”The music should inspire everyone”, as Apostle Hans-Jürgen Bauer, leader of the planning group for music at the International Youth Convention, said. The question is, how should the musical programme be presented and what musical styles suit the tastes of the young Christians? The answers can be found in the response by more than 3,000 youth, particularly from the German language communities, to the questionnaire which was sent out in May and June.
What do the young New Apostolic Christians expect from their International Youth Convention 2019? The planning team was occupied with this question at its first planning session, and so the communications planning group was given the task of producing the questionnaire. The survey gave participants the chance to select their personal interests, including a choice of 15 various music styles.
As the introduction to the section concerning musical preferences said, “We will try to choose the music according to your preferences”. The results given by the young participants aged between 11 and 34 were divided into three groups, which was sufficient to provide a reasonably detailed assessment.
Three highly rated musical styles
The three styles, a capella, international (world) and gospel/spiritual music appeared to have the greatest interest across all age groups. Within these age groups, over 70 percent showed most interest in these musical styles.
However, the highest percentage, around 81 percent, was recorded by the 11 to 18 year olds for pop music. Female participants appeared to have a greater interest in pop music or in musicals. Around 75 to 79 percent of all females recorded an interest in these music styles. That was about 20 percent more than their male counterparts.
International music was of interest to 78 percent of those aged between 18 and 24 years, and in the age group 25 to 34 years gospels and spirituals reached the highest percentage.
Familiar musical sounds definitely welcome
The musical literature of the New Apostolic Church is not to be overlooked. This perception comes from the high response of around 67 percent from all participants, for interest in New Apostolic music.
Differences were apparent in the request for classical music, where 41 percent of the 11 to 17 year olds showed interest in this direction, but was significantly higher for the group of 25 to 34 years, with around 72 percent recorded. On the other hand, opera music, hits and folk music was of smaller interest across all groups according to the results received.
All possibilities are open
The youth have also expressed the wish for more unusual music to be played at the International Youth Convention 2019, whereby around 50 percent of the survey participants showed great interest in jazz or rock music. The styles of electro/house dance, hip hop and rap are of rather more interest to the younger aged.
Additionally, the survey gave the opportunity for participants to add their own ideas. 237 persons used this chance to suggest further musical options. They expanded the list to include, for example, film music, metal or swing.
Following open ideas
The number of optional ideas was relatively small in comparison with the total of replies received. Despite this, the answers provide a valuable contribution toward further planning. They give an indication of whether particular musical directions or choices were missing from the questionnaire, or add inspiration in developing the programme.
It can be seen from the results that active participation by those who responded plays a large role for them and for the programme, with further suggestions coming forward for “open singing”, dancing and trying out musical instruments.
It can clearly be seen that the International Youth Convention must have a variety of musical styles in the programme in order to address all age groups of the young Christians. This could include more unusual music if it is considered fitting for the event.
The survey results were presented to the previous planning executive meeting and made available in detail to all project groups. Further information of these results, concerning, for example, programme contents, topics and communication, will follow in the following weeks.