Association of Lutheran Church Musicians
February 1, 2019 e-newsletter

In the evening prayer service found in Lutheran Book of Worship, one of the prayers contains the following: "for those who toil, those who sing let us pray to the Lord." It is gratifying and humbling that our congregations pray for those of us who toil in the choir room, the office, and on the organ bench. It is sometimes difficult to know if our toil and our singing stirs the hearts of our parishioners. When I retired from my church music position, I received many cards. The ones that really stood out, however, were the ones from former children and youth choir members. Many of them not only expressed gratitude for my ministry, but listed choir as a life-changing experience. So, persevere good and faithful servants. Your work is life-giving and life-changing.

Jim Hild
Region 3 President

ALCM 2019 Biennial Conference

The "early-bird" registration fee of $355 for members ($400 for non-members) is currently in effect. After March 15, pay the regular registration fee of $425 ($470).

Please join your 220 colleagues who have already registered for this year's conference in Portland!

Special registration fees are available for students and for those "second persons" (or third, or fourth, etc.) registering from the same household or church.  Click/tap here for additional information about the conference and a complete list of registration fees.

Remember: the Finale training on Monday (8:30-3:30) is limited to 20 and it's filling up fast. Don't delay!

Portland Conference Sponsorship Opportunities

Would you like to contribute to ALCM and support our June biennial conference in Portland? Gifts are welcome to support the conference, either undesignated or to "sponsor" particular people, workshops, etc. More information is available on the ALCM website.

February 7, 2019

2:00 pm Eastern time

Tips for Leading a
Worship (Praise) Band 

Presented by Kip Fox

ALCM members: $25; non-members: $39

ALCM Members: Be sure to log in to the members area of the ALCM website and follow the link on the members area page to get the discounted member rate.

Can't make the live webinar? All ALCM webinars are archived and available for purchase in the Marketplace on the ALCM website. If you sign up ahead of the webinar, you will receive a link to the recorded webinar as soon as it is available, usually an hour or two after the webinar. If you prefer, purchase the webinar when it becomes available in the Marketplace, usually within 24 hours.
Board Face-to-Face Meeting Highlights

The board of directors of ALCM met for their annual face-to-face meeting on January 28 & 29  in cold and wintry Chicago; the meeting was warm and productive! Here are the highlights from the meeting.

The Board
  • approved the awarding of the Raabe Prize for Excellence in Sacred Composition. The winning piece and composer will be announced in the coming weeks and will be recognized at our June conference in Portland.
  • approved giving the Faithful Servant Award to two worthy people, who will also be recognized in Portland.
  • approved giving all students in the church music class or studying organ as their primary instrument at Lutheran Summer Music in 2019 a one-year membership in ALCM, and also giving them some financial support to purchase music or books.
  • approved a Raabe Prize sponsored hymn text competition that will take place in the coming months; details will be announced in the future.
  • affirmed continuing local events on the model of Hearts * Hands * Voices in 2019 and in all likelihood beyond.
  • heard plans about our biennial conference in 2021, which are just beginning.
  • discussed the future organizational shape of ALCM.
  • approved the appointment of a bylaws committee to review our ALCM Bylaws.
February Survey

The February survey is for those who plan to attend either the ACDA convention in Kansas City (February 27-March 2) or the ALCM biennial conference in Portland (June 24-27). 

Hymn Contest

The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America has announced a hymn contest for "God's work. Our hands." Sunday. Our dedicated day of service is an opportunity to celebrate who we are as the ELCA: one church, freed in Christ to love and serve our neighbor. This new hymn will become a year-round worship resource and should reflect on service as an opportunity to explore one of our most basic convictions: All of life in Jesus Christ - every act of service, in every daily calling, in every corner of life is in response to our gratitude for God's abundant grace. Entries will be screened by a selection team and one hymn may be selected. The winning entrant will receive a $500 honorarium. Submissions should be emailed or postmarked on or before March 1, 2019. Learn more details and contest rules.

ALCM Member Honored by NAAL

Congratulations to ALCM member Martin Seltz, who on January 5th received the 2019 Berakah Award f rom the North American Academy of Liturgy (NAAL). This award is presented to liturgists or persons of an allied vocation in recognition of distinguished contribution to the professional work of liturgy. Pastor, musician, educator, translator, and leader, Martin has been active in fulfilling the Academy's  purpose: Promoting liturgical scholarship and extending its benefits to worshiping communities. Congratulations to a most deserving award-winner!
2020 ALCM Germany Tour
Only Two Spaces Remain!

