musicus wrote:I know of several amateur "smallish instrumental groups consisting of guitars, ... singers ... and ... melody instruments ..." that sing and play well, use effective arrangements, and have a wide-ranging repertoire of good and appropriate music. They probably wouldn't call themselves folk groups (even if their congregations still cling to the term), and they almost certainly wouldn't call themselves classical musicians - an equally abused term - but they would almost certainly be insulted by such a description as has been given here.
Thanks for this clarification, Musicus. Our parish music group comprises a mixed bag of young (and older) people who play tolerably well, the youngsters having had music lessons through school, or with our MD. It is being part of our group that has improved their musical skills. Our MD has no formal musical training but is a gifted musician, composer and arranger. We are far removed from either group described by Thomas but I think we provide a good standard of music using a variety of instruments including, at various times, guitars, piano, clarinet, violin, flute, oboe, viol, contra-bass clarinet, bass guitar and african drum! We rehearse every week, with the instrumentalists meeting half an hour before the choir arrives. We're still called the folk group by some of our parishioners. Some were resistant to us to begin with, preferring a more traditional organ accompaniment, but I think they like us now.