Association of Lutheran Church Musicians
May 1, 2018 e-newsletter

We may take it for granted that there are not many occupations in which so many facets of knowledge come to bear, and which so thoroughly blur the interdisciplinary boundaries of Western academia, as the ones that coalesce under the title of Cantor. As church musicians, our craft continually engages us in the delicate task of balancing multiple concerns and points of view - in matters not only musical, but also theological, aesthetic, historical, cultural, and administrative, among many others.

This is one of the reasons why ALCM strives to give context to our calling and encourages the discussion of what it means to serve and lead the church's song: so we may learn how to find better ways to apply this broad array of insights to our individual contexts.

I would like to invite and encourage you to attend ALCM's Heart, Hands, Voices one-day events taking place all over the country this year, as well as the four-day intensive in Valparaiso, Indiana, July 23-26. Come to find a refreshing new perspective. Come to be inspired by thoughtful worship. Come to discover the joy of vocational growth in the warmth of community and in the aggregate of collective wisdom.

Omaldo Perez
ALCM Director at Large

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Registration is open for all events!

Click the links below to see details about the programs for the May and early June events. There are links on each event page to print & mail a registration form. The online registration form is at the bottom of the event page, so be sure to register now for these upcoming events! 

May 5 - Amherst, MA  last chance to register!
"Sing a New Song: North American Lutheran Hymns and Song (2006-present)"
Presenter and hymn festival leader: Mark Mummert
Working with older voices in the church choir - Jim Rimington
Incorporating children, youth & adults as contributors in worship - Royce Hubert
Organ and piano: striking a balance.  A beginner's guide to comparing and adapting hymn accompaniments and service music - J.B. and Connie George
Come get a head start on planning for the 2018-2019 church year! Included will be: two reading sessions offering musical selections appropriate for the church year and focused on smaller church choirs; effective rehearsal tips to help you bring out the best in your choirs; resources to expand your use of the Psalms in worship.
Presenters: Ellen Johnston, Kevin Barger

Several local musicians will offer workshops on a variety of topics ranging from hymn leading techniques to vocal pedagogy to crafting contexualized anthems from the hymnal. Participants are encouraged to complete a workshop survey before May 15 that will assist event organizers in scheduling workshops. The survey can be found at

This workshop will focus on how to consistently implement quality repertoire with both adult & children's choirs, through opportunities to grow conducting skills as well as vocal technique and warm-ups, concluding with a worship service that will showcase what has been covered in the sessions. A partnership between Cornerstone Lutheran Church and the Indianapolis Children's Choir will provide a clinic choir and demonstration through worship. This workshop will be geared toward all choral directors working with either adult or children's choirs, as the comprehensive church choral program will be the focus. 

ALCM 2019 Biennial Conference 

With keynote presentations by Susan Briehl, Robert Farlee, and Samuel Torvend. 

Mark your calendars!

Extended early registration deadline  is May 2.
Last chance to register at the lower rate!

Looking for a practical learning experience?

Then join us for a  special  four-day event on the campus of Valparaiso University from  Monday, July 23 to Thursday, July 26 . A faculty team has been gathered to work with musicians on various practical skills related to leading assembly song. 

Learning sessions will cover specific topics in these areas:
    • conducting
    • choral leadership
    • keyboard leadership
    • handbells/handchimes
    • worship band leadership
    • musical styles from around the world
    • composition/arranging for worship
    • assembly song
    • integrating instruments in worship
    • worship planning
    • understanding and using core worship resources, and much, more
The extended deadline for early registration is May 2! After that date the registration fee of $255 goes up to $295. Housing options include affordable on-campus air-conditioned residence halls or hotels nearby campus. See the  ALCM website for additional information or to register.

Note from Cheryl: Several people have indicated that they intend to register for the Valparaiso event but are having trouble meeting the May 2 deadline for the early registration rate. If you are in a similar situation, email me at by May 2 to let me know that you intend to register, and I will extend the early registration fee for you.

Thursday, June 7, 2018
2:00 pm Eastern/1:00 pm Central

Recruiting Volunteers to Your
Music Ministry

Presented by Mark Glaeser

All ALCM webinars may be viewed live or via video recording within 24 hours of the event.  