The 2020 ALCM Germany Tour announced by email on 10/10/18 has only  2 spaces remaining. The tour is hosted by David Cherwien, Michael Krentz, and Jim Rindelaub. Highlights include the Passion Play in Oberammergau (held every ten years), Luther's Wittenberg, Bach's Leipzig, Mozart's Salzburg, Sch├╝tz's Dresden, as well as Berlin, Halle, and more. The dates are July 3-17, 2020. The cost per person, double occupancy, is $3,315. The single room supplement fee is $600. 

The initial deposit registration fee is $350 and is to be made online only at NOTE: It is this online deposit that secures your reservation. Registrations are taken on a first come, first served basis until the tour is filled, so make your deposit now!

The official webpage is You can also view a  brochure with all trip details. Register today to insure your space on the tour!
Become a Lifetime Member of ALCM

Did you know that ALCM offers lifetime memberships for those under 65 (currently $1,500) and for those 65 and over (currently $750)? Pay the one-time fee and you are set for life--no more annual renewals. The prices are going up July 1 to $2,000 for a regular lifetime membership and $1,000 for lifetime membership for those 65 and older. If you're interested, now is the perfect time to do it.

New Issue of  In tempo

The first issue of In tempo for 2019 was mailed last week and includes these articles:
  • Toward a Sacramental Understanding of Beauty
  • Love Your People: Connecting the Bench and the Pew
  • Budgeting for a Well-Appointed Church Music
  • Light Dawns on a Hymn Festival Near You
  • Keeping It Fresh with a Small Choir
  • Organ Maintenance: Your Pipe Organ and Insurance
  • LCMS Online Worship Resources
  • WELS Hymnal Update
  • On Volunteer Management: Guiding Volunteers
  • Letter to the Editor
  • Interview with the Daughter of a Church Musician: Kathryn Hillert Brewer
Automate Your Giving to ALCM

Several ALCM members are already participating in ALCM's program of automated recurring donations, and we invite you to join them. You determine the amount you wish to give and how frequently you want to donate: every month, every other month, every three months, or every six months. At the end of the year, we'll send you one acknowledgment letter covering your donations for the entire year. It's an easy way to spread your gift-giving over the year. For more information or to sign up, contact Cheryl in the ALCM office at 800-624-2526 or by email at
Lutheran Summer Music


Enrollment is in full swing for Lutheran Summer Music (LSM) 2019! High school musicians from all over the country are applying and making plans to attend LSM this summer. LSM 2019 will take place June 23-July 21 at Valparaiso University. A half session is available June 23-July 7.
This is the ideal way for young Lutheran musicians to spend their summer, and these young people will come back as better musicians, confident leaders, and having taken ownership of their faith. Most students find out about LSM through friends, family, and caring adults at their church. Nominate a student for LSM and set them on a path toward musical excellence and confident leadership within their congregation.
Learn more and apply at:

New in the Members Area

Have you checked out the new "Hymn Settings" category in the members area of the ALCM website? Included in this category are keyboard/instrumental settings of hymn tunes as well as some choral settings of specific hymn texts. ALCM member Paul Otte is sharing his settings of hymn accompaniments for "soloed out" melody, and although this is definitely a category that is "under construction," there are already a large number of entries, especially for those hymn tunes beginning with letters A through J. See the link for this category under "What's New" on the main members area page.

Do you have something to share with other ALCM members? Please see the submission guidelines for more information. Questions can be directed to Cheryl Dieter in the ALCM office at or 800-624-2526. 

March 10, 2019 is "A Capella Sunday"

The Center for Congregational Song has designated the First Sunday of Lent each year as A Capella Sunday, a day in which worshiping communities commit to singing one or more hymns without accompaniment. Some of you may already do this regularly; for others, it will present a challenge. Visit the resource page to learn more about A Capella Sunday. You can also let them know you're participating by signing up (optional).

Tables of Thanksgiving: How Eucharist Forms Us  
Valparaiso, Ind., April 29-May 1, 2019

"For the Sacrament of Holy Communion has no blessing and significance unless love grows daily and so changes a person that they are made one with all others."
Martin Luther, 1519

Announcing the 71st Institute of Liturgical Studies to be held on the campus of Valparaiso University April 29-May 1, 2019. We will gather under the theme, "Table of Thanksgiving: How Eucharist Forms Us." Plenary presenters will be Charles Aurand, Paul Bradshaw, M. Shawn Copeland and Cynthia Moe-Lobeda plus many workshops and worship. For more information about the institute and to register, visit