Association of Lutheran Church Musicians

July 1, 2020 e-newsletter
Grace and peace to all of you.
History provides many examples of church musicians who have practiced their vocations in the face of struggle and uncertainty. One example is the composer Heinrich Schütz (1585–1672), who, along with Bach and Handel, is one of the three composers celebrated in the Calendar of Saints in some Lutheran traditions. Schütz’s career unfolded against the backdrop of the Thirty Years’ War, a conflict that brought widespread devastation to Central Europe. In addition to the violence of war, the conflict also created widespread famine, disease, and economic disruption—much of which affected Schütz personally. In spite of these challenges, Schütz remained steadfast in his faith and vocation. In fact, some of his most beautiful sacred works, such as the twin volumes of the Kleine geistliche Konzerte (1636/39) were composed during this time.
As we grapple with the challenges of the pandemic and a renewed awareness of inequality and marginalization in our world we can take comfort in God’s eternal promise of salvation. A verse that has been on my mind frequently during the last few months is the opening passage of Psalm 18:
The Lord is my rock, my fortress, and my deliverer,
my God, my rock in whom I take refuge,
my shield, and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold.
Confident in this promise, my hope for all of us is that we may support each other through the practice of our vocations in ways both great and small.
Tom Mueller
Region 4 President
Last Day to Vote!
Today (Wednesday, July 1) is the final day to vote for national and regional ALCM officers. If you have not already voted, please refer to the email you received on June 11, 2020 and fill in your online ballot. Results will be announced later in July.
ALCM Transitions
ALCM offers a huge thank you to Allison Schweitzer who has served as the ALCM In Tempo editor the last 2½ years. Allison brought a fresh perspective to our practical resource which was always enthusiastically received by our growing membership. As her business, Wisconsin Music Ventures, expands she decided there was no longer enough time to continue her In Tempo responsibilities. We wish her well in her exciting new life chapter.
ALCM welcomes Dr. Linda Borecki as the new In Tempo editor. Linda served on the faculty of Concordia University, Portland, OR. She has taught the practice of worship, ancient and modern, in North America, India, and Indonesia, and tutors musicians & leaders for ministry in the emerging generation. She currently serves as Director of Music at Christ the Vine Lutheran Church in Damascus, OR. We look forward to her future issues with eagerness.
ALCM welcomes Joan Miller as our Social Media Coordinator. Joan will be helping ALCM become increasingly visible to a wider circle of Lutheran musicians through Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. She serves as Choir Director at Immanuel Lutheran Church in Amherst, MA and recently completed her Master of Music degree in Choral Conducting from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst.
Please Help the Conference Committee

Dear friends,

Your 2021 Biennial Conference Planning Committee is still hard at work on preparing a wonderful event for you in Philadelphia, July 4-8, 2021. We are also carefully monitoring developments concerning the COVID-19 pandemic. Although health professionals and civic leaders continue to provide guidance, we would also like to hear from you about factors that may affect your decision to attend next year. Please help us with our decision-making process and complete a short survey .

Please complete the survey as soon as possible, or no later than Saturday, July 11. Thank you!

This may be just the first of several surveys we’ll invite you to complete over the next few months. We appreciate your input, and look forward to seeing you, singing with you, learning with you, and praying with you one day soon!

Tim Getz
2021 Conference Chair

The spring 2020 issue of CrossAccent , “(Re)Considering Bach,” was printed and mailed to members in late May. If you’ve not yet received your copy, visit the CrossAccent archive in the members area to access a complete .pdf.

In partnership with the Institute of Liturgical Studies, the summer 2020 issue 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 late July or early August.
Musical Offering Virtual Videos
In a time when choirs cannot meet, cannot sing, and cannot participate in worship, the loss is felt in church congregations around the country. While we are waiting for the time when choirs can return to the loft, the Fred Bock Publishing Group has created a set of high-quality lyric videos for churches to use in their streaming services. ALCM has negotiated a deal with Fred Bock Publishing to make these three videos available to our ALCM members at no cost for the summer. Click on the link below and download them all. Use them as your church sees fit to bring a choral element back to your worship services. All three songs are covered by CCLI and Streaming/Podcast Licenses. Go to: for the full video downloads. To watch a brief trailer of each video go to:
How Firm A Foundation (Dan Forrest) -
The Spirit of Christ (Richard A. Nichols) -
Spirit Now Live In Me (Bryan Jeffery Leech) -
Save the Date!

The National Lutheran Choir and Lutheran Summer Music communities cordially invite you to join us online for a broadcast of the 2019 hymn festival offered in memory of Paul Bouman (1918–2019), who conducted the LSM chapel choir for twenty-three summers. Service leaders include David Cherwien, Pastor Paul E. Hoffman, members of the National Lutheran Choir, and faculty and students from Lutheran Summer Music. Our virtual “watch party” will be held on:
Wednesday, July 22, 2020
7:00 PM (central) on the LSM Facebook page

Stop by for as long as you can and say “hello” to LSM students, NLC members, and fellow ALCM colleagues! A downloadable bulletin will be available so that you can sing along at home: feel free to invite friends, students, choir members, and anyone who may be interested.
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)
  • July 17: Leading with body, mind, spirit, voice: the preparation of a conductor - Pearl Shangkuan
  • July 24: Global worship as the church moves south - Marcell Steuernagel
  • July 31: Successful handbell choir with small numbers, inexperienced ringers, and limited rehearsal time - Jeffrey Scott Doebler
  • 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

Virtual Luther's Morning Prayer
A treasured tradition at Lutheran Summer Music is beginning each day by singing Carl Schalk's setting of  Luther's Morning Prayer . Memorized within days, and etched into our hearts for years to come, this beautiful piece is a common thread that links students, alumni, faculty, and staff despite years and distance apart.
In this Virtual Choir recording, members of the LSM Community throughout the years come together in song, sustaining the community of musical fellowship through time and distance. Many LSM alumni are now ALCM members, and lent their gifts to this special project. 
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:
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.

A 6 minute pandemic era
free video session by ALCM member
"How to reharmonize the
Great Thanksgiving with two jazz chords"
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
Carol Browning, ALCM member (Region 4)
is pleased to announce the release of her
third collection with GIA Publications, Inc.
Unknown Blessings: Finding God in Worship and the World
featuring songs for worship and prayer

Unknown Blessings: Finding God in Worship and the World is available as a collection and individual octavos as well as a CD recording .

Carol will be part of the National Association of Pastoral Musicians (NPM) convention , July 7-10 (held virtually this year), offering reflections on “Listening for Unknown Blessings” and leading a product resource showcase on this latest collection.
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!