Association of Lutheran Church Musicians

July 1, 2021 e-newsletter
What is this place where we are meeting?
Only a house, the earth its floor.
Walls and a roof sheltering people, windows for light, an open door.
Yet it becomes a body that lives when we are gathered here,
and know our God is near. (ELW 524)

Many congregations are beginning to gather in person this summer after long months of worshipping in various ways at home. As difficult as the coronavirus pandemic was (and continues to be, in many places), my heart was warmed every time I heard of the wonderful ways people found to stay connected with their communities, even while remaining physically isolated out of love and care for the health of their friends, families, and neighbors.

If life had gone according to plan, our beloved biennial conference would be getting started in Philadelphia this week. We mourn its absence; we grieve our chance to gather and become Christ’s living body in the loud-singing way that we ALCM-ers do so uniquely. To finally have the chance to be together in 2023 will be more sublime than ever! In the meantime, I hope you will continue to exercise those new skills in staying connected. ALCM offers a wealth of opportunities to do just that. Join one of the many educational webinars being offered this year. Drop in at one of our Zoom social hours. And be sure not to miss the online biennial meeting on July 29, which will include some splendid music and a brief time of worship in addition to some ALCM news and business.

The opportunities will steadily increase this year for more and more real-life gatherings with friends and colleagues. Blessings on your ministries, dear friends, as we emerge into this new day!

Tim Getz
2023 Conference Chair
ALCM Virtual Music Celebration,
Awards Presentation, and Compline
Mark your calendar!
Thursday, July 29 at 8:00 pm EDT
(7:00 pm CDT, 6:00 pm MDT, 5:00 pm PDT)
Please join ALCM online for a special evening of music, celebration and worship. Our bylaws call for a plenary meeting of our membership every two years. This normally takes place at our biennial summer conference. With our conference postponed, we hope to see everyone at this virtual July 29 event! The evening will begin at 8:00 pm with a 30 minute prelude video: “Lutheran musicians across North America keeping the song alive during a time of pandemic.” This is a wonderful and diverse compilation showing a wide array of musical styles and approaches, mostly recorded in 2020 and 2021. The music will be followed at 8:30 pm with some news and business from ALCM including the presentations of the 2021 Raabe Prize for Excellence in Composition and the 2021 Norma Aamodt-Nelson Student Scholar awards. We will conclude with a brief time of worship, including a remembrance of our beloved colleagues who have died since our 2019 biennial conference in Portland, OR. As with all ALCM events, whether in-person or online, we hope that this festival evening will inspire us, bring us closer together as a community of colleagues, and strengthen us in our ministries. Watch your Inbox for links, to be sent near the time of the event. See you there!
ALCM 2021 Webinar Series
Webinars in 2021 are offered in four separate series. Each series may be purchased individually (one series is actually free) or you may purchase a full-year webinar package (at a reduced rate!) that includes automatic registration for all sixteen webinars throughout the year.

You may register at any time through 2021 and receive recordings of the live webinars which are completed. In 2022 these webinars will revert to the regular price of $25 members/$39 nonmembers per webinar.

All webinars are on Fridays at 2:00 pm Eastern, unless otherwise noted.

Check out the TWO July webinars below!
ALCM Friday July Webinars
Orgelkids: Build A Real Pipe Organ
(in 45 minutes)
Friday, July 18 - 2:00 pm Eastern

“You guys have to see this. This organ-in-a-crate-thing is sick!” -Alec, a high school junior to his peers.

Orgelkids USA is a small, fully functional instrument designed to teach how a pipe organ works. Though the name includes “kids,” it is exciting for people of all ages (as evidenced by the enthusiastic endorsement above). As a teaching tool it is cross-curricular, combining disciplines of music, physics, history, archaeology, and more. From the OrgelkidsUSA web page: “Enticing the public to engage with the King of Instruments by empowering them to build a working pipe organ.”
Vincent Ryan
Minister of Music
Advent Lutheran Church,
Harleysville, PA

Michael Joy
Traditional Music Director
First Presbyterian Church, Ambler, PA
Handbell Choirs: Glide and dab your way to better musicianship

Friday, July 30 - 2:00 pm Eastern
We all want our musical offerings to be worshipful and to reflect our best efforts. We often get so caught up in playing the right notes and rhythms that the musicianship isn’t as polished as it could be. This session will incorporate some basic ideas of how to improve the musicianship of any group. The ideas for this session are based on Rudolf Laban’s movement theory as applied to handbells by Kimberly Strepka.

NOTE: If you have already registered for the Summer Webinar Series or the Full Year Series, do not register again. You will receive a link to the webinar in the morning on the day of the webinar.
On the ALCM Website: Resources for Members
July Highlight
As you engage in planning for worship services this fall, plan to include "God Alone Be Praised." This hymn, with text by Susan Briehl and two tunes by Zeb Highben, was commissioned by ALCM for its 30th anniversary and the 500th anniversary of the Reformation. The text is based on Psalm 46 and is especially appropriate for use on Reformation and Christ the King as well as other times.

