Association of Lutheran Church Musicians

August 1, 2020 e-newsletter
Who shall separate us from the love of Christ?
This familiar text from Romans has been on my mind. Some days it may seem that there are more things that separate us from the love of Christ than the list Paul gives us in Romans. We are familiar with Paul’s list:
Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness or peril or sword?

We might add to Paul’s list: Covid-19, masks, social distancing, closed worship spaces and choir rooms, loss of gatherings with friends and family. The list can go on but you get the picture. But, as you know, Paul gives us hope.
We are more than conquerors through him who loved us. Nothing will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Nothing. Nada. Nichts. Rien. It is through your constant work in the church you bring the love of Christ to the people. Through on-line worship, recorded services, YouTube lectures, Zoom meetings, virtual rehearsals, and hymn singing. All are creative, loving ways we “do church” in this difficult time. Thank you for your ministry and music to God’s people.

Be safe.

James Hild
Region 3 president
A word of thanks from Cheryl ...

Thanks so much to all of you who remembered me with cards, phone calls, emails, and prayers during the past several months. Things were fairly bleak for a time, but knowing that I had so much support from my ALCM family really made a huge difference. Although I'm still definitely "on the mend," I'm happy to be back working a few hours each week. A huge thank-you to Betty, Jim, and Sally, who kept things rolling smoothly in my absence. Once again, many thanks to all of you!
Dear friends,

Many, many thanks from the 2021 Biennial Conference Planning Committee to the 127 ALCM members who submitted responses to our survey in last month’s e-newsletter. Your responses, along with continual monitoring of news reports and government recommendations, have provided significant guidance as we discern the way forward for next summer’s conference.

It’s been my personal and professional experience over these past few months that planning much beyond the immediately upcoming Sunday has been challenging, and it’s harder still to imagine what the world situation will be in July of 2021. Yet in putting together an event the size of the ALCM Biennial Conference, we have significant commitments that must be made well in advance of next summer. Our committee continues to meet monthly via Zoom, (We were Zooming before Zooming was cool!) and I consult regularly with the ALCM Board of Directors and staff. Watch for news in the near future, and perhaps additional surveys, as we continue to discern and pray, dream and imagine.

If you missed the chance to respond to the survey, or if you would like to communicate further, I welcome conversation with you via email at any time!

With all best wishes,

Tim Getz
2021 Conference Chair
The first Hearts * Hands * Voices online content will be available on ALCM's YouTube channel on Saturday, August 8th. Mark Johanson from Christ Lutheran Church–Christ Providence in Charlotte, North Carolina, and other colleagues will present content that will offer "Worship Solutions that Respond to COVID-19 Challenges." Geared toward small/medium-sized churches, potential topics covered in the various videos may include: the basics of live-streaming, best practices for resuming rehearsals and/or in-person worship, copyright check-up, and amping up your livestream with cameras, lighting, software/hardware, and sound. When the videos are live, the link will be provided on the homepage of the ALCM website.
News and Resources from
Like the thousands of congregations served by ALCM members, the LSM community has remained connected in new and creative ways during this time of physical separation. LSM is pleased to share its new Resources page, an archive of performances, practice tips, and worship resources for homes and congregations including Luther’s Morning Prayer as well as a full setting of evening prayer. Select melodies from Lutheran Book of Worship , Lutheran Service Book , and Evangelical Lutheran Worship are presented in treble, alto, and bass clefs, as well as in transposed versions for instruments in B-flat, E-flat, and F. Additional content from the LSM archives will be added throughout the coming weeks and months. 

Thanks to the generosity of ALCM and its contributors, 16 student memberships were offered to organ and church music students who had planned to attend LSM this summer. In addition, gifts to the ALCM scholarship fund allowed each of those students to receive up to $100.00 toward the purchase of music, books, and other resources from Augsburg Fortress, Concordia Publishing House, and MorningStar Music Publishers. Applications are now being accepted for LSM 2021 , which will be held from June 27 to July 25 on the campus of Valparaiso University.
Fall 2020 Publishers
Digital Showcase/Reading Sessions

New music from a variety of publishers can be viewed and listened to in the ALCM members area at New publisher links are being added as they are received, so visit the Members Area page often. New links Include:

In partnership with the Institute of Liturgical Studies, the summer 2020 issue of CrossAccent will address practical, theological, and musical implications of our challenging and uncertain times. Contributions include essays on such topics as copyrights and permissions; praying the psalms during the pandemic; worship in “exile”; worship in “spirit and truth”; communion practices; healing rites; and more.

