Read SeptOct2010 text version


T he Jour nal


Building Visionary Leadership for Authentic Worship.

Membership is open to church musicians, students, and businesses. Membership term is one year from date dues are paid.

September / October 2010


by Helen Weed, NACM President Once again it is the beginning of a new season--many responsibilities and expectations are on each one of us as we prepare music for our choirs and ensembles. I pray that you were able to take time this summer to reflect on your ministry, and gain new tools for effectiveness; it's so important to do that in order to stay "fresh" year after year. Our convention was once again a wonderful event! I'm so grateful to Linda White, Jim Person and the committee for all their hard work in planning to make everything go so well. Dr. Charlene Archibeque did such a fabulous job giving us ideas for warm-ups, conducting, vocal production and tone--all of our choirs will be sounding fabulous this upcoming year, right? I ordered the book that she recommended, "Bringing Out the Best in People" by Alan McGinnis, and I am in the middle of reading it; much food for thought as I get ready for a new season with my choir and orchestras. The interest and reading sessions were a great way to get ideas for ministry and music--thanks to all of you who led them. Take a look in THE JOURNAL for more articles about the convention; reminders for those of us that were there, and ideas for ministry for those of you that could not be with us. Also in THE JOURNAL is another insightful "Window on Worship". Thank you, Wally Horton, for sharing your thoughts with us. I recently had the opportunity to meet with Dr. William Lock, and he reminded me how important it is for us to reinforce the purpose of what we are doing with those we are leading. As I think of my choir's first rehearsal, I will be reminding them of our calling as Worship Leaders, and our Foundation (God's Word), Relation (to each other as a community), Education (always striving for excellence), and Celebration (worshiping our Lord). In the same way we need to remember that NACM is a network of people helping one other across denominational, stylistic and geographical boundaries. Our common goal is to support and encourage the excellence of music and worship ministry in the church. This is important! You know someone that needs to be in NACM--please let them know! Send me an email: [email protected] and I'll encourage them. When you are asked to get involved with your chapter, say "yes"! If you don't have a chapter in your area, get a few directors together and get one going! We'll help you, just let me know! Any ideas? Call me (714) 550-2353, and we'll talk! NACM is a wonderful organization to minister to church musicians in all areas; we are ready, and with the Lord's guidance we can grow and flourish!

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from Nathan Ensign: Looking for a conference to attend for my Continuing Ed this summer, I found the NACM advertised in our local AGO newsletter. When I saw that Dr. Charlene Archibeque was to be the featured conductor I was even more interested having known of her excellence at San Jose State while I served a parish in the Bay Area. Being a first time attendee I wasn't quite sure of what to expect but I must say that the whole conference was packed with workshops (in addition to those with Dr. Archibeque) that I found relevant to what I was seeking to learn. Dr. Archibeque's extensive list of "Quick Fixes" and "Warm-ups with Movement" not only gave me new ideas to use with my choirs but some reaffirmed what I've been doing through the years. As for the workshops I attended, I found the one on "Choral Warm-ups" with Dr. Jayne Campbell's Isometric/Isotonic exercises very different and a refreshing change from traditional warm-ups. One thing I always like at such a conference is the reading sessions of new anthems. Even though the focus was on smaller choirs this year, I was able to find various anthems hat I might do

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Murrieta, CA 951-461-0531

above: Worship singing; below: Archibeque's conducting workshop.

Cathedral City, CA 760-992-7947 [email protected]

