Association of Lutheran Church Musicians

June 1, 2021 e-newsletter
“Jesus Christ is the Light of the world, the light no darkness can overcome.”
Greetings, friends and colleagues.
This text has been on my mind lately. As you may know, it comes from the opening lines of the service of Evening Prayer. Throughout this past year we could substitute the word “pandemic” or “Covid-19” for “darkness.” It has seemed dark at times: dark sanctuaries, dark choir rooms, dark concert halls. I know you have worked diligently to bring the light of Christ to your congregation through Zoom, live-streaming, and other tools of technology.
But wait, there has always been THE light, THE light at the end of the tunnel, THE light in our future AND in our past. Our faith in Jesus Christ (and increasingly in our medical/scientific community) has begun to dispel this darkness. We are on the path to normality and it sure feels good!
Thank you for all you do to bring the Light of Christ to people in need.
Best wishes for a blessed summer.
Jim Hild
Region 3 President
Raabe Prize
Raabe Prize Winners Announced
Congratulations to Jacob B. Weber, who has been named winner of the 2021 Raabe Prize for Excellence in Composition for his choral submission Festival Gloria, scored for SATB choir, organ, and brass quartet.

In addition, two pieces received honorable mention: Jesus, Remember Me by Nicholas Palmer, scored for SATB or SATB divisi; and When Memory Fades by Carl Schalk, scored for SATB and organ.
Calling all ALCM members.
Please participate in the ALCM virtual anthem.
Typically, we would enjoy singing together this summer during the ALCM conference. With the conference postponed until 2023 let’s still sing together! Please follow the instructions at and upload your recording by Sunday, June 20. The virtual anthem will be included during the Thursday, July 29 ALCM virtual business meeting where the 2021 Raabe Prize will be officially awarded.

We would like all ALCM faces singing or playing during the virtual anthem just as though we were together in person at the conference. Please join us in this virtual offering of the 2021 Raabe Prize winning Festival Gloria by Jacob Weber. (The virtual anthem publisher, Concordia Publishing House, has granted permission for congregational use of the final virtual anthem recording with copyright restrictions waved for 12 months through July of 2022.)

Note: Current ALCM membership is required to participate. Membership is open to everyone. Not a member? Join Today!
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 June webinars below!
ALCM Friday June Webinars
Page to Pattern:
How the score shapes conducting
and rehearsal planning
Friday, June 11 - 2:00 pm Eastern

A choral score poses a wealth of questions to a conductor: What technical challenges does this piece present? Does the tempo affect perception of difficulty? What pattern should I use? How do I “make it work” with my singers? This webinar will use several excellent anthems—old and new—to demonstrate how careful score study can suggest teaching techniques, simplify rehearsal planning, and determine conducting gestures that will prepare both the conductor and the choir for a successful, musical learning experience.
Zebulon Highben
Director of Chapel Music
Duke University Chapel, Durham, NC
Associate Professor of the Practice of Church Music
Duke Divinity School, Durham, NC
Linda Borecki
Editor, In tempo
Director of Worship
Christ the Vine Lutheran Church, Damascus, OR

Advent Folk Mass

Friday, June 25 - 2:00 pm Eastern
  • Responds to the plea “Can we please sing carols in church before Christmas?”
  • Respects the distinction between Advent and Christmastide in the Church Year
  • Follows Luther’s template for the German Folk Mass
  • Well-known melodies, flexibility of instrumentation
  • Invites your congregation to engage with the deeper actions of heart and soul in liturgy
  • Prepares congregations for alternatives in liturgy and music style
  • Bonus: suggested slight alterations to become “Christmas Folk Mass” for the two Sundays after Christmas

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.
Last Chance to Register!
Election Results
Thanks to all ALCM members who voted in the recent election to fill a Director at Large national board position. Congratulations to Carol Churchill who was elected to serve in this role beginning September 1, 2021. Thanks to both Carol and Karen Eddinger for their willingness to serve ALCM in this role.
On the ALCM Website: Resources for Members
June Highlight
There are hidden gems in the members area of the website, and we want to be sure that you know about them. So, beginning with this
e-newsletter, each month we will highlight a different website item available to ALCM members.

Introducing a new hymn? Looking for a single stanza variation? This month's highlight is a series of over 200 hymn arrangements for organ by ALCM member Paul Otte. Paul writes:

“The organ is an ideal instrument for accompanying group singing. One of its strengths is that the melody of the hymn may be played on a louder manual than the accompaniment. In the traditional 'SATB' setting of a hymn, this skill is a challenge for many organists, because the left hand must read the alto line from the treble staff and the tenor line from the bass staff. In order to simplify this procedure, I have written settings of the hymns where the melody is 'soloed out' and the accompaniment is often simplified somewhat with a slower harmonic rhythm.”

In the members area, follow the link for "Hymn Settings" to view Paul's arrangements. And while you're there, check out the other hymn descants, choral stanzas, preludes and more that other members have shared.
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.
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.
In tempo, ALCM's practical resource publication, is seeking contributions for these two topics in upcoming issues:
  • Contemporary, folk, or alternative music in worship. In Tempo has recently featured cross-cultural, jazz and rock music put into the service of worship and music ministry. Contributions regarding other music traditions are welcome, too! “Contemporary” spans a variety of interpretations and practices, as does “folk” and “alternative” - what are your “best of the best” music and resources from these broadly defined categories? If you’d like to share your suggestions (especially with musicians of modest congregation size and budget) email for more information and article guidelines. 

  • 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

The new issue of In tempo has just gone to the printer and should be arriving in mailboxes within the next two weeks. Can't wait that long? The new issue has been posted in the members area of the ALCM website.
Free Webinars Available
Two of three scheduled free webinars have now taken place and are available for viewing: Michael Burkhart's webinar "The Holy Week Journey; and last month's review of "All Creation Sings." Follow the links on the free webinars page to view these webinars.

Recorded webinars from the Spring webinar series are still available for purchase as a set. Click the appropriate "Register for the Series" button to purchase the already-recorded webinars. Once purchased, you will receive links to the recorded webinars within 24 hours.
Last Chance to Register!
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.
Susan Cherwien
Kari Files

Jeffrey Clouser

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.
WELS Hymnal Update
Christian Worship is scheduled to be released in time for Advent 2021. Extensive introductory and overview materials are available on the Christian Worship website.
COVID Updates from the Center for Congregational Song
As you contemplate a return to congregational singing, you may wish to visit this page established by The Center for Congregational Song that includes several helpful links related to COVID-19 and singing. It also includes a count-down to when singing together will be safe again based on current recommendations from the CDC and other public health institutions. For an explanation on the most recent CDC mask wearing guidance see:
August Conference Opportunity
A list of ALCM member-led 
Sunday worship streams & recordings is available at:

To be added, please email information to: