Saturday, June 18, 2016

PCG Lays Down the Law on Congregational Hymns

from Twitter

From a PCG source:

In the PCG a new policy has been implemented which has changed the way hymns are sung during Sabbath services.

As many PCG congregations are small and typically don’t have piano players, during Sabbath services hymns were sung accompanied by pre-recorded piano-only versions of the WCG hymnal, either in MP3 or CD format.  Effectively this practice gave small congregations something to sing along to, and although not ideal, it was a fairly effective way for small groups to be able to participate and contribute meaningfully during their Sabbath services.  Whether or not you like the COG hymnal, this arrangement meant local groups could have their own song service.  Song leaders could lead the members and the people singing could hear their own voices.   In other words, each Sabbath there could be some semblance of a song service even in a small group of only a few people.

For some inexplicable reason this situation was recently deemed unsuitable by PCG musical director Ryan Malone, who set about re-recording the entire WCG hymnal using a full-blown choir.  These recording were then sent to all congregations worldwide with strict instructions for them to be used in place of the piano-only versions.

For those who don’t know Ryan Malone is the individual who has singlehandedly taken over, and together with his wife Paula, come to dominate every aspect of music in the PCG.  Whether it’s the spectacular failure of Ryan’s embarrassing church-financed musicals, his tedious and repetitious compositions, or his and his wife’s ubiquitous presence in the musical life of the church, everything and anything musical in the PCG has to be controlled, sanctioned and dominated by him.

The sad irony here is that the man who supposedly is the PCG’s musical director, ostensibly an individual tasked with the development and growth of music in the church has allowed his obsessive control over all things musical get to the point where he has now destroyed the member’s sole opportunity to contribute musically and handed it over to and a handful of pre-recorded PCG HQ elites, featuring of course the stupefying voice of his wife Paula. 

A very poor aspect of these choir recordings is that at the end of each verse the singers sustain the notes far too long which effects the timing into the next verse and makes them even more difficult to sing along to.  However, the worst aspect of all is that although the recordings are of a full male-female choir, each song is mixed in such a way that Paula Malone’s voice literally stands out and dominates over all the others.  If you have heard Paula Malone sing you will know why this is bad.

So now not only do PCG field members have to witness the exclusivity and self-indulgence of headquarters from afar, due to this musical micromanagement they are now no longer able to even participate meaningfully in their own song services.

What this all means is that each weekend a handful of ageing PCG members have to stand hymnals in hand and be drowned out by what sounds like a mutation of the Stepford Wives and the Mormon Tabernacle Choir.

A sad spectacle indeed…


senior citizen said...

That is awful.
Congregations in the PCG and many other 'brands' of the church of God are really just
as the post said 'Stepford wives'.
Services are mechanical and by rote.
The article also called my attention to the fact that as these headquarters churches grow large and extravagant they also begin to have a over blown idea of their self-worth and become
'the' church and the rest of the people outside are left out.
Kind of like the WWCG auditorium that most of us never got to see though we paid for the thing. Same with the schools. They were for the elite.
The church does indeed have an elite who are better in their own eyes than the common flock. So very sad.

Anonymous said...

the last time I went to any church was just a local one, and I thought it might be a way to meet people in the community. The people were friendly and kind, they put on a large lunch buffet following the service, but I have never gone back. There was a group of about 4 women who did most of the singing, was it ever awful, perhaps wailing cats is the best description, with one leading wailer. Some old biddy who just loved sreeching. I can imagine god would need earplugs. This description of PCG reminds me of that experience. Yes I think the lead screecher was the ministers wife.

Byker Bob said...

The trend in many churches is towards contemporary praise music. It seems to better fit the demographic of churches today, helping members to relate to and participate in the singing portion of the service.

I can't imagine singing the horribly depressing songs from the hallowed WCG Hymnal ever again. They never were as uplifting as some of the inspiring and soaring classic hymns sung in most mainstream churches.

One thing we know about people who are allowed to become lay member "pets" of the ACOG splinter leaders is that they eventually succumb to their own ego. If they are ever slighted during their attempts to rise, they become indignant, petulant, and follow the path we have observed in Bob Thiel. This could be what will eventually happen to the Malones, although they appear to be sickeningly dominant in the present.


Anonymous said...

How awful does this sorry situation sounds. I hope it doesn't give any other groups any similar ideas. Do you have any link to hear any of this?

Anonymous said...

“PCG Lays Down the Law on Congregational Hymns”

That is the least of their problems.

PCG members follow That False Prophet who edited and changed Herbert W. Armstrong's writings so they would not expose his own massive doctrinal changes. That False Prophet cut off PCG members from all outside sources of knowledge and sanity. That False Prophet has allowed immoral, sex-crazed, old people to prowl around continually in the PCG. That False Prophet pampers his own children and friends while requiring other PCG members to cut off all contact with their children and parents outside of the PCG.

There is nothing left for PCG members to do but grow old and die and will their estates to the PCG to make up for the continually declining regular income. Well, maybe there is one more thing they could do. PCG members could try to come up with some sort of excuse to explain why they wasted their lives following That False Prophet and supporting all the evil behavior in the PCG.

On the bright side, PCG members can still “sing the blues,” as long as they don't get caught doing it.

Glenn said...

Somehow this caused me to get a mental image of an upcoming special music announcement at PCG HQ (with kudos to James Brown for the intro):

"And now ladies and gentlemen it is star time! Are you ready for star time?! Let's try that one more time, Are You Ready For Star Time???!!! Thank you and thank you very kindly. It is indeed a great pleasure to present to you at this particular time a couple national and international known as the Hardest Working Couple in Show Business, Ryan and Paula Malone!!! They will be performing a stirring and theologically correct composition by M. Jagger and K. Richards that addresses a critical current issue in God's Church, "Under My Thumb".

The music comes up and Ryan struts out on stage wearing tight gold pants, platform shoes, a silk black shirt unbuttoned to the waist, a scarf and rainbow suspenders. Paula is wearing a grey granny dress with work boots and acts submissive throughout. Ryan jumps around the stage doing his impersonation of a chicken for awhile and then uses the piano bench to climb atop the Steinway grand piano that once was used in Ambassador Auditorium. He kicks aside the candelabra and burst into song:

Under my thumb
The girl who once had me down
Under my thumb
The girl who once pushed me around

It's down to me
The difference in the clothes she wears
Down to me, the change has come,
She's under my thumb

Ain't it the truth babe?

Under my thumb
The squirmin' dog who's just had her day
Under my thumb
A girl who has just changed her ways

It's down to me, yes it is
The way she does just what she's told
Down to me, the change has come
She's under my thumb
Ah, ah, say it's alright

Under my thumb
A Siamese cat of a girl
Under my thumb
She's the sweetest, hmmm, pet in the world

It's down to me
The way she talks when she's spoken to
Down to me, the change has come,
She's under my thumb
Ah, take it easy babe

It's down to me, oh yeah
The way she talks when she's spoken to
Down to me, the change has come,
She's under my thumb
Yeah, it feels alright

Under my thumb
Her eyes are just kept to herself
Under my thumb, well I
I can still look at someone else

It's down to me, oh that's what I said
The way she talks when she's spoken to
Down to me, the change has come,
She's under my thumb
Say, it's alright.

Say it's all
Say it's all

Take it easy babe
Take it easy babe
Feels alright
Take it, take it easy babe.

If you object to the lyrics please see Mr. Jagger or Mr.Richards.

Anonymous said...

Agree with the comments above. In our little group of slightly over 15, during song services the entire congregation cannot be heard. The songleader just looks down at the podium, the congregation just sings to the best of their ability, but for no purpose - they simply cannot be heard.

The Stepford wives comment is funny, as the sound of these hymns, seems saccharin and synthetic. It's as if the choir was lifted from Robert Schuller's crystal cathedral - absolutely horrible! The other strange effect is that you have a room filled with a handful of people and in the background the voices of a massive professional choir - it just looks and feels weird and plain wrong, embarrassing actually.

Also agree that you can hear Paula Malone's voice, especially trailing at the end of each verse. The concept of less is more is completely alien to her.

I do not know what is happening in the PCG, but whether it is the UK campus, HQ and dancing, the horrible musicals, the private jet with no money to pay for it, or just the basic administration of the church, just about every major decision lately coming from HQ is strange and questionable.

With these choir recording, the only thing members could ever contribute at services has been taken from them.

When you consider the personalities involved in the policy there is no way this will ever be reversed or corrected.

So sad.

Anonymous said...

Everyone in Edmond knows that Paula is nothing more than his beard. Just watch any of the videos up where he is interviewed. Limp wrists flailing and all. Her screeching during hymns is as irritating as Ingrid Helge's voice was when they were in Pasadena.

Malone's musicals are embarrassing productions that cost the church tens of thousands of dollars in tithe money. The subscribers the are subjected to these monstrosities in the concert subscription series don't attend these productions.

Jim O said...

I grew up with Ryan in WCG. Sounds like his ego is bigger than his talent. During YOU if he was in the music talent competitions barely anyone would want to try! It was a forgone conclusion he would win! It wasn't until his family left for PCG that more talent entered these competitions! I actually beat him in a local talent show! Sounds like he is turning into the ass his dad was!

Anonymous said...

Ryan Malone and Mark Jenkins have turned the stomachs of locals for years with their "in your face" homosexuality. It got so bad at Edmond they both were forced to marry "beards". Marks wife married him simply to escape a very bad home life, she is still very beaten down and timid. Ryan had to marry Paula straight from the world because no member would allow their daughter near him and his flamboyant ways!
It is a terrible shame that the Malones have taken over the music in church. We used to hear so much enjoyable and wholesome special music. Now I'm just part of the mass exodus to the bathroom and drinking fountain whenever Paula gets up to screech.
There's no escape anymore, even when visiting other areas! Her "special screeching" follows us via cd now.
I wonder if one of Mark or Ryan's lovers outing them would change anything.
Probably not!

Anonymous said...

I luv it! Play on!