"Reviews"from page 1


from Polly Schiff: with my SATB choir. The excellent oversight by James Person to the many details of keeping things on time, welcoming everyone and seeing that we were well fed (physically and mentally) needs to be acknowledged! Nathan Ensign is a new member and is organist/choirmaster at St. Paul of the Desert Episcopal Church in Palm Springs. from Toni Brosius: On the second evening of the conference, we were treated to a fun night of music and mayhem at the NACM NO-Talent Show. The opening act was a vocal duet attributed to Rossini which was allegedly used by Rossini and his lady friend as a means of communicating that the "coast was clear" for their rendezvous. Sung by guest Marcia Yoshida, soprano and NACM member Lynn Decker-Mahin, Mezzo and accompanied by Priscilla Silver. Marcia and Lynn did a great job of sharing their interpretation of this Duetto Buffo. Another vocal duet evoked Lawrence Welk and his accordian and Minnie Pearl with her little hat. Myron and Pauline Tweed from San Diego gave their spot on rendition of "Down in the Valley", ala Welk and Pearl. NACM's immediate Past President, David Feit-Pretzer, along with Lynn Verde, Ruth Drossel, Ken Sanson, and Judy Stroh ­ accompanied by Priscilla Silver had everyone laughing with Peter Schickele's PDQ Bach version of "My Bonnie Lass, She Smelleth!" PDQ Bach wrote it as a tribute to a singer who had recently died while holding a high note so long that she asphyxiated herself. Cort Bender and pianist Sally Greenleaf performed "Momma, A Rainbow" from a musical titled Minnie's Boys . This lovely song was a tribute to the Marx Brother's mother and was originally sung in the show by Adolph (Harpo) Marx, whose entertainment persona was always silent. Cort and Sally did a wonderful rendition of this song. Next, the audience was treated to a 4 Hand piano duet known as "Power Play" performed by organist- Peter Bates and pianist Priscilla Silver. Linda White (the NACM Convention Coordinator) gave us an unaccompanied flute solo composed by Claude Debussy called "Syrinx". The definition of Syrinx is the Voice Box of a Bird. If you closed your eyes and listened it was just like listening to a bird. The next act was very novel"The Kazoo Concerto" written by Mary Donnelly and arr. by George Strid. This group included Ruth Elin Drossel, Colleen Cronin and Sally Greenleaf on Kazoos, accompanied by Priscilla Silver on Piano. There was even a cameo appearance by Cort Bender. Just shows how much music can be made from instruments purchased at the 99 cent Store!


This year's NACM convention certainly lived up to its name, "Inspiration Through Excellence"! A bang-up opening by headliner, Dr. Charlene Archibeque set the tone with teaching that was dense with ideas, and techniques that were clearly explained and cleverly demonstrated. Dr. Archibeque not only really knows all about choral music; she is enormously creative in the ways she chooses to teach what she knows. I found her to be so interesting that, for me, each of her presentations went by too quickly and ended too soon. I exited each of her sessions with material that I am eager to present to my choir next fall! I can't remember when I last learned so much, so enjoyably, in so short a period of time. Moments in the workshops and even at the meals proved to be instructive as well: a serendipitous seating at lunch next to voice scientist, Jane Campbell helped me solve a vocal challenge; Sheldon Disrud's face, so radiantly alive with the love of music as he conducted, was an image to remember and imitate; Dan Sharp's sweet spirit, deep faith, and penetrating questions were both a yardstick and a challenge; even a chance 30 second conversation with Jan Sanborn, motivated me to be more disciplined about diet. The No Talent Show sadly failed to live up to its name; there was far too much talent displayed, and lots of laughs. Where did Cort Bender dig up all those musical jokes? The Silent Monks who added humor and pizzazz to Handel's Hallelujah Chorus was the perfect closer, but, for this veteran of probably 15 church music conventions, the most unforgettable moment was Cort Bender's exquisite performance of Mama, a Rainbow. We learned together, sang together, ate together, talked together, worshipped together, grew in knowledge and in closeness to one another. It was a very good convention indeed! Antoinette (Toni) Brosius is Director of Music Ministries at Presbyterian Church of the Covenant in Costa Mesa, CA

Photos Top: Westwood United Methodist Sacred Dancers, Kathleen Hacker handbell workshop, Dennis Houser reading session. Right: MC Bender, Cat Duet, the Tweeds, Linda White, the Silent Monks.


