Planning and executing effective and enjoyable rehearsals is an art! Too often, I am tempted to do other work and not carve out time to thoughtfully plan each choir’s rehearsal. Experience is my friend but should not be an excuse for skipping this important work. When we only have one rehearsal per week, we have to make the most of every minute. It feels like so much to do and so little time to do it in. We have to prioritize and map out the allotted time. There is a rhythm to the rehearsal that allows the singers/ringers to warm up their brains/voices and move toward the most challenging pieces. Effective rehearsals model a beautiful musical phrase.Read More > >
Recipients of our appreciation are apt to express their own gratitude to others, lengthening the unending, golden chain of connections-in-goodness that stretches across the world. —Mary Ford-Grabowsky
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Well, here we are. Another choir season has come to an end, and the summer months are upon us. The Sundays keep coming and the planning never stops. How are you doing? Now is an ideal time to check in with yourself. What do you need in the next several weeks to restore, energize, and enliven you and your music ministry?Read More > >
This is the night! The Vigil of Easter is the heart of our celebration of the Three Days and the pinnacle of the church’s year. We gather around a pillar of fire, hear ancient stories of our faith, welcome new siblings in Christ at the font, and share food and drink. We proclaim Christ crucified and risen!Read More > >
“Now we wait. We wait for the child to be born.
We wait for the newness that God is bringing into the world.”
Advent is a season of anticipation, longing, and hopefulness. This year, after almost two years in a pandemic, these themes, and the emotions that they invoke, are heightened. We long to see signs in our lives and in our communities that Jesus is present. We need to hear the promises that only God can give.Read More > >
Who is the first person who comes to your mind when you think of an extraordinary mentor? What is the value in taking time to think about this question?
Several years ago, I was sitting in a breakout session at an ALCM conference listening to someone whom I consider an amazing mentor. He was dropping pearls of wisdom for those of us fortunate enough to hear. As I looked around the room, I saw many people engaged and, from the outside, some who seemed not to be. It struck me that it is easy to overlook opportunities to learn from a truly great musician.
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“My life flows on in endless song; above earth’s lamentation, I catch the sweet, though far-off hymn that hails a new creation.” (ELW 760)
Hymn texts have come to life in a new way since our world changed in early 2020. A new year is upon us and if we listen closely, we may hear that far-off hymn hailing a new creation. How can we, as church musicians, bring about a new creation? What gifts can we give our parishioners, communities, and cities?
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