Association of Lutheran Church Musicians
April 1, 2020 e-newsletter
Dear ALCM friends,

If only this were an April fools prank.

In my lifetime the shocking and life altering events have been the assassinations of John F. Kennedy, Martin Luther King, Jr. and Bobby Kennedy, the 9/11 terrorist attacks, and the mass shootings. For many of you Pearl Harbor came before that. And now . . . this . . . a plague of biblical proportions seemingly wanting the first EVER born. Do we need to locate lamb's blood for the doorpost? Should we be watching for locusts, hail, and red water ways next?

It can seem as though all we know is no longer. Churches across the land on Sunday morning not welcoming a single soul for worship. That would have been impossible to comprehend only a few weeks ago.

As the crisis unfolds, we know God remains with us and we wait for the day we will again join in thanksgiving for God's goodness. During this time, ALCM members across the country continue to bring comfort through God's gift of music in new and creative ways including the Facebook COmmunity VIDeo hymnal and socially distanced local church worship streams. I remain grateful for the important ministry of each one of you!

We often sing of life and death in worship. Rarely are we in the middle of life and death like this. Each interaction between people now could lead to an invisible spread that will one day cost a life. Some of us might hear the heavenly trombones earlier than expected. And so, we keep our distance amid life and death knowing in 11 days we will be reminded God gives life eternal.

My choir has not been together since Wednesday, March 11. Ninety-five percent of us are in the higher risk category. That means if we have a rehearsal, and one asymptomatic person attends with the virus, by the end of the rehearsal all of us could have COVID-19.  Being higher risk, because we had that one rehearsal there would now be a 10% chance one of us could die. If the spread is still active when our church services resume my current plan is to only have one soloist per service instead of the choir. I think a soloist and I would be better social distancers than the entire choir.

Warren Buffet always says bet on the ingenuity of America and its people no matter what the crises. We say have faith in God and God's people no matter what the crises. May you be safe and keep others safe during these historic days. With God's help we will again safely sing together the story of God's love.

Yet even at the grave we make our song. Alleluia! Alleluia! Alleluia!

Jim Rindelaub
Executive Director
COVID-19 Links

ALCM Schedule Changes
2020 Germany Tour participants final payment due date: Was March 31; Now extended to a date to be determined.  The Oberammergau Passion Play has been rescheduled to 2022. We are assessing our options and will have additional information in the coming weeks.
July 20-23, 2020 - Conference at Valparaiso University: "Let All The Peoples Praise You!" Early Bird Registration Deadline was April 15. Now June 15. Full refunds guaranteed through June 15. The $50 cancellation fee has been waived through June 15.  Register today for your summer continuing education knowing a full refund will be guaranteed through June 15.
The April 19-20 "Receiving the Day" (pre-ILS retreat) is postponed to April 15 & 16, 2021 now as a post-ILS retreat.
The April 21 ALCM House Reception in Valparaiso, IN is cancelled.  Both the Institute of Liturgical Studies and this annual reception are cancelled for 2020.

NEW! FREE Worship Streaming Webinar at 2:00 pm Eastern on Friday, April 24. Led by ALCM members Jason Bazzle, Karen Eddinger, William Heide, and Mark Mummert. Register at and please spread the word.
The April 25 Hearts, Hands, Voices workshop in Palm Coast, FL is postponed to a date in the fall to be determined.
The May 23-24 Hearts, Hands, Voices workshop in Dexter, MI is postponed to an August date to be determined.

Register for 
Hearts * Hands * Voices at Valparaiso University 
July 20-23, 2020!

Registration is now open for a special Hearts * Hands * Voices event at Valparaiso University. Sponsored by ALCM Region 1 in conjunction with the 2020 Lutheran Summer Music Academy and Festival (LSM), this four-day conference invites participants to strengthen their gifts and learn new skills through practical workshops, discussions, and hands-on learning opportunities that explore such topics as percussion, handbells, keyboard, composition and arranging, working with aging voices, singing the psalms, and more.

Each day will be framed by morning and evening prayer with the LSM community in Valparaiso University's Chapel of the Resurrection . Attendees will also have the option to attend pre- and post-conference events offered by LSM including a two-day Bach-intensive workshop with Dr. Christopher Cock, the Phyllis and Richard Duesenberg Chair in Lutheran Music at Valparaiso University and director of its Bach Institute .

Click here to view the full event schedule. Presenters include Jeremy Bankson, Jean Boehler, Jonathan Busarow, Karen Eddinger, Chad Fothergill, Timothy Fredstrom, Robert Hobby, Nancy Menk, Sally Messner, Anne Krentz Organ, Daniel Schwandt, and Christopher Wilson.

Locations for 2020 Hearts*Hands*Voices events that have already been confirmed include those listed below. Those with set dates include links to the event records, and registration for these events is now open. Additional information regarding each event will be added as it becomes available. 

Events with confirmed locations and dates:

Allentown, PA  - June 20
Beavercreek, OH - November 7
Charlotte, NCAugust 8
Donaldson, IN- Post-Liturgical Institute Retreat - Postponed  to 
April 15-16, 2021 
Hicksville, NY - October 24  (corrected date)
Irvine, CA - October 3
Frankenmuth, MI - November 7
Jacksonville, FL  - June 27
Lancaster, PAOctober 3
Lansing, MI - September 12
Madison, WI June 13
Marquette, MI - October 17
Mendham, NJ - August 1
St. Peter, MN  - September 12
Santa Monica, CA - November 14
Sioux Falls, SD - September 26
Sugar Land, TX - August 15
Valparaiso, IN  - July 20-23 (See information below)
Waukesha, WI - October 3
Wichita, KS - September 26
Winchester, VA - October 17
Winston-Salem, NC  - October 3
Worcester, MA - September 26

Events with confirmed locations; date to be determined:
Ames, IA
Bellingham, WA
Dexter, MI -  Postponed to August - TBD  
Granite Bay, CA (Sacramento area)
Ithaca, NY
Palm Coast, FL - Postponed until fall - TBD

Check the ALCM website for additional sites and event details.

Interested in hosting a local workshop in 2020? Contact Sally Messner at

A growing list of ALCM member led 
Sunday worship streams & recordings is available at:

To be added, please email information to:
FREE Worship Streaming Webinar

Friday, April 24 at 2:00 PM Eastern (1:00 PM Central)

Hear the experiences and advice of church musicians who lead every 
Sunday worship streams and have your live chat question answered. 

Register at: 

Webinar presenters include:

2021 Raabe Prize Submissions Now Being Accepted

Raabe Prize Submissions for the 2021 Raabe Prize for Excellence in Sacred Composition are now being accepted. The prize  is awarded every two years for a single musical work, published or unpublished and written within the last five years, that reflects a larger history of excellence on the part of the composer. Dr. William and Pr. Nancy Raabe of Madison, Wisconsin, endowed this prize to recognize and encourage significant accomplishments in composition contributing to the body of sacred music for the church in the Lutheran heritage.

Additional details about the prize and submission requirements are available on the  ALCM website.

Deadline for submissions is  October 1, 2020.

June 28-July 26
Valparaiso University

Applications accepted until May 15
Lutheran Summer Music (LSM) is making it as risk-free 
as possible for student and families to plan on LSM 2020.
For this reason, the following steps have been implemented to make sure the doors are open wide for young musicians who are looking for a fulfilling- and necessary- summer making music at LSM:
  • Application fees are waived until April 15th
  • The initial tuition deposit of $350 will not be due until May 15th
  • Piano accompaniment is NOT required for the recorded audition, and if a student cannot access their instrument at this time, their audition deadline will be extended.
  • In the event that LSM 2020 cannot take place due to extended COVID-19 precautions, a full refund including application fee and deposit will be provided as one of several options for enrolled students.  The LSM community would be notified no later than June 1st if this is the case. 
As we hope and patiently wait for the storm to pass, we invite you to Nominate a Student to get them started on the path to joining the LSM community this summer!

Lenten Resources in
CrossAccent and In Tempo
As you continue to plan worship for Lent and Holy Week, consider browsing previous issues of  CrossAccent and  In Tempo , savoring the wisdom of pastors and musicians who have penned thoughtful approaches and practical advice for our collective benefit. While not an exhaustive list, here are a few suggestions:
  • Stephen Rosebrock, "Service Planning Ideas for Ash Wednesday," CrossAccent Vol. 21, No. 3 (November 2013), pp. 5-7
  • Susan Palo Cherwien, "Return to the Lord: The Journey of Lent," In Tempo 2016, No. 1, pp. 10-11
  • Kevin Hildebrand, "Lord, Have Mercy: Singing the Kyrie in the Season of Lent," In Tempo 2015, No. 1, pp. 4-5
  • Liv Larson Andrews, "Deep Calls to Deep: Using Simple Refrains in Lenten Worship," In Tempo 2017, No. 1, p. 9
  • Andrew Paul Fredel, "Choral and Assembly Song for Lent," In Tempo 2016, No. 1, pp. 8-9
  • Scott Weidler, "The Three Days: Singing Salvation History," CrossAccent Vol. 22, No. 2 (Summer 2014), pp. 22-24
  • Mark Oldenburg, "Maundy Thursday: Confession and Forgiveness," CrossAccent Vol. 22, No. 2 (Summer 2014), pp. 25-26
And if you've recycled past issues, shared your copies with colleagues and friends, or are new to ALCM, remember that the Members Area contains a downloadable and searchable archive for both journals.

In 2018 the ALCM board of directors appointed a task force to develop a new set of resources to assist congregations in the process of searching for and hiring a church musician. The task force has been working diligently on this project and the initial resources have been posted on the ALCM website. These employment resources are conceived to be ever-growing and evolving and there is still much to be developed, but we invite you to review the initial resources. The task force members welcome your feedback and suggestions. You can email them at

Members of the Employment Resources Task Force: 
Kevin Barger
Rev. James Boline
Cheryl Dieter
Ryan Hostler, chair
Anne Krentz Organ
Paul Soulek

Summer 2021 may still seem a long time away, but your biennial conference planning committee has been very busy planning a wonderful time for you in Philadelphia, July 4-8 of that year. We're excited about so many of the presentations, performances, and worship experiences beginning to take shape, but I thought this month I'd tell you about some of our wonderful venues:
Our gathering Eucharist will be in the historic Christ Church, Philadelphia, founded in 1695 and in its current building, a part of Independence National Historical Park, since 1744. It is considered one of the finest Georgian structures in America and houses a stunning new Fisk organ dedicated in 2018.
More than one event will take place in Holy Trinity Church, Rittenhouse Square, a short walk from our hotel. Just after the Civil War this church's rector, The Rev. Phillips Brooks, and his organist, Lewis Redner, created the beloved Christmas hymn "O Little Town of Bethlehem." A fine mural depicting the "little town" graces the chancel. The church also is home to the first carillon in North America (hung in 1882) and one of the finest collections of stained glass in the United States. The gallery organ, Möller Opus 8128, is a fixture of the Philadelphia organ scene and is currently being relocated to Holy Trinity from a neighboring church.
Our week will end in the welcoming and gracious Trinity Lutheran Church in Lansdale, Pennsylvania. Trinity is a large and active ELCA parish with a very busy music program. Its sanctuary is warm and flooded with natural light, traditional and contemporary!
See you in Philadelphia!
Tim Getz
An ecumenical conference on liturgical renewal for the church today. 

This year's conference has been cancelled.

Each year we look forward to being renewed as worship leaders at the Institute of Liturgical Studies. We regret to share the news that we will not hold this year's conference planned for April 20-22, 2020.  We are still considering the possibilities of rescheduling this year's theme, yet be assured that we plan to convene the next Institute on April 12-14, 2021.