Association of Lutheran Church Musicians
April 2, 2018 e-newsletter

Easter Monday 2018
Dear ALCM Colleagues
Grace and peace to you in the Risen Christ! I hope and pray that on this Monday after Easter you are relaxing with your feet up, perhaps enjoying a special meal or beverage, and some pampering for your body and mind. It has been a long few months as we embarked on a journey to the cross and empty tomb and now we all look forward to some quiet moments.
I had to smile on Easter Sunday as we sang these words together: "The strife is o'er, the battle done; now is the victor's triumph won!" I can tell you that my body and mind rejoiced to know that the strife was done and the battle won, and now they are both looking forward to enjoying the victory of Christ with a quiet day today. But we know that the strife is not really over in our world, life, and vocation, and after a quiet break we will be back to the sometimes difficult work of ministry.
Your ALCM board has been working to provide its members with resources for dealing with strife in our vocations. You can find more information about one of those resources in this e-blast, a list of chaplains for our membership. These people have agreed to be a resource for anyone who might need help dealing with strife, staffing issues or personnel conflicts, which is the strife we as a board hear the most about.
With the battle won my prayer is for rest this Easter Monday and this Easter season as we pray together:
Almighty God, you give us the joy of celebrating our Lord's resurrection. Give us also the joys of life in your service, and bring us at last to the full joy of life eternal, through Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. - Prayer of the Day for Easter Monday (ELW)
Ryan K Hostler, ELCA Deacon
Region Two President

Want to continuing using ALCM's commissioned hymn
"God Alone Be Praised"?
Concertato settings of both tunes are now available from
Augsburg Fortress. See their ad below for details.

Registration is open for all events!

Plans continue to unfold for Hearts Hands Voices events occurring around the country in 2018. These workshops are for musicians, as well as pastors and other worship leaders, who serve in congregations of all sizes and contexts, each with their own challenges and opportunities. 

Click the links below to see details about the programs for the April and May events. There are links on each event page to print & mail a registration form. The online registration form is at the bottom of the event page, so be sure to register now for these upcoming events: 

See the ALCM website for a complete list of event dates and locations.

Are you planning to attend the Finale workshop in Park Ridge, IL on August 1? You must have an authorized version of Finale v25 or the 30-day free trial version loaded on your laptop. Through April 7 you can upgrade your existing version of Finale to Finale v25 for $79. Go to the store at, select "Upgrade from a previous version of Finale" and enter the code NOFOOLIN18 at checkout.

Registration is open!

Looking for a practical learning experience?

Then join us for a  special  four-day event on the campus of Valparaiso University from  Monday, July 23 to Thursday, July 26 . A faculty team has been gathered to work with musicians on various practical skills related to leading assembly song. Additional details will be coming out within the next week.

The deadline for early registration is April 15! After that date the registration fee of $255 goes up to $295. Housing options include affordable on-campus air-conditioned residence halls or hotels nearby campus. See the  ALCM website for additional information or to register.

Save the Date!
Lutheran Summer Music 2018 Hymn Festival 
Presented in Memory of Dr. Carlos Messerli
July 25, 2018

Lutheran Summer Music (LSM) is being held on the Valparaiso University campus this summer, and ALCM's  Hearts * Hands Voices event occurs during the last week of LSM. The annual LSM hymn festival will be held that week, and will be presented in memory of LSM founding executive director, Dr. Carlos Messerli. Words of remembrance and reflection will be included as LSM students make music and fulfill Dr. Messerli's vision for LSM.

Those attending Hearts * Hands Voices are invited to sing with the Lutheran Summer Music hymn festival choir. ALCM member Robert Hobby will lead the hymn festival in the Chapel of the Resurrection on the VU campus. The hymn festival is open to the public, but only those registered for the Hearts * Hands Voices event will have the opportunity to sing in the hymn festival choir.

Easter Music Survey

We're curious to know what was the main or favorite piece of music offered by your various music groups on Easter Day. Please fill out this brief survey. Responses received by April 20 will be included in the May e-newsletter. Thanks! 
CD #1 - "When in Our Music" Now Available!

The Association of Lutheran Church Musicians is proud to congratulate ALCM member Dr. John Ferguson on receiving the 2018 AGO Endowment Fund Distinguished Artist Award.  We give thanks to God for his bringing the Word to life through hymn and choral arrangements and for sharing his gifts with students and church musicians over a lifetime of teaching and worship leadership.

In honor of "Ferg" we have made his stunning hymn festival CD, When in Our Music, available to all ALCM members as a new free benefit. This first CD in ALCM's congregational song series has been out of print for more than a decade. Log in to the Members Area of the ALCM website to listen to the CD.

John Ferguson
Friday, April 27, 2018
Northfield, Minn.

Hymn Festival at 7:30 p.m. featuring John Ferguson
with church choirs from the Twin Cities,
the St. Olaf Cantorei, conducted by James Bobb,
and conductor Anton Armstrong
St. Olaf College, Boe Memorial Chapel
Reception following (advance tickets required)

The hymn festival is free and open to the public, but AGO is requesting that those attending register ahead of time, so that they know how many to expect.
See the links at the bottom of the AGO page to register for the gala reception
or the hymn festival.
ALCM Chaplains

ALCM nurtures and equips musicians 
to serve and lead the church's song.
Over the past few months the ALCM office has received communication from ALCM members in a variety of circumstances that have been causing discord in their lives. At its January face-to-face meeting, the ALCM board had a lengthy discussion about how it might best fulfill the "nurturing" part of the organization's mission (above) in support of these members. ALCM cannot offer legal advice and is not equipped to provide therapeutic assistance. What the board was able to do was identify people who are experienced listeners and understand the dynamics related to church work. They developed a list of ALCM chaplains.
Each of these persons has offered their time as a listening ear for anyone who needs one. Whether you're having a problem with church staff, a question regarding vocation, a troublesome relationship, or just need to hear a friendly voice, they are here to help. They have provided a bit of information about themselves, so you can choose someone who seems to be a good fit. You can start this conversation via email, but all of them are willing to speak by phone as well. We hope this is a useful resource and will help support you in your calling. The list of ALCM chaplains is also posted in the members area of the ALCM website.
"Behold the Neighbor"
When Philip Biedenbender won the 2016 Richard Hillert Award in Student Composition (co-sponsored by the Center for Church Music and ALCM), he was invited to attend the 2017 ALCM biennial conference in Minneapolis as ALCM's guest. He accepted that invitation and, during the business meeting and gala dinner, was surprised to find that his name had been drawn to be a recipient of a $1,500 sabbatical retreat sponsored by LutheranArts.  
Philip writes:  "As the Hillert Award winner and the/one of the youngest attendees at the conference, I felt uncomfortable accepting one of the LutheranArts sabbaticals. In consultation with Doug Koons from LutheranArts and ALCM president Julie Grindle, I agreed to take the sabbatical on the condition that I use the time to write a piece for Augsburg University in honor of Leland Sateren (in whose name the University had sponsored my sabbatical).
"The result from that collaboration is 'Behold the Neighbor,' a piece for SATB choir and piano with text by Pastor Justin Lind-Ayres, of Augsburg's Campus Ministry. The work will be publicly performed by Mark Sedio and the Augsburg Choir during their spring tour."
The Augsburg College Choir will be touring beginning late in April in Minnesota, Nebraska, and Iowa. After the tour, Philip will be self-publishing "Behold the Neighbor," which will be offered at a discount to ALCM members. More on that later. In the meantime, read the wonderful notes written by Philip and Pastor Lind-Ayres about the piece. (Hint: you may want to read Philip's notes first to get the full background on how this piece came into being.)
A Travel Invitation for ALCM Members
Together In Hope Project works to advance Christian unity through shared song, and  is currently focused on bringing the message of Christian unity to Rome in late October 2018. 
Gary Aamodt and Celia Ellingson, Lutherans with a passion for advancing Christian unity and for choral music, are the founders of Together In Hope Project. They commissioned two significant musical compositions (The Holy Spirit Mass and So That the World May Believe: A Motet for Unity and Service) to commemorate the 500th anniversary of the Reformation and 50 years of productive Lutheran-Catholic dialogues
The Together in Hope Choir will be a select ecumenical group of 60 voices from the Minneapolis/St. Paul area. ALCM members are invited to become A mbassadors of Hope and travel with the Together In Hope Choir for a once-in-a-lifetime event, an inspiring week of transformative music and fellowship. From landmark concerts, a private tour of the Vatican Museum, and an excursion to ancient Assisi, every step of the journey will nourish and inspire Ambassadors as advocates for unity through shared song.

For more information, see our website at or send an email to: