5 Things the FOH Engineer Wants the Choir to Know

As a former front of house (FOH) engineer, I know the struggles that can go along with worship services. We do our best to be accommodating of everyone on stage, but sometimes Sunday morning stress can take over. Here are a few things that you can do to help out the FOH engineer.

1. Learn the lyrics.
Do your best not to be tied to the lyric screen a.k.a. the “confidence monitor.” I know life happens and sometimes you don’t learn every lyric, but do your best to learn the songs so you can engage with the crowd and lead worship. This will also help you lead worship more effectively because you will not be following along with the screens but leading by singing.

2. Smile.
If your church is running video on screens or a live stream, pretend like you are always on camera.You never know when the camera will cut to you so be smiling. Even if your church does not film services, keep smiling. The crowd notices. Remember, you are there to lead the congregation into a time of worship. It’s hard to do that if you have an angry expression.

3. Try not to move equipment.
We have a reason for the placement of the microphones and monitors. We’re trying to capture multiple voices at once. Trust what we’re doing. The microphones will do their job. One rule of thumb is to act like the equipment is not there. The microphones will pick up your voice. They are placed to pick up a good mixture of all of the voices.

4. Be flexible.
From monitor mix to microphone placement, be flexible with your sound person. We are trying to accommodate a lot of people on stage. The band, worship leader, and choir all have specific needs that we are trying to meet. We only have a certain number of monitor mixes to give out, so usually the choir has to share. If we don’t get to your request right away, be patient.

5. Respect our time.
Use sound check/rehearsal time wisely. If we ask for your assistance, try your best to help. Try to keep talking to a minimum. Be respectful of the time that has been set aside for sound check. Sound check is useful for the tech team to get lights, levels, and lyrics set for the choir so you can better do your job as a worship leader. Remember, we are all on the same team with the same goal: to lead the church in worship.

What else would you add? Comment below and let us know!

Hunter headshotAbout the author: Hunter Sims is a Digital Marketing Specalist for Brentwood Benson. Before coming to Brentwood Benson, he was on staff at CrossPoint Church in Trussville, AL as the Media Associate. He currently lives in Nashville, TN with his wife Bethany and 1-year-old daughter Anne-Marie. In his freetime, he loves playing drums, being outside with his family, and fly fishing.






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3 thoughts on “5 Things the FOH Engineer Wants the Choir to Know

  1. The choir must be able to hear in order to perform in the pocket; on pitch; and with passion. Monitor sound supersedes houses sound in importance so don’t tutn them down because you hear monitor wash in the house.
    You can have the greatest equipment in the world for the house with the best engineer, but if the performers can’t hear, the performance won’t be worth reproducing in the house.

  2. Thank you for this article. As a FOH person, and also a person who traveled in the Christian music industry for more than 15 years, I’ve seen much of this happen in churches. We are all on the same team, trying to make the service the best that it can be.

    1. Thank you, Greg Bentley, for your comment. After, now, four years on the AV team, and 10 years as an alto in our celebration choir at CATCORLANDO (Church at the Cross, Orlando/ First Baptist Church – Central Florida) I totally “get it”, and, thanks to this article, I’ve renewed respect for our media director and FOH manager.

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