PSALLAM! RSCM America News & Info
March 2015   

First, and I'm not sure if this might be an oxymoron, but a Happy Lent to all of our members! I write this to you in a new position: editor of the several-times-a-year PSALLAM! e-mail. Yes, positions have changed within your Board of Directors, and we welcome Bert Landman as the new president of RSCM America! Click here for a welcome message from Bert. We also welcome Waylon Whitley to the Board of Directors, and returning director Betsy Calhoun as secretary. Click here to read about all of your Directors!

The January Meeting of the Board of Directors

For some strange reason,
Here we are, hard at work
practically all on the Board (except yours truly, who is always up for seeing some snow!) really like to come down to Florida in January! It was an excellent meeting. Some of the highlights:
  • We are continuing to investigate the possibility of teaming up with another institution or organization to offer our  members training and certification in church music
  • The National RSCM America Choir organization and future was discussed in detail (see below!), and a survey was created to enable us to receive feedback and ideas from choir members
  • We continue to be most excited about our new course--the Pacific Northwest Course!
  • We are looking at adding a potential revenue stream by inviting various companies connected with church music to advertise in our twice-yearly Newsletter
  • We are working to revitalize our Interdenominational Committee
  • Our plans for an article in Church Music Quarterly are progressing, with a topic and title along the lines of "The American Anthem: Items to Consider Adding to Your Library." We will also be sending information to CMQ about our 2015 Training Courses for inclusion in the next issue

RSCM America will again have an exhibit at the AAM conference in Tampa this June. Part of what we will try to do at our table will be to record comments and interviews with experienced RSCM VOICE for LIFE users about how they got their adaptation of VfL up and running, with the goal of having a video on our website that new members can observe. If you will be there, be sure to visit our booth!


Soli Deo Gloria,


  Andrew's signature
Andrew Walker
Past-president, RSCM America

In This E-mail
RSCM America National Choir -- The U.K. Trip!
You can obtain a day-by-day account of our exploits in London, U.K., singing in Westminster Abbey, by hopping on to RSCM America's Facebook page and going back to the daily reports I wrote. As a quick summing up of the trip, here is what I wrote for the monthly newsletter for St. Michael's--

The RSCM America National Choir trip to sing at Westminster Abbey was a HUGE success! We estimated that we sang to over 500 people on each of the four nights--which equals roughly 2,000 folks that heard a national choir from the United States sing superbly! London was absolutely crawling with tourists (which, of course, included us!) and it was quite tricky maneuvering around crowds to even get to the Abbey. We rehearsed all day on Monday, December 29 to prepare for the first Evensong that night and the remaining three. The next day, the director of RSCM International, Andrew Reid, worked with us and led us in the Tuesday Evensong service. Wednesday the group had off. By Thursday and Friday we were the walking wounded--one person was in a cast, having broken her foot navigating through the crowds and slipping on the edge of the pavement, another had the flu, and 50% of the rest had some kind of respiratory ailment! Despite that, we pulled off another two wonderful Evensongs--and the consensus after the fact from all of the participants (all of whom auditioned to be in the choir, were of all ages, and were from all over the U.S.) was YES--we want to continue this group! So, plans are afoot for a trip in 2015, on one of the long weekends during the year, to sing in D.C. at the National Cathedral, and, perhaps, the White House!

Training Courses: The Time of Your Life
By Alan Reed
Manager of the Charlotte Course for Boys, Girls, Teens, and Adults

This is the third article in a series that will explore the passion that our managers have for their summer training courses

While attending my first course
Alan and Tracy Reed, in pink
with three choristers in 1985, I was amazed to see and hear how much musical growth could occur in only one week! Since then I have attended courses almost every summer, and I have served on the staff of one or more courses every summer for 25 years.

As a church choir director, I have encouraged my young choristers to attend the courses. Typically, I see about a year's worth of growth in ability and confidence gained in just one week at a course. You won't believe the difference it can make in the choir, even if only one or two choristers attend. In a new program especially, choristers have the opportunity to hear what is possible and to strive for it. Amateur adult singers also really enjoy the opportunity to sing music their choirs at home may not be able to do.

My wife and I recently managed our 14th course together, and I can tell you that the work is truly a labor of love every month of the year. Sometimes dealing with challenging venues or people can  cause us to want to give up the whole enterprise, but hearing the final result in the closing services and seeing the joy in the faces of singers and congregants make it all worthwhile! And there's nothing like hearing a ten-year-old treble or a 14-year-old baritone spontaneously burst forth into Mozart or Elgar, reveling in the joy of hearing it echo in a dorm stairwell. Try a course this summer--you'll have the time of your life!
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.
2015 Summer
Training Courses
Rhode Island Course
This is the time of year when many of you are thinking about which courses to attend, sending in registration forms, and making plans. Spaces at each of our  2015 Training Courses are filling up! Now is the time to register!

Gulf Coast
King's College
Pacific Northwest
Rhode Island at Newport
St. Louis
Washington, D.C.
RSCM Around the World
Here is a report from a recent VOICE for LIFE Day in London, U.K.

If you will be in Scotland this July, here is a course for you!

An Evensong service directed by Andrew Lumsden was held in Sydney, Australia in February

As soon as Andrew Reid finished conducting the RSCM America National Choir in Westminster Abbey on December 30, he was off to Australia to direct the Brisbane Summer School

Click here to view RSCM France's most recent e-Newsletter
Other Items of Interest
The Choral Art Society of Portland, Maine announces its second annual New England Carol Contest. Contest guidelines and an application form can be found here. The deadline for submissions is June 1, 2015!

The English choir LIBERA will be touring the U.S. in early April. Click here to download a flyer.
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