In addition to new music for fall festivals, Advent, and Christmas, the summer 2020 music reviews will also include works that not only address timely topics, but also can be adapted for virtual formats or reduced and “distanced” ensembles. Look for this issue to arrive sometime in August.
Raabe Prize

2021 Raabe Prize Submissions
Now Being Accepted

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.
Summer Friday Webinar Series

Was your summer conference cancelled due to COVID-19? ALCM is providing Friday 2:00 pm eastern webinars on topics you might have experienced at your conference. You are invited to explore and register for summer webinars at Summer Friday Webinar Series . Sessions include:

  • Why the traditional liturgy works so well during these crazy times - John Morris (Recording from June 12 available)
  • New resources in a new era of ministry - Jeremy Bankson (Recording from June 19 available)
  • Joyful noise: percussion in worship - Christopher Wilson (Recording from June 26 available)
  • Leading with body, mind, spirit, voice: the preparation of a conductor - Pearl Shangkuan (Recording from July 17 available)
  • Global worship as the church moves south - Marcell Steuernagel (Recording from July 24 available)
  • Successful handbell choir with small numbers, inexperienced ringers, and limited rehearsal time - Jeffrey Scott Doebler (Recording from July 31 available)
  • August 14: Choir after COVID: strategies to come back strong - Tim Fredstrom
  • August 21: Ten ways to improve the flow of contemporary worship - Clayton Faulkner

Time is running out to purchase all eight webinars at the discounted price
of $40 for members and $80 for non-members.
After September 10th, webinars will only be available individually for purchase at the regular price of $25 ($39 non-members).
Workshop for Church Musicians:
“Discovering New Repertoire and
Improving Techniques” - virtual format
How can we sing the songs of the Lord while in a foreign land?
Psalm 137, Verse 4 
As wearing face masks and maintaining a social distance become norms, it seems like the COVID-19 pandemic has put us in a foreign land as we begin to select music for organ, choirs, and handbells for the upcoming season. 

Clinician: John A. Behnke - The workshops will feature new and old repertoire especially selected from Concordia Publishing House and other publishers for the circumstances in which you may find yourself, such as having smaller choirs and fewer handbell ringers, with a 20% discount code for purchase. Clinician John Behnke will interview composers Kevin Hildebrand, David von Kampen, Jeffrey Blersch, Sandy Eithun, Lauran Delancy, Larry & Carla Sue, Benjamin Culli, and Jacob Weber. There will be three YouTube sessions: Choral, Handbell, and Organ that you can view at your convenience, plus a live, open Zoom discussion session at 12 Noon CDT on Saturday, August 8, 2020 during which you can ask questions and talk with the composers and fellow directors for an exchange of ideas. 

Register at:  Fee: $20, payable by credit card. You will receive an informational email in early August which will include links to the three YouTube sessions, an invitation to the Zoom discussion session, and promo codes for discounts on music purchases.  
A growing list of ALCM member led 
Sunday worship streams & recordings is available at:

To be added, please email information to:
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
Although we find ourselves in challenging and uncertain times, your biennial conference planning committee continues to plan-both with hope and anticipation-for our Philadelphia gathering, July 4-8, 2021. We're excited about so many of the presentations, performances, and worship experiences beginning to take shape!
We are pleased to announce our plenary speakers:
Mark Miller
Associate Professor of Church Music and Composer-in-Residence
Drew University, Madison, New Jersey
Lecturer in Sacred Music
Yale University
Minister of Music, Christ Church (UCC)
Summit, New Jersey
Jennifer Baker-Trinity
Program Director for Resource Development
Augsburg Fortress and Office of the Presiding Bishop (ELCA)
Co-Director, Institute of Liturgical Studies
Valparaiso University
Jean Boehler
Cantor, Redeemer Evangelical Lutheran Church
The Bronx, New York
Dien Ashley Taylor
Pastor, Redeemer Evangelical Lutheran Church
The Bronx, New York
Stay tuned to future e-newsletters and the ALCM Facebook page for additional information about the conference website , presenters, workshops, the schedule, registration information, and much more!