BACK TO THE LOFT Starting A New Season of Song

Here we go again! It’s time for a new choir year to begin! Clean the robes, put the pencils in the folders, and tune the choir room piano. Let there be music!

There is simply nothing like the excitement and fear of that first rehearsal. The conferences of the summer are behind you… now you should be relaxed and ready, but there are so many unanswered questions!

Will the group be balanced?

Will the new members fit in and feel welcome?

Will the new music arrive on time for that first WEDNESDAY rehearsal?

Will the new pastor connect with your musical direction?

Did I take my blood pressure medicine?

We have all been there with the anxiety and the energy of a new year of potential staring at us at that first rehearsal.

This issue of WorshipSongsOnline is dedicated to speaking to the new opportunities awaiting us in the weeks ahead with our groups. Whether you are in a season of rebuilding, a time of sustaining, or even a moment of celebration with your program, we hope the ideas and resources presented by our BLOGGERS will be a blessing to your as your serve.

Here’s to an outstanding season of song!


Joseph Martin, a native of North Carolina, earned his Bachelor of Music degree in Piano Performance at Furman University in Greenville, South Carolina. Subsequently he earned a Master of Music degree in Piano Performance at the University of Texas, Austin. Joseph taught for five years in the Piano Pedagogy Department of the University of Texas. His piano teachers include Jimmy Woodle, David Gibson, Amanda Vick Lethco, Martha Hilley and Danielle Martin. While at Furman University, he was accompanist for choral director and composer Milburn Price and, inspired by his teaching, Martin began to compose.
He is a member of the staff at the Hal Leonard Corporation and Shawnee Press, Inc. as Director of Sacred Publications, with responsibilities for overseeing the editorial and creative direction of the company and also coordinating the recording and production aspects of future sacred publishing efforts.
Joseph has performed solo piano recitals and has been the featured artist with symphony orchestras in the United States and Mexico. As winner of the Nina Plant Wideman Competition, he performed with the Guadalajara Symphony Orchestra. His solo recital in Ex-convento del Carmen was broadcast nationally throughout the country.
Joseph is Artist in Residence at Concordia University in Austin, Texas where he lives with his wife Sue, and his children Jonathan and Aubrey.

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