PSALLAM! RSCM America News & Info
September 2015   
On your mark! Get set! ... ... GO!


The start of the 2015-2016 choir season at St. Michael's is but a few days away, and I imagine you are back in the thick of things as well! I pray your summer contained a good amount of rest and relaxation, hopefully with some inspiration thrown in from attending a summer conference.

Did you get a chance to do any planning for the coming year? For many of you, myself included, this is a regular, yearly, end-of-year/summer activity. If not, may I heartily recommend it for next year! I just finished planning through to St. Michael's Day 2016 -- everything: choral, congregational, and instrumental. Boy, what a huge weight off my mind and shoulders! I learned the value of this process the hard way last year. Last summer was spent preparing a major service at the end of September for our rector who was retiring--commissioned pieces, extra instruments, music for the reception, etc....the works! The result? Minimal planning for the rest of the year. I spent the entirety of last year chasing my tail, constantly trying to find time to plan, which is always difficult once everything is up and running. It was miserable! So, this year is off to a great start; now on to recruiting!

If you are still in the planning process, may I remind you that there are many resources out there--including our own terrific liturgical planning guide Sunday by Sunday, and those published by various denominational publishing houses. Also, our Board of Directors stands ready to assist as always, not only with VOICE for LIFE but with ideas about music planning or any other issue concerning your ministry. Need a "sounding board"? We are eager and happy to assist!

On behalf of the RSCM Board of Directors, prayers are extended for another year in your ministry of making great music with great spirit and understanding, enabling glimpses of the glory of God not only for the members in the groups that you lead, but especially for those on the "receiving end"!  


"Worship the Lord with gladness; come into his presence with singing." - Psalm 100: 2. 


Soli Deo Gloria,


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

In This E-mail
From President Bert Landman
All-glorious God, to whom heavenly choristers offer never-failing fountains of perfected praise: Bless the work of the Royal School of Church Music in America as we singers on earth lift flawed souls and imperfect voices to your glorious throne; and so tune our minds, so harmonize our hearts, so captivate our spirits, so inspire our imaginations, and so energize our efforts that we might return these gifts in devoted adoration to you, until the day we join in the song that has no end; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
-The Rev. Ed Pickup, ARSCM, Chaplain to the Board of RSCM America

Our profession has been shaken by the passing of two bright lights in recent weeks:
John Scott and Helen Kemp. We offer their families, friends, and colleagues our sincerest condolences, and assure them that their presence among us will be missed. While we know that John and Helen have gone on to "join in the song that has no end", we, who are left behind, carry on with the task of lifting our own still flawed souls and imperfect voices to the glorious throne, and assisting others in doing so.

Your RSCM America Board is working to assist your efforts in  your individual parishes, schools, community VOICE for LIFE logo choirs, and other spheres of choir training. We have identified a need for supplemental materials to support the VOICE for LIFE curriculum. We know that many of you have developed such materials, and if you are willing to share them with us, we would love to see what you are using. You may send them to me at and I will collect and forward them to the team working on this project.

We ask that you show your support for RSCM America by observing Music Sunday, October 18, 2015. We encourage the use of Fr. Ed's Collect above in your services that day. Perhaps use a setting Music Sunday logo of the Chorister's Prayer (there are many) as one of your choral offerings that day. You may visit our website's Music Sunday entry for many more ideas. Finally, if possible, you might consider a special offering that day shared 50/50 to support your program and the work of RSCM America. Remember to send your plans to Kevin Radtke in the RSCM America office, and he will post them on our website's Calendar of Events.

I pray that you will find your spirits captivated, your imaginations inspired, and your efforts energized as you begin your Fall season, that all whom you encounter may be moved to join in the song that has no end.


Bert Landman
President of RSCM America
RSCM America National Choir: Moving Forward with Great Strides!
Here's the latest news from the RSCM America National Choir:
  • A steering committee has been formed and is meeting, with Doug Worthington in the leadership position of Logistics Manager
  • We are working on our next event: singing at Washington National Cathedral from January 15-17, 2016. We are hoping to obtain an invitation to sing at the White House for the President! (anyone out there have a good contact?)
  • Recommendations from the Board were discussed and adopted:
    • The choir will number 40 voices; a waiting list will exist should the balance of voices require additions for an event
    • Every member of the choir must belong to an RSCM-affiliated organization, or be an Individual or Friend member.
    • There will be trips within the U.S. approximately once per year, avoiding the summer as many singers attend our Summer Training Courses
    • A longer trip abroad will be planned for every three to five years
    • Just as no Training Course may have the same director for more than two years in a row, the National Choir will also only have the same director for a period of two years. The steering committee will be responsible for making recommendations to the Board for new directors, and the Board will select the new director.
    • When a new director is selected, all choir members will be required to re-audition, and invitations will be sent out to all of RSCM America to submit auditions at that time. The new director will then select the 40 voices for the choir.
    • Any qualifying member of RSCM America may send in an audition recording at any time to be added to the waiting list. Details may be obtained by contacting the director--presently Andrew Walker: 407-843-8448 or
There continues to be great excitement amongst the choir members--primarily because of the fact that this choir actually exists, and that they are a part of it! There is great potential for the future!
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.
Announcing Our
2016 Training Courses! 
Tentative details for our 2016 Training Courses are now available on the RSCM America website!

In August, the Board and Training Courses Committee (TCC) gathered at St. Mark's Church in Philadelphia for a most productive meeting. All ten of our 2015 courses reported great successes, with extraordinary music making, services, fellowship, and activities. Full reports will be found in our Fall/Winter Newsletter.
New TCC Board Representative

The Training Courses Committee recently elected Kevin Kerstetter as its representative, and we welcome him to the Board! Read more about Kevin and his excellent work in Raleigh, N.C. on our Board of Directors page.
RSCM America at the AAM Conference
Directors and members established a wonderful RSCM presence at the Association of Anglican Musicians conference in Tampa in June. Two exhibit tables were filled with RSCM information, books, VOICE for LIFE music and materials, "bling" (those fabulous Bronze, Silver, and Gold medals), and of course bowls of M&M's in VOICE for LIFE colors (a big hit!)
VOICE for LIFE Gold medal
We experienced a steady flow of members, lapsed members with questions who all vowed to renew, and many folks who had heard of the RSCM but really did not know what we had to offer--which was quickly rectified! At our recent Board meeting, the value of our presence at the conference was noted, and it was recommended that we try to have an exhibit there every year.
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