PSALLAM! RSCM America News & Info
 May 2017     
Sumer Is Icumen In! and the "G" Word


First, I pray that, having successfully traversed Holy Week and Easter, you are managing to get through the mine-fields of what always seems to be the craziest of months: May! If your program is anything like mine at St. Michael's, the workload of anthems to rehearse is decreasing, programs are winding down, the end of choir rehearsals is in sight, and a summer break looms on the horizon; however, those who participate in your programs may be pulled in nine different directions at once, as schools and after-school programs have their end-of-year shows, events, and ceremonies.

What to do in the summer? Attend an RSCM America Training Course, of course! Or, perhaps an AGO or denominational convention or another music organization's summer gathering. Or, perhaps learn a new instrument, like the one hinted at in the title above--the "G" word: Guitar! In case I've instantly lost half of you, here's a personal story--

One of the most powerful things I did for myself in the very first parish I served in the U.S. (Grace Episcopal Church in Ocala, Fla., from 1977-1980) was to teach myself how to play the guitar and play in a contemporary band for a year or so. This was powerful in that the parish I moved to in 1980, and at which I remain, had a 6 p.m. Folk Mass that had in part come out of the Cursillo Movement. I was instantly able to step in and lead that service. As the years progressed and contemporary music became more prevalent, I was able to play it, and, using the trained ear that had been developing since my early U.K. cathedral choir days, trust my ability to ascertain a song's merit for possible inclusion into our services.

Playing for VBS? A piece of cake, as it's much easier to lead 100 kids with a guitar and move around, rather than sitting at a piano bench. Developing an "Angels' Choir", birth through first grade? Most of the material used for this age is almost entirely made up of simple chords, and it's much easier to be amongst the kids with the guitar than at the piano. I also knew that should a new rector be interested in developing a service with a band, I would always be able to lead that band, speak the language, and have direct content control.

So, are you at a church that "blends" the music? Is there a band in your church that you wish you could be a part of, in order to intelligently lead what they do? With summer soon upon us, and perhaps some extra free time in your schedule, maybe this could be a time to pick up a guitar and learn some chords! I shocked a fellow organist one time by demonstrating E min7; it requires one finger! He put his finger in the right place, strummed, and voilĂ , out came the correct chord. We all have rhythm and we all know how to move the left hand around, often with great speed. All it takes is learning finger positions for the various chords and practicing getting from one to another. Who knows, by the end of the year, you could be accompanying "Silent Night" as some folks would have us believe it was intended: with a guitar!

Psallam Spiritu et Mente!


  Andrew's signature
Andrew Walker
Editor of PSALLAM!
Past-president of RSCM America

In This E-mail
A Word from President Bert Landman
As you may know, RSCM America is part of the larger RSCM organization that is based in the U.K., which has branches around the world. While we are the largest branch outside of the U.K. and
Andrew Reid
have our own governance, we maintain close ties with the U.K. organization. It was a surprise earlier this week when we learned that Andrew Reid, who has been the Director of the RSCM for the past five years, will step down from that position this coming autumn to take up the post of Managing Director of Harrison & Harrison, organ builders. A number of us have had the opportunity to work with Andrew at courses and as a part of the RSCM America National Choir. I think it is fair to say that we found him to be a fine choir trainer and enjoyed working with him. We wish him all the best as he explores his new challenge.

The RSCM Council and staff will be working to find the best person to be the next Director. As Andrew put it in his message, "The RSCM is, and must be, a sign of hope within the Church, and there is much potential for growth. Great things can come from our mustard seeds. Thank you for all you do towards our common mission, and may God richly bless you in all your endeavours."
I heartily concur.

Bert Landman
President of RSCM America

Advertising Opportunity for Members
by Betsy Calhoun

Your Board of Directors is launching an initiative to solicit advertisers for the RSCM America Newsletter. Our organization has over 600 members, each of whom receives the newsletter electronically, and approximately 175 of whom also receive it as a paper copy. The total number of addresses of members and non-members (web subscribers, overseas branches, etc.) that receive the newsletter is about 800.
We are asking you if you would like to advertise anything about yourself (concerts, recitals, your compositions or publishing company), your church music program (upcoming services, Evensongs, choir trips), or your church's concert series for which you are responsible. Perhaps you are part of a business that you would like to advertise--for example, a music store, an organ builder or organ technician, a concert management organization with whom you are associated, an independent teaching studio, or a church-related organization. We are looking for these and other possible advertisers from among our membership who might like to place an advertisement. 
The Newsletter is published twice yearly. For more information, advertising rates, or answers to any questions, please contact Board member Betsy Calhoun at or 850-222-2636, ext. 20.

Psallam Spiritu et Mente!
RSCM America promotes excellence in church music practice and choral singing, is part of the worldwide network of The Royal School of Church Music, and works in collaboration with Westminster Choir College of Rider University.
2017 Summer
Training Courses
There is still time to register for the few remaining spots at the Tulsa, Pacific Northwest, and St. Louis training courses! Click on the links above to visit each course's website.

RSCM/Westminster Youth Choir Festival on October 21, 2017

Click here for details about the RSCM America/
Westminster Choir College Youth Choir Festival
in Princeton, N.J., to be led by Dr. Anton Armstrong. Repertoire and other specifics are coming soon!

New Board Member
The newest member of your RSCM America Board of Directors is Dr. Joseph Causby, organist and choirmaster at St. Mark's Episcopal Church in San Antonio, Tex. Look for Joe's bio and photo on our Board of Directors page soon!

Positions Available at RSCM Affiliates

All Saints' Episcopal Church in Phoenix, Ariz. seeks a full-time Director of Music to lead its outstanding traditional music program.

St. Paul's United Methodist Church in Houston, Tex. is conducting a search for a full-time Director of Music to provide leadership and direction for a compre-hensive music program primarily grounded in the Anglican and classical tradition.

Saint Luke's Parish in Darien, Conn.
is currently accepting applications for the position of Organ Scholar/ Music Associate to begin on or before September 1, 2017.

Church of the Resurrection in Surfside Beach, S.C. is seeking to fill three distinct part-time positions within its music ministry: Organist, Choir Ministry Director, and Praise Team Leader.

RSCM France Residential Singing Weekend
Following the success of its first four Residential Weekends, RSCM France is returning to Renouveau June 9 to 11 for another chance to experience and sing different types of worship music, this time under the leadership of Adrian Lucas, Head of Choral Studies at the RSCM and director of the Millennium Youth Choir. Click here for details.

RSCM America is a registered charitable organization with AmazonSmile!
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