Monday, January 12, 2009

Another milestone

If only we knew what the final distance is, we'd know how close we are. We know where this is supposed to end, and we can identify important points along the way. But, how many more will there be? When will "we're here!" become "we've arrived!"?

This week we are bearing down on another significant milestone in our hymnal project. Ed, the musical editor, is just a few pages away from finishing all the texts and tunes he has been delivered. I have just a handful of texts still to pass along. Then we have some holes to fill. It is not unreasonable to believe that by the end of January we will be distributing the first draft of the hymns in 3-ring binders, for review by all sorts of people.

That's where this gets scary again. Or, rather, where I have to decide how - and how much - to listen to people who will begin to read and evaluate the compilation. Are the contents up for discussion again (still)? On what basis will we re-visit any given item? Whose votes count, and whose vetos?

Readers at this next stage will include:
  • a quartet of excellent sight-readers who will sing through every stanza of every hymn, looking for typos, musical discrepancies, etc. Fun, but ... wow.
  • a graphic designer to tweak the look on the page, and to suggest the overall look of the book.
  • a retired professor couple (music and communications) who will give the whole collection their own proof-reading.
  • senior pastor, other (but not all) staff, elders (but not all elders)
  • a short list of the congregation at large

And we will start to sing especially the new hymns, and the hymns with new or different tunes, in small hymn-singing groups. Market testing? Well, I guess that's what it is.

And with all this going into motion, work on the compilation of indexes also begins.

A milestone, with a vista, but I'm not sure we actually see the end, just yet.

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