Mark your calendars for the following webinars:

October 18, 2018
Developing and Leading a 
Children's Music Camp 

Presented by Connie Millberg

February 7, 2019
Tips for Leading a
Worship (Praise) Band 

Presented by Kip Fox

May 16, 2019
Basic Principles of 
Worship and Music 
in the Lutheran Tradition

Presented by Carl Schalk

Easter Music Survey

In the April e-newsletter we invited members to share the main or favorite piece of music offered by various groups/individuals on Easter Day. The results are in! Thanks to everyone who shared this information. 
Christmas in Cambridge

ALCM member (and former president) Lorraine Brugh and her husband Gary are spending two years as directors of Valparaiso University's study abroad program in Cambridge, England. 
As part of the year-long anniversary celebration of the Cambridge study center, the Valparaiso University Alumni Association and the Valparaiso University Cambridge Program invite you to spend Christmas abroad highlighted by an opportunity to attend the 100th anniversary of A Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols at King's College Cambridge.  W hile seating cannot be guaranteed, this may be your best chance to participate in this historic event.

Programming begins with an opening reception on December 21st, 2018 and formally ends on December 26th, 2018. Daily itineraries include a combination of worship and reflection along with plentiful free time. View the tentative itinerary  here Options for arriving early or extending your stay are possible through Lorraine Brugh. Her contact e-mail is .

Congratulations, Robert Farlee!

We are happy to announce that ALCM member Bob Farlee is the 2018 recipient of the Institute of Liturgical Studies' Christus Rex Award. The Christus Rex Award annually recognizes an individual who has made significant contributions to Lutheran liturgical scholarship and renewal. Bob was presented with the award at the closing banquet of the Institute of Liturgical Studies. Congratulations, Bob!

Other ALCM members who have received the award since its inception in 2009 are:  Paul Westermeyer (2016); Gail Ramshaw (2015); Carl Schalk (2014); Gordon Lathrop (2012); Philip Gehring (2010); and Mark Bangert (2009).
Pipe Organ Encounters
Sponsored by the American Guild of Organists, Pipe Organ Encounters (POEs) offer teenagers and adults a rewarding opportunity to learn more about the pipe organ and its construction, instruction with experienced faculty, visits to hear and play outstanding instruments, and the chance to meet and interact with peers who share an interest in the King of Instruments. POEs are taking place around the country this summer. If you know of a student or adult who might be interested in attending a Pipe Organ Encounter, please share this information with them.
Pipe Organ Encounters  (for ages 13-18)
June 17-22, 2018
Phoenix, Arizona
June 24-29, 2018
Minneapolis/St. Paul, Minnesota
July 8-13, 2018
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
July 16-21, 2018
Los Angeles, California
July 22-27, 2018
Central Florida (Stetson University - Deland, Florida)
Pipe Organ Encounter-Plus  (for adults)
June 17-22, 2018 
Rockford, Illinois

Student Composition Competition

Submissions for the 2018-19 Richard Hillert Student Composition Award are now being accepted by the Center for Church Music. In partnership with the Association of Lutheran Church Musicians, the competition is open to any current student at a Lutheran university or seminary. Nominations may come from someone other than the composer. There is a $500 cash prize. For more information, go to the center's website. Deadline for submissions is June 1, 2018.

Christ Church, Minneapolis
Inaugural Recital
May 20, 2018 - 2:00 pm

The inaugural recital on the new Dobson pipe organ at Christ Church in Minneapolis will be performed by internationally acclaimed organist (and ALCM member) Gregory Peterson. The recital will take place at 2:00 pm on Sunday, May 20, in the church sanctuary, a National Historic Landmark designed by influential architect Eliel Saarinen in 1949. The recital is free and open to the public and will be followed by a reception. Christ Church Lutheran is located in the Longfellow neighborhood at 3244 34th Avenue South in Minneapolis.
A Travel Invitation for ALCM Members
Together In Hope Project works to advance Christian unity through shared song, and  is currently focused on bringing the message of Christian unity to Rome in late October 2018. 
Gary Aamodt and Celia Ellingson, Lutherans with a passion for advancing Christian unity and for choral music, are the founders of Together In Hope Project. They commissioned two significant musical compositions (The Holy Spirit Mass and So That the World May Believe: A Motet for Unity and Service) to commemorate the 500th anniversary of the Reformation and 50 years of productive Lutheran-Catholic dialogues
The Together in Hope Choir is a select ecumenical group of 60 voices from the Minneapolis/St. Paul area. ALCM members are invited to become A mbassadors of Hope and travel with the Together In Hope Choir for a once-in-a-lifetime event, an inspiring week of transformative music and fellowship. From landmark concerts, a private tour of the Vatican Museum, and an excursion to ancient Assisi, every step of the journey will nourish and inspire Ambassadors as advocates for unity through shared song.

For more information, see our website at or send an email to: