Association of Lutheran Church Musicians

September 1, 2020 e-newsletter
Lord Jesus, you shall be my song as I journey; I’ll tell everybody about you wherever I go: you alone are our life and our peace and our love. Lord Jesus, you shall be my song as I journey.     (Lord Jesus, You Shall Be My Song, St. 1)
Friends and colleagues,
As I prepare to leave the board after six years, I find that this hymn has become a daily mantra for me, a source of comfort and hope. During this time of pandemic, civil unrest and forced separation from each other, comforts can be few and far between. Perhaps that is the hidden road that we are to walk, one that we would not have chosen in other circumstances, one not wished-for, one never imagined. This time of staying settled in our homes for the safety of ourselves and others has in fact become an opportunity to become unsettled by the stories and lives of our siblings who cry out for justice; to be unsettled by new forms of worship, new ways of being and becoming the Body of Christ; new ways of engaging in assembly song; new ways of singing praise and lament. What will we discover in this time that might have otherwise remained hidden from us? What new patterns might we imagine? And what old things might pass away, this time for good? 
A phrase I have gone back to time and again in the last few months is "faithful creativity". I encourage you, my dear and cherished siblings in Christ, to continue your work with good cheer, using this faithful creativity as your guide. Be bold, yet smart, compassionate, and always discerning the best path. Always look to our God, for it is God who is making all things new. 
It has been a great and humbling privilege to serve on this board; now I'll strive to be its biggest cheerleader from the sidelines, helping ALCM to live out its mission with vigor and purpose. May you all be blessed in your ministries, and strengthened in your vocations.
How can any praise we offer measure all the thanks we owe? Take our hearts and hands and voices - gifts of love we can bestow. Alleluia! Alleluia! Triune God, to you we sing! (Voices Raised to You, St. 5)


Julie Grindle
Past-President, Association of Lutheran Church Musicians (ALCM)
Fall Friday Webinar Series
Explore and register for the Fall ALCM webinars at Fall Friday Webinar Series. All Friday webinars are from 2:00 pm – 3:00 pm eastern. Sessions include: 
September 18
Practical Methods and Uses
of Virtual Church Music Sungjoon Lee
October 16
Confused about copyrights
and licensing? Let’s talk
Mark Lawson
November 13
Truly Present: Practicing Prayer in the Liturgy
Lisa Dahill

The ALCM virtual hymn for Pentecost has new faces among the 1,324 musicians who participated. Click on any of the 2nd edition links at to see them. Even though the hymn was produced for the Festival of Pentecost, you are welcome to use it in worship on any Sunday you like. Thanks to all the singers and instrumentalists who participated!

The summer webinar series is available as a $40 package to ALCM members for one more week through September 8. That’s 80% off the September 9 price of $25 per individual webinar. Included are the following sessions. See descriptions and make purchases at
  • Why the traditional liturgy works so well during these crazy times - John Morris
  • New resources in a new era of ministry - Jeremy Bankson
  • Joyful noise: percussion in worship - Christopher Wilson
  • Leading with body, mind, spirit, voice: the preparation of a conductor - Pearl Shangkuan
  • Global worship as the church moves south - Marcell Silva Steuernagel
  • Successful handbell choir with small numbers, inexperienced ringers, and limited rehearsal time - Scott Doebler
  • Choir after COVID: strategies to come back strong - Tim Fredstrom
  • Ten ways to improve the flow of contemporary worship - Clayton Faulkner

Individual archived summer webinars will be available starting September 9 at the regular webinar rate of $25 (member) and $39 (non-member) per webinar.

CrossAccent Summer 2020

The summer 2020 issue of CrossAccent has entered the final stages of design and production. Fourteen contributors have supplied articles, reflections, and music in response to the pandemic’s wide-ranging effects. Due to a number of circumstances—musicians and administrators working remotely, interruptions and delays that affect mail delivery, etc.—a link to a complete .pdf of the issue will be distributed to ALCM members via email as soon as it is available. Printed copies will also be mailed (as usual) later in September.
2020 Richard Hillert Award in Student Composition Winners

The Center for Church Music, in partnership with the Association of Lutheran Church Musicians, is proud to announce the following two winners of the 2020 Richard Hillert Award in Student Composition:
Thomas Johnson (Concordia University Nebraska) for his women's choir anthem "Closet Prayer", using a poem from fellow CUNE student Carrie Black.
Owen Duncan (Concordia University Irvine) for "I Am Still Seeking You, a setting for SATB choir, clarinet and piano.
The Richard Hillert Award in Student Composition honors the legacy of Concordia University Chicago distinguished professor of music Dr. Richard Hillert. His legacy includes not only his many liturgical pieces and musical works, but also his many gifts for teaching composition.
Coming in September

The first Hearts * Hands * Voices online content will be available on ALCM's YouTube channel later in September. Mark Johanson from Christ Lutheran Church–Christ Providence in Charlotte, North Carolina, and other colleagues will present content that will offer "Worship Solutions that Respond to COVID-19 Challenges." Geared toward small/medium-sized churches, potential topics covered in the various videos may include: the basics of live-streaming, best practices for resuming rehearsals and/or in-person worship, copyright check-up, and amping up your livestream with cameras, lighting, software/hardware, and sound. When the videos are live, the link will be provided on the homepage of the ALCM website.
Worship Resources from Lutheran Summer Music
During this time of distancing, we at Lutheran Summer Music (LSM) have taken time to create a Resource Page on the LSM website, so that you can easily experience the LSM community and share your favorites with friends, your congregation and community, and future LSM students. The Resource Page includes a number of interactive worship resources unique to LSM, as well as inspiring faculty performances and helpful practice tips. The variety of resources include:

  • A virtual Service of Evening Prayer compiled from LSM recordings, as well as bulletins and instrumental music to follow along.

Do you know a young musician in grades 8-12 who would thrive at LSM 2021? Nominate a Student today! 
ACDA Response to COVID-19
A report from Jim Hild, region 3 president . . .

On August 12 several church musicians from the Twin Cities, MN area gathered via Zoom to discuss the American Choral Directors Association (ACDA) response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Discussion was led by Tesfa Wondemagegnehu, conductor of the Viking Chorus and Chapel Choir at St. Olaf College. Tesfa was also on the writing committee that produced the ACDA document. Tesfa gave us (and you) access to the document, links to videos, and the recording of our Zoom meeting. Here is the link to the Google Drive folder where you can access these helpful documents. Thank you, Tesfa, for your time and leadership during this unprecedented time.
FREE Set of CrossAccent Issues Available

There are 45 copies of Cross Accent spanning Spring 2002 - Spring 2019 available at no cost. They will be sent to the first person who presents a USA address: email your request to
Fall 2020 Publishers
Digital Showcase/Reading Sessions

New music from a variety of publishers can be viewed and listened to in the ALCM members area at New publisher links are being added as they are received, so visit the Members Area page often. New links Include:

A New Use for (Old) Hymnals?

During this time when congregations are not worshipping in their normal settings (church buildings), hymnals are sitting unused in the pews. Might there be a way for members of your congregation to use hymnals for singing, devotions, etc. at home? Check out this helpful article from The Center for Congregational Song titled “Guide: Hymnals at Home.”
Raabe Prize

2021 Raabe Prize Submissions
Now Being Accepted

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

To be added, please email information to:
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!