Association of Lutheran Church Musicians
March 1, 2020 e-newsletter
Dear friends,
Grace and peace to you as we begin another Lenten season and collectively move on the journey to Holy Week. As a musician, each year I look forward to this season as the music of Lent, Holy Week, and Easter offers an incredible range and variety to share our collective faith journey. As much as I enjoy this opportunity, I want to share something else I am just as excited about!
A few years ago ALCM began to offer the Hearts-Hands-Voices one day workshops in an effort to provide opportunities for more localized workshops. The success of these one-day events has been beneficial for many people on many levels! I'm excited to share that this summer, Region I will host a multi-day Hearts-Hands-Voices (think of it as Heart-Hands-Voices on steroids!) event in cooperation with Lutheran Summer Music at Valparaiso University in Indiana. It will feature:
A pre-conference Back Cantata workshop led by Christopher Cock (July 17-19)
  • An amazing faculty presenting traditional 1-hour workshops as well as 2-hour intensive sessions. (July 20-23)
  • Topics include:
  • Working with Children's Choirs
  • Working with aging choirs
  • Singing the Psalms
  • Lutheran Liturgy 101
  • Worship Planning
  • Choral Conducting and Vocal Technique
  • Composing and Arranging
  • Enriching Assembly Song
  • Percussion in Worship
  • And many others....
I hope you will all consider joining us in Valparaiso, Indiana this summer. Registration is now open, so be sure to register now for the early rate!
Jeremy Bankson
Region 1 President

Register for 
Hearts * Hands * Voices at Valparaiso University 
July 20-23, 2020!

Registration is now open for a special Hearts * Hands * Voices event at Valparaiso University. Sponsored by ALCM Region 1 in conjunction with the 2020 Lutheran Summer Music Academy and Festival (LSM), this four-day conference invites participants to strengthen their gifts and learn new skills through practical workshops, discussions, and hands-on learning opportunities that explore such topics as percussion, handbells, keyboard, composition and arranging, working with aging voices, singing the psalms, and more.

Each day will be framed by morning and evening prayer with the LSM community in Valparaiso University's Chapel of the Resurrection . Attendees will also have the option to attend pre- and post-conference events offered by LSM including a two-day Bach-intensive workshop with Dr. Christopher Cock, the Phyllis and Richard Duesenberg Chair in Lutheran Music at Valparaiso University and director of its Bach Institute .

Click here to view the full event schedule. Presenters include Jeremy Bankson, Jean Boehler, Jonathan Busarow, Karen Eddinger, Chad Fothergill, Timothy Fredstrom, Robert Hobby, Nancy Menk, Sally Messner, Anne Krentz Organ, Daniel Schwandt, and Christopher Wilson.

Congratulations to ALCM member

who has accepted a call as

Assistant to the Bishop,
Executive for Worship 
of the
Evangelical Lutheran Church of America

Locations for 2020 Hearts*Hands*Voices events that have already been confirmed include those listed below. Those with set dates include links to the event records, and registration for these events is now open. Additional information regarding each event will be added as it becomes available. 

Events with confirmed locations and dates:

Allentown, PA  - June 20
Beavercreek, OH - November 7
Charlotte, NCAugust 8
Dexter, MI - May 23-24
Donaldson, IN - Pre-Liturgical Institute Retreat -  April 19-20 - register now!
Fairfield, CT - Special event for children  - March 28 - register now!
Hicksville, NY - October 24  (corrected date)
Irvine, CA - October 3
Frankenmuth, MI - November 7
Jacksonville, FL  - June 27
Lancaster, PAOctober 3
Lansing, MI - September 12
Madison, WI June 13
Marquette, MI - October 17
Mendham, NJ - August 1
Palm Coast, FL -   April 25 - register now!
St. Peter, MN  - September 12
Santa Monica, CA - November 14
Sioux Falls, SD - September 26
Sugar Land, TX - August 15
Valparaiso, IN  - July 20-23 (See information below)
Waukesha, WI - October 3
Wichita, KS - September 26
Winchester, VA - October 17
Winston-Salem, NC  - October 3
Worcester, MA - September 26

Events with confirmed locations; date to be determined:
Ames, IA
Bellingham, WA
Granite Bay, CA (Sacramento area)
Ithaca, NY

Check the ALCM website for additional sites and event details.

Interested in hosting a local workshop in 2020? Contact Sally Messner at

2021 Raabe Prize Submissions Now Being Accepted

Raabe Prize 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.