"Reviews" from p. 2



By: Dr. Wallace Horton "The Faithfulness of God" It has been quite a year for my family. It is safe to say that there have been events in my life that I never previously experienced. My daughter was married in April. It was a glorious Spring day. The service took place in St. Joseph's Church on Capital Hill, two blocks from our nation's capitol. Walking my daughter, Rebecca, down the aisle was definitely a first! My son and our daughter in law presented us with our first grandchild, Esther, on June 22. Needless to say that has had a profound and impact on both my wife and me. Those two events were undoubtedly two of the happiest moments of my life. On the other hand, I battled bronchitis for nearly three months before and after the wedding. Thankfully I had a respite during the time of the wedding. No energy and constant coughing were symptoms that I would not wish on anyone. Then just last week while minding my own business and taking a relaxing walk in Richmond, I tripped over a raised brick in the side walk and fell heavily on my arm. All of a sudden my left arm looked like Popeye the Sailor Man! If you wanted to find one of the colors in the rainbow, all you need to do is look at my arm. Fortunately, there were no breaks or fractures. It is obvious that the Lord had his "angels watching over me." In each of these events, the one constant has been the faithfulness of God. The marriage of a daughter, the birth of a granddaughter, the healing from illness, or the protection from serious injury due to a fall: In all of these events, it is apparent that God is faithful and present and never far away from his children. Isn't that one of the things that we acknowledge and celebrate in our weekly worship? The great anthem "God is in our Midst" reminds us of the fact that He is with us! When we come together as his people, he is with us. He is present. He always has us in the palm of his hand. One of the great things about Christian worship is the reality of being in the presence of the Creator of the universe, the one who gives you and me breath. What a wonderful reality to celebrate week after week. God's presence and faithfulness is something that we can depend upon day after day. We celebrate that fact as his people. As worship leaders we provide our people opportunities and settings to acConvention 2011 knowledge that reality. July 20-22 What a great priviCalvary Church - Santa Ana, CA lege we have as leadDr. Z. Randall Stroope ers in the church to take our people to the mountain heights of Convention 2012 celebration and procJuly 18-20 lamation of the faithfulness of God. God Covenant Presbyterian Church bless you as you do Westchester (LA), CA that!


Our final act was worth waiting for. Lynn Decker-Mahin invited her friends from Camarillo United Methodist Church to close out our grand (no)Talent show with the "Silent Monks" performing the "Hallelujah Chorus" by G.F. Handel. These wonderful "monks" traveled far from their home church and fought freeway accidents to present this to our NACM folks. I can't even imagine how much time it took to put this act together. Thanks to all these wonderful people who are so talented. We need to change the nameof this entertainment evening to NACM's Got Talent! Each participant was a talent and they all showed enormous creativity in planning their act. Thanks also to Cort Bender for acting as Emcee to the evening's festivities. Polly Schiff is a new member and is Director of Music at St. Andrew Presbyterian Church in Indio, CA


by: Stan DeWitt I've found some books to re-energize my thinking about choir singing (and music and Christianity, in general) that I will be diving into this summer. Perhaps some of these might interest you, too?: The Music Lesson, Victor Wooten - Wooten is recognized as one of the best bass players in the world today, and this book (which I started last week) puts Wooten in an imaginary (I think...?) conversation between himself and a vision of a music teacher who appears out of nowhere when he is struggling to move his playing to the next level. The vision, named Michael, convinces him that what he has spent a lifetime learning about music is only one-tenth of what he needs to advance and truly understand the art. I'm only 1/3 of the way through this book, and it already has me rethinking everything I thought I knew about music. I'll surely be drawing from it in our first rehearsals in the Fall. Let Your Life Speak and The Promise of Paradox by Parker J. Palmer - The first book was recommended to me by the guy I am going to be working with for MAD Camp, and it's about listening for your calling. When I went to buy it, I found the other one, and the subtitle, "The Promise of Paradox: A Celebration of Contradictions in the Christian Life" struck me. I have no idea what I'm in for in these two books, but they both spoke to me, so hang on. The Time of Our Singing by Richard Powers - I read some excerpts of this novel a few years back when I first read it, and it still moves me today, just thinking about it. I plan on rereading it this summer, and if you want a novel that has an epic sweep and covers music, race relations in 20th-Century America, and astrophysics (yes, truly - it covers all of that,) this is your book. You will rethink singing when you are done Stan DeWitt was the Artistic Director for Zephyr: Voices Unbound, is the Minister of Music for Grace First Presbyterian Church in Long Beach and teaches at Coastline Community College..




By: Tim Sharp Unless you are one of those rare church music choral directors that stays in one place your entire career, some day you are going to find yourself in a new place with a new group of people. Statistics tell us that church musicians change jobs fairly regularly. School directors face a new choir every year, but the difference is that in a school, the conductor is able to stay in the same place while the students are the ones that do the moving. Church musicians, on the other hand, face that new-start and the opportunity to signal the kind of choral environment they want to shape at the prime-time moment of a location change. The first rehearsal with a new group of singers can be exhilarating as well as a bit intimidating. Expectations are very high on the part of the conductor and the new group of singers. This anxiety is built on high hopes, inevitable comparisons with former conductors, a desire on everyone's part to get to work, and the very real dynamic of the power of the first impression. To help create the best first impression in a new church choir rehearsal setting, the following ideas could be a helpful outline in creating the best first rehearsal. · Hand out your detailed, complete rehearsal plan at the start of the rehearsal to show the ensemble that you are extremely organized. Show the ensemble that you are organized by duplicating your detailed rehearsal plan and markings sheets. The point of handing out your rehearsal plan is for the ensemble to see what you have thought about, what is important to you, and what details you are going to work on in this rehearsal. Encourage the ensemble to make the markings you have outlined on the rehearsal plan during the times in the rehearsal that you are working with other sections. No ensemble respects or likes disorganization. In fact, nothing undoes them like an unorganized leader. In your early rehearsals, organize everything in the rehearsal room that can be organized, and insist that this is your style. Communicate organization. As performers begin talking about their new conductor, don't be happy until you hear the comments coming back to you that you are the most organized person they have ever seen. Organization will be your first new friend in this new position. · At the first rehearsal have one of two pre-planned activities such as a projected outline of the next program, a short demo of a piece of music you intend to program, or a unique way of making announcements, to show the choir that along with your detailed rehearsal plan, you are in control. Your new ensemble has the need to be certain you are the authority, and that you intend to kindly use that authority for the good of the ensemble. By planning one or two pre-planned activities during the rehearsal you will show that you are the architect for the rehearsal hour. Your new ensemble will learn to like you in time, and they will find you interesting at the first rehearsal. But what they really want to know is that you are in charge, and that you are going to bring leadership to the ensemble. Your greatest hope in the first rehearsal is to know the music better than anyone in the room so that you can personify leadership with the music first, and the overall time spent in the rehearsal. · Do not do anything in the rehearsal that is not written out for the ensemble to see so that they will get the message that you are a communicator. Either hand material out, use an overhead, have lists on the wall, or use whatever written methods are available to you to demonstrate as many layers of written communication as possible. Make the ensemble believe you are the best communicator in the world. Discover the traditions, the logistic requirements for performances, and any other routines to which the ensemble is accustomed, and have those written out and placed on an announcement board. You can tell the ensemble that you want all newcomers to be familiar with these procedures (while they are really for the veterans and for you to remember as well). Verbal announcements are okay, but be sure that they are also written out on the rehearsal sheet. If you can have the next performance list ready, hand it out for them to see during the rehearsal. All these written out activities will demonstrate to the ensemble how much you care about communication. · Memorize the music you are working on for the first rehearsal, and rarely look down at the score so that you can look your ensemble members in the eye as you convey your passion for the music. Be prepared, demonstrate that you are prepared, and build their trust in you as someone that is prepared and wants to communicate. By definition, we only look at the music when we are not secure and do not remember what is on the page. Therefore, every time we look at the page, we communicate some degree of insecurity to the choir, no matter how subtle the look is. In contrast, if you never look down, you may never communicate insecurity, and this is your desire for your first rehearsal. Furthermore, if you ever do begin to feel insecure, your passion and knowledge of and for the music will be your friend during the rehearsal process. · Work through everything on your rehearsal sheet that you handed out to the ensemble to show them that you are calm, ordered, and that this order is something they too can calmly anticipate. You can remind the ensemble when you are working with a particular section that those not rehearsing can look ahead on your rehearsal sheet to NEED A SUBSTITUTE? mark and study areas in the music that are coming. Try not to give Priscilla Silver: Piano accompaniment or direct and instructions that you did not analyze ahead of time and that did not play from the keyboard. Available Thursdays. appear on your rehearsal sheet. There is something about having [email protected] these markings and musical desires written down that will keep anyJames Person: Director for rehearsals or Sunday one from saying, "we didn't do it that way before." The rehearsal morning. 760-992-7947 [email protected] sheet brings another level or authority to the rehearsal for you, and working through all of the items on the list demonstrates careful -4EDITORIAL STAFF FOR THE JOURNAL: JAMES PERSON ANDREA CALVO


Photos: Charlene Archibeque's Birthday celebration, Sheldon Disrud presents "The Joy of Music", Paul Plew's reading session, Brenda Mohr's Youth Choir workshop, Lois Bock and Past President, Jan Sanborn present Dr. William Lock the NACM-Bock Lifetime Achievement Award

"The Best First . . ." from page 4

· planning. In time, the ensemble will not worry about the future performances with such careful planning and execution on your part. · Talk about your conversations with the previous director or the recent past history in an affirming and positive style to show the ensemble that you acknowledge this part of their past, and that you want to participate in it. Show the ensemble that now you are with them, their history is now a part of your history. Don't be afraid of it, but rather, talk about it, and celebrate it with the ensemble. They should feel comfortable reliving their history with you, and you can start the process by taking the first step in the first rehearsal. · Plan for one surprise in the rehearsal as a moment of "planned spontaneity" to show the ensemble what they can look forward to each week as a part of your style of leadership. For example, introduce your family to the ensemble; do something comical that no one knows you can do; give away fast-food or ice cream coupons to everyone that was on time; read a note from a former director that introduces you to the ensemble. One activity I planned for such a first rehearsal was to read a message from the composer of one of the pieces that we were rehearsing. This was a simple process to achieve. I simply faxed a note to the composer asking for a few words about the piece that we were rehearsing. It was no problem for the composer to send a few sentences back to me by fax. During the first rehearsal, I told the ensemble what I had done and then read the meaningful words to the ensemble. In addition, I read the salutation of the fax, which was addressed personally to the members of that particular ensemble. This surprise proved to be a wonderful "planned spontaneity" for the ensemble, which by that point in the rehearsal process had grown to appreciate the piece that we were rehearsing. · Take either a video camera to the rehearsal to film everyone saying their name, or take a picture that will give you an immediate photograph of the ensemble so that you can memorize the names by the next rehearsal, showing the ensemble your desire to get to know them quickly. Then do it. Work with a chart at your first rehearsal and the following rehearsals if necessary to aid your memory. This may be the most important thing that you will do in your first days with your new ensemble. Nothing is more important than knowing the names of the performers. This is work, but it is important work. A video of the individual members saying their names will give you something to review every day in the coming week, and nothing will make a greater impression on your new ensemble than for you to go to the next rehearsal and name every person. This will communicate how serious you are about getting to know them, especially if there are 100 people you are working with. I have made this the top priority of every new setting that I am in. People love nothing more than hearing their own name. You cannot let this come slowly over time. If anything needs a proactive and quick-start approach it is the memorization of everyone's name. To assist you at the first and following rehearsals, have an officer of the ensemble make a seating chart for you with the names in each position. This chart, along with your video (or picture) will take you a long way toward knowing the names of your ensemble members the first week. · Choose music that you know very well for the first rehearsal, and if at all possible, also choose pieces that the ensemble is familiar with so that you can communicate clearly with the ensemble, and so that they can be confident in their playing or singing. As you bring new insights to music that they are already secure with, everyone's trust level will rise. As you build trust with your new ensemble, the music that you choose will be a part of that trust-building work. If you can plan music in the early weeks of your arrival that the ensemble is familiar with and that you already know, everyone will feel more confident. An addition, by choosing music that is both appropriate for the coming season and with which everyone is familiar, this will allow you to do all the above activities with more confidence. You will be able to discover the right pieces for these choices by talking to the former director, other officers in the ensemble, accompanists, or other ensemble members or leaders. First impressions are very important, and the most important first impression you can give to your new ensemble is that you are a leader, you are knowledgeable, you are prepared, you are organized, you are a communicator, and that you are a caring person. These steps will leave no doubt in the minds of the ensemble that these are you leadership skills and desires.

Tim Sharp is Executive Director of the American Choral Directors Association(ACDA), and an active choral conductor and researcher/writer, has varied his career with executive positions in both higher education, publishing and recording.






By: Robert Provencio This summer was filled with distractions (read that "serious & compelling circumstances preventing professional work from taking place") on the health (emergency operation) and family fronts. The fall promises to be filled with an abundance of projects and activities at the church and the university. How to keep everything in balance? Moving forward? Happy? Sane? Like most of you, my life is busy and includes commitments to many different organizations at various levels of responsibility. Like many of you, I have a day job in addition to my church ministry. Like some of you, I have family responsibilities. Community obligations serving on boards commissions, committees, task forces... Here's a little missive, about hats, inspired by my eldest that I like to return to when I need a little balance. I hope you find some encouragement here too. Hats cover you; they can be part of your identity. Hats relate to work, to rank, to office, to avocation, to style, and to need. Golfers know when the distant figure is Tiger and when its Jesper, because of the hats. There are hats we strive for; like the mortar board or tam. Hats we associate with another time; like Dick Tracey's fedora. Cultural hats, like the Greek fisherman's cap. Hats of office like the Bishop's miter and the queen's tiara. There is the crown of thorns worn for you and worn for me by the Savior. Like you, I wear many hats and some of those are physical. I have my fly-fishing fedoras, a cowboy hat or two, warm sailor's caps, ventilated "explorer" hats (from the zoo), and (one of my favorites) a white cap with the emblem "BORN TO FISH" which I wear for tennis. Watch me run-down an offensive lob sometime and you'll agree that I probably was born to fish. More often my "hats" have to do with vocation. As music minister I have planning hats, budgeting hats, rehearsal hats, prayer hats, hymn hats, chorus hats, exhortation, inspiration, and contemplation hats. As parent there's the "provider" hat, and one for discipline, another for handyman (I can't seem to find that hat), another for finance, teaching, prayer, guidance, romance, consolation, encouragement, and leadership. My professor's hats include the editor's visor, and author's comfy driving cap. I have a teaching hat, an advising hat, a banker's derby, a detective's deer-stalker, and a turban for all the horse-trading involved in getting things done. Not one of my hats is the best there is. Some are dusty, soiled, and torn. Some don't fit me very well, but I do what I can with them. Some are pretty OK. The one thing that keeps them all firmly on my head is that crown of thorns I didn't wear. The one that informs all I do and all I hope to be. One day I'll trade them all for a crown. Robert Provencio, D.M.A. is Professor of Music, Department Chair & Director of Choral Studies at California State University, Bakersfield; Director of Music at First Presbyterian Church, Bakersfield and President of the Kern County Chapter of NACM.


Please send listings of open church positions to James Person, [email protected] Be sure to include the title, name or church or group, the location, salary, requirements and contact information including phone number and email. The Monday Morning Email (MME) from Creator magazine also has a link to many job posting sites. Director of Worship: Organist: St. Andrews by the Sea UMC ­ part time Murrieta United Methodist Church (Southern California) Emily Sass ­ HYPERLINK "mailto:[email protected]" Church office ­ 951-677-6174 [email protected] - 949-492-2537


San Bernadino / Riverside: Hymn Festival cosponsored by AGO and NACM Sunday, October 10, 2010 - 4:00 PM First United Methodist Church 4845 Brockton Avenue Riverside, CA 92506 Aeolian-Skinner Pipe Organ - No Registration necessary. Come and sing with gusto! Reception following. San Fernando: Announcing our new President Christine Sillerud. She has been the Minister of Music at First Presbyterian Church of Granada Hills for many years. Her email address is [email protected] -6-

NACM MIDWINTER SEMINAR "The Artists Way" Featuring Rev. Gregory Norton

Saturday, February 5, 2011 9:00 ­ 2:30 St. Gregory Episcopal Church, Long Beach Full registration info in November "Journal"




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