigs?

Post by ttf_SilverBone » Sat Jul 01, 2017 12:31 am

Quote from: BGuttman on Yesterday at 08:29 PMWarning about Senior Centers.  They don't have big budgets either.  I've played in two Big Bands at Senior Centers where the musicians were "volunteers" and got no pay. 

I've played in multiple senior centers.  One doesn't do it for the money.  The senior are an extremely appreciative audience, and it's nice to give something to them.

Someday (not too far off for me) I'll be one of them.
ttf_trombonehawaii
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Church Gigs?

Post by ttf_trombonehawaii » Sat Jul 01, 2017 12:56 am

Like others have said, the big paydays are Christmas and Easter for a lot of churches. At my church where I am the intern music coordinator/choir director, we budget for those times but not much else is left for during the summer where we have "Gift of Music" (choir is on break). We have a few members in the congregation who share their gifts during the summer and we rarely have outside musicians. My mentor does believe in compensation for musicians and I was able to convince the worship team to budget $500 for the summer, allowing me to invite some outside musicians.

In other words, summer hire for most churches is difficult unless they have a large music budget.
ttf_macbone
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Church Gigs?

Post by ttf_macbone » Sat Jul 01, 2017 4:47 am

I have a great regular church gig that pays well (select High Masses).  I got it through local AFM contacts.  Just a FYI for those who turn up noses at the idea of joining the union.
ttf_patrickosmith
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Church Gigs?

Post by ttf_patrickosmith » Sat Jul 01, 2017 5:18 am

A brass quartet that can play all the music in the church hymnal books might get to a regular appearance once per month per church. So you'd need 4 churches in your pocket if you want to play every week.

I've learned that there are a lot of trumpet players who can't transpose. If this is the case, they'll need a C trumpet.
ttf_Radar
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Church Gigs?

Post by ttf_Radar » Sat Jul 01, 2017 10:37 am

Quote from: BGuttman on Yesterday at 08:29 PMWarning about Senior Centers.  They don't have big budgets either.  I've played in two Big Bands at Senior Centers where the musicians were "volunteers" and got no pay.  One gave free coffee (awful) and donuts (not prime quality).
The senior centers I've played for have modest budgets for entertainment and do pay (although not necessarily well).  We don't necessarily play them for the money, but the audiences are very appreciative and for an hour of playing we typically $30 each.  We have gotten referrals for other better paying jobs like weddings from these jobs. 
ttf_paulyg
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Church Gigs?

Post by ttf_paulyg » Sat Jul 01, 2017 11:38 am

Senior centers are great places for working out performance jitters with a new group!
ttf_paulyg
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Church Gigs?

Post by ttf_paulyg » Sat Jul 01, 2017 11:38 am

Senior centers are great places for working out performance jitters with a new group!
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