Additional supporting resources were made available to ALCM members as the first commissioned project in the expanded Raabe Prize. Some of the commissioned settings have been published by Augsburg Fortress. Both tunes may be used as as an anthem or hymn concertato. Keyboard, handbell, and praise band settings are also available.
Renata Peperkorn selected as the first
Norma Aamodt-Nelson Student Scholar
Renata Peperkorn has been selected from twelve accomplished applicants representing colleges and universities across the United States and Canada as ALCM’s first Norma Aamodt-Nelson Student Scholar. Renata is a rising junior at Concordia University Nebraska double majoring in Church Music and Music Education as a Bachelor of Music candidate. Her teachers include Marian Metson, Dr. Jeffery Blersch, Dr. Joseph Herl, and Dr. Kurt von Kampen. Renata is also a past student of the Lutheran Summer Music program. She will officially receive the award during ALCM’s July 29 virtual business meeting, which will include a portion of her video organ audition. The award includes a $1,000 scholarship towards her college tuition.
Student applicants receiving honorable mention include Nathan Elsbernd (Luther College), Wendy Johnston (Peabody Institute/Johns Hopkins University), Renee Nikkel (Western University) and Sarah Palmer (St. Olaf College). Congratulations to these fine young musicians!
Plan to tune into AGO OrganFest2021 at 8:00 pm eastern (7:00 pm central) tomorrow, Friday, July 2. ALCM is an official supporter of the Friday evening portion of this weeklong virtual event.
Bach Tage at Mount Olive
After two long days of video recording, BachTage 2021 is ready for you! 
BachTage is available on the Mount Olive website at
Links are now active. Copies of the score for Cantata 85, Ich bin ein guter Hirt, can be downloaded from the website. A translation of the German text is also available at the link. 
The BachTage 2021 playlist can be accessed by clicking here and it includes three video segments:
1.  A recital by the baroque ensemble Flying Forms: Marc Levine, baroque violin; Tami Morse, harpsichord; Tulio Rondón, cello and piccolo cello; 
2.  Music and theology of Cantata 85, Ich bin ein guter Hirt - Arthur Halbardier; Interview of Stanley King and Ellen Rider, with Kathy Romey and Arthur Halbardier;
3.  Performance of Cantata 85, and movements from Cantata 21 - the BachTage Orchestra and soloists;
Each segment can be viewed independently. HOWEVER, BE SURE TO VIEW SEGMENT #2 PRIOR TO SEGMENT #3.
The Center for Church Music at Concordia University Chicago serves as a repository for special collections and works by history’s influential Christian church musicians, including significant contributions by American Lutherans. As a locus for the study of church music, the Center also disseminates papers and monographs for conferences such as CUC’s annual Vi Messerli Memorial Lectures in Church Music.

Through its work, the Center extends the legacy of a gifted generation of Lutheran church musicians. It seeks to foster an appreciation and understanding of the Church’s song among pastors, musicians, and laity, all the while encouraging the next generation of composers of sacred music.

The Center's website offers a vast array of resources. In addition they publish an occasional newsletter, the most recent of which covers the time after Pentecost. To sign up to receive their newsletter, click the "Join Our Email List" link.
Would you like to:
Have a mentor? Be a mentor?
One of the great strengths of ALCM is the wealth of different gifts of its members. The board has had several discussions about how members with more experience and training might be able to help mentor other members. Before implementing any kind of mentoring "program," it would be helpful to know the level of interest of our members. If you would benefit from participating in a mentoring program, or if you would like to share your expertise with others, please send an email to executive director Jim Rindelaub with MENTOR PROGRAM in the subject line. We are not asking for a commitment at this time; this is just to gauge interest in such a program.
Ongoing invitation: your "Worst and Best of Everything" story. The best and worst advice and experiences regarding playing, conducting, singing, hymn introductions, worship planning, technology, resolving conflict, any and everything church music and Lutheran worship. Which strategies turned into train wrecks? Which have you absorbed and made standard practice? Your stories of “bumps along the way” as well as successes can teach, cheer, and encourage us, especially if you can look back now with a smile at previous debacles. If you would be willing to share your hard-earned wisdom and practical tips, please send an article proposal to
“Children in Worship, Seen and Heard” – Julie Bedard
If you read this article in the recent In Tempo issue (2021, No. 1) and wished you had ALCM member Julie Bedard’s demonstration videos of her hand motions to teach children refrains of hymns, you are in luck. Julie has provided the following videos to help include children in worship: Hand motions to teach children refrains of hymns - Demonstration videos by Julie Bedard. If you would like to read the article remember all In Tempo issues are archived in the members area at
Updated Guidance for Safe Worship Practices
Care-filled Worship and Sacramental Life in a Lingering Pandemic is a comprehensive update from the consultation on Ecumenical Protocols for Worship, Fellowship, and Sacramental Practices. Incorporating the latest CDC guidance, this update informs decision-making and basic practices of Christian worship and congregational life. Additional resources related to the pandemic available on the ALCM website.
Kyries & Glorias

Kyries (prayer concerns) and Glorias (thanksgivings) are posted in the members area and on the following page on the ALCM website. The following recent Kyries and Glorias have been submitted by ALCM members.
John Panning, Lynn Dobson, and
employees of Dobson Pipe Organ Builders
Susan Cherwien

In memoriam:
Douglas Koons
Fritz Noack

Pauline Kiltinen
Brad Ellingboe

ALCM members are invited to submit Kyries and Glorias following the link in the members area of the website. Non-members may contact the ALCM office at with information for posting.
Are you a congregation looking for a musician?
A musician looking for a position?
ALCM can help!

Employment resources have been developed to assist congregations in the process of searching for and hiring a musician. Presented in a step-by-step format, these resources will guide you through the entire employment process.

The ALCM job listing service connects those looking for positions in the field of church music with congregations and other institutions that have openings. By completing an online job posting form, congregations can post their positions on the ALCM website where those looking for employment may view them.

Musicians searching for a job may view posted job openings on the ALCM website, where those looking for positions can view them. Both full-time and part-time positions are listed, and new positions are added as received.
August Conference Cancelled
The August 16-19, 2021 event, which was to have been hosted by Claremont United Church of Christ, has been cancelled.
A list of ALCM member-led 
Sunday worship streams & recordings is available at:

To be added, please email information to: