Association of Lutheran Church Musicians
May 1, 2020 e-newsletter
Dear Colleagues,
I trust this message finds you healthy and sound of body, mind, and spirit. Times of crises tend to impose a back-to-basics logic on everything we do: hardship and difficulty bring our objectives into focus and encourage us to purge away the dross. We re-evaluate. We simplify. We get creative while holding on to what matters.
Since its inception, ALCM has been reminding us of what is most important in our vocation: the primacy of the congregational voice, the importance of text, the value of relationships, the formative role of good music in our assemblies. I thank God for this organization and its members, people who care deeply about the fundamentals of this "high and holy calling." I am grateful to know that in these uncertain times, ALCM will continue to nurture and equip musicians to serve and lead the church's song.
Peace and Strength,
Omaldo Perez
Board Member at Large
In memorium 
Norma Aamodt-Nelson
A note from Norma's daughter, Rachel:
My mother Norma passed away peacefully Wednesday afternoon, April 29, as I held her hand and we prayed and commended her to God.
Thank you for all of your messages of love and prayers left on CaringBridge over the past days. 

It was Norma's wish that gifts in her memory be given to the Norma Aamodt-Nelson Student Scholarship Fund at the Association of Lutheran Church Musicians (ALCM). Donations can be made at  or mailed by check to ALCM, 810 Freeman Street, Valparaiso, IN 46383. If paying by check, please include on the memo line: "Gift for Norma's Fund." All gifts given in Norma's memory will be acknowledged to her daughter Rachel.

A note from the CaringBridge site administrator:
You are invited to share any photos of yourself with Norma at  (please note spelling) and they will be shared on CaringBridge or with the family. Thank you.

COVID-19 Link

Webinar News

Hear the experiences and advice of church musicians
who lead every Sunday worship streams.
Information coming soon: "ALCM Summer Webinar Series"
Continuing ed when your 2020 conference was cancelled!

ALCM COVID-19 Schedule Changes
* Hearts, Hands, Voices Workshops:
June 13: Madison, WI - cancelled
June 27: Farmington Hills, MI - cancelled

* Germany Tour: 
Rescheduled from July 3 - 17, 2020 to July 2022

* Conference at Valparaiso University: "Let All The Peoples Praise You!"
 Rescheduled from July 20 - 23, 2020 to July 2022.


Hands * Hearts * Voices at Valparaiso University

The multi-day Hearts * Hands Voices event at Valparaiso University sponsored by ALCM Region 1 in conjunction with the Lutheran Summer Music Academy and Festival (LSM) has been postponed until summer 2022.   

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  -  Postponed to November 14 
Beavercreek, OH - November 7
Charlotte, NCAugust 8
Donaldson, IN- Post-Liturgical Institute Retreat - Postponed  to 
April 15-16, 2021 
Hicksville, NY - October 24  (corrected date)
Irvine, CA - October 3
Frankenmuth, MI - November 7
Lancaster, PAOctober 3
Lansing, MI - September 12
Marquette, MI - October 17
Mendham, NJ - August 1
St. Peter, MN  - September 12
Santa Monica, CA - November 14
Sioux Falls, SD - September 26
Sugar Land, TX - August 15
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
Dexter, MI -  Postponed to August - TBD  
Granite Bay, CA (Sacramento area)
Ithaca, NY
Jacksonville, FL  Postponed until fall - TBD
Palm Coast, FL - Postponed until fall - TBD
Valparaiso, IN - Postponed to July 2022

Check the ALCM website for additional sites and event details.

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

A growing list of ALCM member led 
Sunday worship streams & recordings is available at:

To be added, please email information to:
Bach (re)Considered

The Spring 2020 issue of CrossAccent is currently in production and should arrive in members' mailboxes sometime this month. Articles include "Who Sings the Arias? Musical Drama and Historical Time in Bach's Oratorios" by Markus Rathey; "A New Evaluation of 'Wie schön leuchtet der Morgenstern,' BWV 739" by Tom Mueller; and a colloquy on Bach with contributions by ALCM members John Setterlund, George Detweiler, Brian Wentzel, Michael D. Costello, Laura Potratz.
In addition to a survey of newly published music, four books and a trilogy of National Lutheran Choir recordings are reviewed, among them:
  • Bach's Musical Universe: The Composer and His Work by Christoph Wolff (2020)
  • Still Hungry at the Feast by Samuel Torvend (2019)
  • The Cantor's Art ed. by Jennifer Kerr Budziak (2017)
  • The Organist's Craft ed. by Jennifer Kerr Budziak (2019)
  • Hymns We Love to Sing, vols. 1 and 2, and Carols We Love To Sing by the National Lutheran Choir (2005, 2010, 2019)
The issue also includes an overview of future plans at the Bach Institute at Valparaiso University, a report on the 2020 Calvin Symposium on Worship, and an acknowledgment of contributions and gifts made to ALCM during the 2019 calendar year. Soli Deo gloria!

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.

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

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!