CHRISTMAS ORNAMENTS

When I was young, we lived for a while with my grandparents. My mom was a nurse and my dad was a seminary student, so this was a real blessing for us. One holiday season my “mam-maw” let me help decorate the Christmas tree. Out came boxes of treasured ornaments, many of them handed down…

Joel Raney

Joel Raney is a multi-talented composer/pianist who has a reputation for musical diversity and meaningful texts. From sanctuary jazz and sacred theatre pieces to traditional anthems and classically inspired festival compositions, he can simply do it all! A favorite as a clinician, he is approachable and eager to share his faith and life journey. We…

NEW CHOIR YEAR RESOLUTIONS

As singers head back to rehearsal rooms all over the country, now is a great time to press ‘reset’ on our commitment to excellence in our ensembles.  Here’s a fun list of ‘new choir year resolutions’ for your consideration as you ramp back up this fall:   I WILL ALWAYS WATCH THE DIRECTOR: Watching the…

NEW BEGINNINGS

New beginnings. Sounds redundant, I know. I almost changed that opening, but it’s really correct. New beginnings. One thing that all new beginnings have in common is that they are built on something that came before it. If you’re starting from scratch, then this isn’t a new beginning. It’s either new or it’s a beginning,…

MODERNIZING HYMNS IN CONTEMPORARY STYLES

The shift to Praise Bands and rhythm sections as accompaniment groups in church worship services is nothing new, nor is the idea of putting a contemporary spin on old, familiar hymns. But it may be new to you and your church. And you may be wondering how to adapt a hymn to a contemporary style….

Going WITH the Grain

I’m somewhat of a nonconformist by nature. If everyone is going one way, I’ll often try another path. So when call and response music became trendy in the modern worship scene recently (thanks to Andrew Peterson’s megahit “Is He Worthy”), you’d think I would stick to my nonconformist ways and avoid the trend. But against…

LAYING FOUNDATIONS by Daniel Gawthrop

My wife and I have always been avid readers and listeners. When we met, mumblety mumblety years ago, that meant books printed on paper and music recorded on LPs. We used to joke that our marriage simply formalized the merger of two of the world’s great libraries. Moving days were particularly dreaded in our home…

GIVING THANKS FOR THE SAINTS

One of the first liturgical celebrations after the summer break is All Saints Day, which is held on November 1 or the first Sunday following it. On this day, we remember and give thanks for those who came before us, many of whom walked beside us and taught us. It somehow seems appropriate to have…

The Art of Underscoring

I have the great privilege of traveling the country and meeting church musicians from all walks of life. Sometimes, my job is to lead these musicians in reading sessions, and, other times, my task is to work with folks from a more pedagogical standpoint. Being a pianist, I am often asked to teach workshops geared…

PREPARING THE WAY

Every Sunday, the church is called to worship, and the choir serves a vital role in that sacred call. The new choir year offers directors an opportunity to remind our singers of the value of treating practice as sacred time. Beyond crunching notes and marking scores, there are many things about the time of preparation…

Pamela Stewart

Pamela Stewart uses words like composers use notes and rhythms. With each new lyric she reveals fresh perspectives on treasured truths.  Her texts are always thoughtful and filled with layered purpose and meaning. Her words have been set to music by many of the leading writers of church music as well as composers from the…

“GO TO” Anthems.

For this edition of WorshipSongsOnline, we asked our composers to tell us their “go to” anthems.     JEFF REEVES Make a Joyful Noise (Jeff Reeves) Love One Another (Roger Thornhill/Brad Nix) Dem Bones (Audrey Snyder)   PATTI DRENNAN My Eternal King by Jane Marshall What Grace is Mine by Kristen Getty The Lord is…