In fundy churches, the most common type of traveling musical family is the missionary family. The traveling family musical act is a mainstay of the fundamentalist missionary endeavor. If a missionary is to be a success on deputation and furlough he or his family must sing, play an instrument, and be able to quote John 3:16 in a foreign language. As a reward for doing these things (and not necessarily for doing them well) the missionary is then allowed to sell tapes and CDs of his family’s musical feats on the back table after the service.
There is another type of musical family that is modeled more along the lines of the von Trapp family. These are families with large numbers of children who consider traveling and performing to be their mission. It’s not easy get this act going for the simple reason that it requires having a large family. Two musical kids are hardly worth driving to see unless they’re really exceptional but by the time you’re up to seven musical children it’s a phenomenon, and twelve children barely have to have any musical talent at all to attract a crowd.
There are other costs to be considered too. Matching outfits for all those kids don’t come cheap. Not to mention the cost of transporting them from place to place. Thankfully, people are usually generous with their love offerings to musical acts.
In fact, missionaries are often thrilled to find out that a “big name” in the family musician trade is going to be present that week for the simple fact that they help boost the offerings. Man shall not live by flute solos alone.
Be sure to stop by the display table in the back.
(thanks to Don for bringing back many memories for this post.)