PSALLAM! RSCM America News & Info
March 2012 
Greetings! 

I mentioned in my February e-mail that my two main goals for RSCM America this year are membership growth and increased communication. PSALLAM!, this monthly news and information e-mail, is part of the communication goal. Membership growth is where we all come in. The past two issues of the RSCM America Newsletter highlighted this topic, and a challenge was issued to each and every member to try and do some recruiting. Did you accept that challenge?

When the Board began its discussions on membership growth, we thought it best to start simple. How? The easiest way to increase membership would be for each member to contact one choir director in his or her area to have lunch or coffee with them and talk about the RSCM, encouraging them to have their church join at the Affiliate level. The dream? That each of our 587 members would succeed in achieving this goal, bringing the membership to 1,174!

A dream, yes; but even if half of us succeed, even if our efforts result in an Individual or Friend membership instead of an Affiliate, we will still be growing this working organization and spreading the word of the wonderful work, ethos, and resources that is our group, the organization you belong to and believe in: RSCM America.

So, will you take up the challenge? Please give it some thought. Better yet, thumb through that list of colleagues in your area and make that call today! Resources and talking points to help you are right here.

May God continue to bless you in all that you do in your church or organization,
Andrew's signature
Andrew Walker
President, RSCM America
 
In This E-mail
How RSCM Fits Into Our Church/Organization
In the News
Psallam Spiritu, et Mente
How the RSCM Fits Into Our Church/Organization
I have asked each of our Board members to write a few short paragraphs about what they do at their church or organization and how the RSCM fits into it. There will soon be a wealth of information on the RSCM America website that describes how our members implement their RSCM programs and use the VOICE for LIFE curriculum. This article is a little foretaste of what will be available on our site, and as an added bonus, you'll get to know who your Board is and what they do in their locations in the U.S.
I'll go first!
Choirs of St. Michael's, Orlando
Musicians at St. Michael's Episcopal Church, Orlando, Fla.
I arrived in June of 1980 as the new full-time director of music at St. Michael's Episcopal Church, Orlando, Fla. and found no youth choir and a faltering adult choir. Immediately an invitation was put out to the children of the parish, and a personal phone call was made to each family that had children in the second through eighth grades. An invitation was also given to each parishioner to consider singing in the adult choir. As a result, the first choir rehearsals in September 1980 featured ten youth singers and five adults.

Today, we have 16 in the youth choir (we've had as many as 24 in the past, but today can only really fit 18 in the pews) that rehearse on Wednesdays and on Sundays after church and who sing every Sunday with the adult choir, supplementing the soprano line on approximately 90% of the adults' material. We also have 36 singers in the adult choir, 20 or so of whom form the Chamber Singers; 12 in the Angels' Choir (children up through first grade); St. Michael's Brass, a quartet or quintet (depending on who can play on a given day) that plays four to five times per year; a contemporary band that can be put together when and as needed; and finally my wife and me, the team for the 6 p.m. Folk Mass every Sunday! Over the years a couple of permutations of a concert series have also been in existence, the longest-running of which has been supported by the parish to the tune of between $6,000 and $12,000 a year.

I put the Chorister Training Scheme (now known as VOICE for LIFE) into place immediately. It continues today. Children work with me one-on-one (observing Diocesan guidelines, e.g. an open-door policy; a parent is free to stay or observe at any time, with doors always open during sessions) for 30 minutes before or after rehearsals, signing up for four sessions in a row, or for up to four hours during school breaks (30- or 60-minute sessions, arranged as is convenient for them, e.g. four days in a row for one hour each.) The same training is offered to the adults. Over the years a few adults have gone through the vocal and musical sections of various levels too, wearing RSCM medals with ribbons slightly different from the children's to indicate their completion of a level.

Several RSCM music publications are in our library and are used on a regular basis every year, such as Twelve Easy Anthems, which provides several very useful items, including some that require minimal prep time. I have found Sunday by Sunday, the publication that Affiliate and Individual members receive, to be a great resource in the selection of music for a particular Sunday. I also cannot tell you the number of incredible ideas, vocal tricks, warm-up exercises, vocal technique items, and repertoire suggestions that I have picked up by simply attending or being on the staff at an RSCM America summer course. I encourage all of our choristers who have caught the "choir bug" to go to one!

In the News
Lindsay Gray, RSCM Director, has announced his decision to move on from the RSCM

Click here for an article about Lindsay, plus an amazing picture of U.K. formal attire for the peerage and the ordained!

There are several active RSCM branches in Australia. Here is a link to the ACT branch's latest Newsletter, and here is a link to the national website

Looking for singing opportunities in late summer? Here's an RSCM event in Oxford, U.K.
 
Psallam Spiritu, et Mente
Gulf Coast Choristers
"I will sing with the spirit and with the understanding also." About the understanding part of our motto -- have you ever thought about what it is we actually ask our choristers of all ages to do? It hit me at the beginning of this choir year how involved choral singing is and what a huge demand it makes on the brain.

Why? A singer has to read two languages at the same time -- text and music! And sometimes, the text isn't even in their native tongue! I cannot think of too many other activities that make such a demand on one's mental faculties. Choir members truly are a cut above your average Joe!

Psallam Spiritu et Mente!
RSCM America promotes excellence in church music practice and choral singing, is part of the worldwide network of The Royal School of Church Music, and works in collaboration with Westminster Choir College of Rider University.

RSCM America can earn 1� for every web search you perform, and a percentage of the sale from purchases you make online! Click here for a quick clip about how GoodSearch and GoodShop are helping us to earn donations every day, and how you can help! 

2012 Training Courses
Deadlines for early registration are quickly approaching! Register for the Gulf Coast Course by March 15 for reduced fees, and by April 1 for reduced fees at the Charlotte, Carolina, Tulsa and King's College Courses! 

RSCM America's 2012 Training Courses brochure is available online. Please let Kevin Radtke know if you would like paper copies of this or any of our brochures, which include a VOICE for LIFE booklet and an RSCM overview leaflet

 
 
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