June 28-July 26
Valparaiso University

Applications accepted until May 15
Many ALCM members have played an active role this year in encouraging the next generation of church musicians to attend Lutheran Summer Music in 2020.  With only a few months to go until the application deadline, here are several ways to make sure no young musician in your congregation misses out on this incredible opportunity!
Lenten Resources in
CrossAccent and In Tempo
As you continue to plan worship for Lent and Holy Week, consider browsing previous issues of  CrossAccent and  In Tempo , savoring the wisdom of pastors and musicians who have penned thoughtful approaches and practical advice for our collective benefit. While not an exhaustive list, here are a few suggestions:
  • Stephen Rosebrock, "Service Planning Ideas for Ash Wednesday," CrossAccent Vol. 21, No. 3 (November 2013), pp. 5-7
  • Susan Palo Cherwien, "Return to the Lord: The Journey of Lent," In Tempo 2016, No. 1, pp. 10-11
  • Kevin Hildebrand, "Lord, Have Mercy: Singing the Kyrie in the Season of Lent," In Tempo 2015, No. 1, pp. 4-5
  • Liv Larson Andrews, "Deep Calls to Deep: Using Simple Refrains in Lenten Worship," In Tempo 2017, No. 1, p. 9
  • Andrew Paul Fredel, "Choral and Assembly Song for Lent," In Tempo 2016, No. 1, pp. 8-9
  • Scott Weidler, "The Three Days: Singing Salvation History," CrossAccent Vol. 22, No. 2 (Summer 2014), pp. 22-24
  • Mark Oldenburg, "Maundy Thursday: Confession and Forgiveness," CrossAccent Vol. 22, No. 2 (Summer 2014), pp. 25-26
And if you've recycled past issues, shared your copies with colleagues and friends, or are new to ALCM, remember that the Members Area contains a downloadable and searchable archive for both journals.
Closure of 
Concordia University - Portland
After 115 years, Concordia University in Oregon will close its doors following the end of the 2020 spring semester.  In a  statement , the private Lutheran institution with about 5,700 students explained that its board of regents voted after much prayer and consideration of all options to cease operations of the school in a resolution approved on Feb. 7. (read more here)
We ask for prayers for ALCM members and others who will lose their jobs 
as well as students whose future is uncertain. 

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
Anne Krentz Organ
Paul Soulek

Summer 2021 may still seem a long time away, but your biennial conference planning committee has been very busy planning a wonderful time for you in Philadelphia, July 4-8 of that year. We're excited about so many of the presentations, performances, and worship experiences beginning to take shape, but I thought this month I'd tell you about some of our wonderful venues:
Our gathering Eucharist will be in the historic Christ Church, Philadelphia, founded in 1695 and in its current building, a part of Independence National Historical Park, since 1744. It is considered one of the finest Georgian structures in America and houses a stunning new Fisk organ dedicated in 2018.
More than one event will take place in Holy Trinity Church, Rittenhouse Square, a short walk from our hotel. Just after the Civil War this church's rector, The Rev. Phillips Brooks, and his organist, Lewis Redner, created the beloved Christmas hymn "O Little Town of Bethlehem." A fine mural depicting the "little town" graces the chancel. The church also is home to the first carillon in North America (hung in 1882) and one of the finest collections of stained glass in the United States. The gallery organ, Möller Opus 8128, is a fixture of the Philadelphia organ scene and is currently being relocated to Holy Trinity from a neighboring church.
Our week will end in the welcoming and gracious Trinity Lutheran Church in Lansdale, Pennsylvania. Trinity is a large and active ELCA parish with a very busy music program. Its sanctuary is warm and flooded with natural light, traditional and contemporary!
See you in Philadelphia!
Tim Getz
"Receiving the Day "
A Retreat Preceding the
Institute of Liturgical Studies
Sunday, April 19 - Monday, April 20, 2020
Lindenwood Retreat Center, Donaldson, Indiana
Dorothy Bass and Lorraine Brugh, leaders
In the second week of Easter, this 24-hour retreat will be an opportunity to live into a time and space away from our church vocations. Through presentations, spiritual practices, and conversations, retreatants will explore various ways to rest, recuperate, and recover from the busyness of the Lent and Holy Week liturgies. Using the book Receiving the Day: Christian Practices for Opening the Gift of Time* by Dorothy Bass, the retreat will follow the book's patterns in looking into our use of time in everyday lives. Spiritual practices will include contemplative walking, journaling, labyrinth, spiritual conversation, worship, centering prayer, and hospitality.  

Plenary presenters include James Abbington, Antonio Alonso and Karol Kimmell. A plenary panel discussion will be led by Paul Westermeyer.

It begins with breath: the breath of an individual, the breath of a community. As with the Spirit that hovers in creation, infusing creation with life anew, the Spirit is at work in and through breath joined to heartbeat. Singing is natural to creatures, as hymn writer Robert Lowry asks rhetorically, "How Can I Keep from Singing?" In response to God's revelation in Christ by the Spirit's power, we cannot help but sing.