Workshop presenters and titles are listed below. To see workshop descriptions, click on the plus sign to the right of the title. 

Augsburg Fortress Staff – Prelude/Sundays and Seasons for Beginners

What’s my login? Prelude/Sundays and Seasons for Beginners
Augsburg Fortress staff and are two websites that many churches turn to for worship planning and preparation each week. In this introductory workshop, Augsburg Fortress staff will demonstrate the basics of using these platforms for worship planning, bulletin preparation, anthem selection, and more. This session is aimed at those who are new to the programs and those who want a refresher course. Bring your questions!

Augsburg Fortress Staff - Supporting the Church’s Song: Prelude/Sundays and Seasons for More Advanced Users

Once you know the basics of Prelude and Sundays and Seasons, these dynamic web-based programs open up a lot of possibilities to church musicians and pastors searching for choir anthems, keyboard music, and congregational songs. Learn how to find music for sermon series or services that depart from the lectionary, how to upload your own church personal library, and other ways these sites help musicians on a daily basis. This session is aimed at those who are comfortable with the basic operation of the sites and want to learn more. Bring your questions!

Andrea Baxter – Celebrating Grace: Putting Fun in the Fundamentals of Children’s Choirs

Explore the use of techniques and tools that will help to make your children’s choir rehearsals engaging, all while you work to build music literacy. Included are FUN ways to get these concepts across using material from Growing in Grace, so that children learn and grow without even knowing it!

Phil Brandt - Preaching and Worship Planning in the Year of Matthew

The Gospel according to St. Matthew (Series A) will occupy the worship life of Christians in the next year (2020). Several large themes weave their way through the first Gospel but the cycle of readings breaks up the book into bite-sized readings for Sunday morning consumption and therefore obscures these themes. This workshop will seek to uncover Matthean themes of inclusion, the presence of God, forgiveness, and the Church, and offer the participant suggestions for incorporation into sermons and the Divine Services.

Eduardo Charbonnier – Music Expressions in Today’s Lutheran Worship: Exploring old and new ways of worshipping Christ in our local church thru music and the arts.

I will be sharing the reasons why we do what we do at St. Matthew Lutheran in Beaverton. What works, what we “thought” that worked (but didn’t) and how to tell the difference. I will briefly share the ways I plan for our 3 different worship services (while keeping my sanity), and my passion for detail, stories, and fabric…yes…fabric. I’m always looking for new ways to enhance the way we worship, so be ready to share what works in your church!

Matthew Compton – Using Handbells Liturgically

Bells have been a part of the church for many years both to call the start of a worship service or to add to the musical experience within worship. Handbells, while a relatively young instrument, have become a staple in worship services. Join us, as we look at many different resources for any type of worship – from 1 to 30 ringers; traditional hymns to contemporary songs; 1 to 7 octaves of handbells and handchimes; and many compositions and arrangements that follow the lectionary and add to the overall worship experience.

Rick Erickson – Psalms Are For Singing: The Psalter in the Sunday Assembly

This workshop will explore various approaches to psalmody, including aspects of chant, sources for chant, metric paraphrases, improvisational possibilities and composition.


Karen Foote – Children in Worship

How can we encourage young believers to participate in our worship services, especially with music? What are the unique ways in which they can contribute to the faith community? Come explore new ideas and resources as well as tried and true plans from a variety of congregations. Bring your ideas to encourage the involvement of children as we plan and lead worship.

Paul Grime – Is the Liturgy Really the “Work of the People”?

For years we’ve heard the term “liturgy” described as the “work of the people.” But is that the most accurate definition? In this workshop we will look to the Lutheran Confessions to see what the Reformers thought about matters of worship.

Paul Grime - Worship Resources and the LCMS

Lutheran Service Book is almost 13 years old. Hard to believe, isn’t it? Join us for this workshop to learn about resources that will help you make a fuller use of the book.

Julie Grindle (moderator) – Pastors, Musicians, and the Whole People of God

This workshop provides pastors and musicians an opportunity to talk about challenging parish situations. Conversations around pastor/musician team dynamics as well as advice on how to help musicians better serve their church’s needs may be addressed as time permits. There will also be an opportunity for feedback about how ALCM can help, through new programming, etc. This workshop is sponsored by the Calvin Institute.

Questions to Pastors: What are some challenges in your present situation? What do you hope to change or encourage for your congregation’s worship life to be more vibrant?

Questions to Musicians: What have you been asked to do that you either didn’t have the knowledge or skill to do? Have you been offered help or guidance by the pastor or congregation leaders?

All: What can ALCM offer to ccongregations that can ease situations or assist musicians in getting the help they need?

Benjamin Kolodziej - Overflowing Abundance: Resources for Finding and Arranging Instrumental Music for Worship

Benjamin Kolodziej, chapel organist at Southern Methodist University, chats with participants during the 2014 Institute on Liturgy, Preaching and Church Music on Tuesday, July 29, 2014, at Concordia University, Nebraska, in Seward, Neb. LCMS Communications/Erik M. Lunsford

This session offers suggestions for involving instrumentalists in the liturgy, with a focus on drawing talent from one’s own congregation and suggesting techniques for finding musicians and incorporating them into the music of the liturgy. This workshop will also explore techniques for creating instrumental arrangements with the hymnal as the basis, as well as exploring online, free music that can be used with volunteer instrumentalists.

Mark Lawson – Copyright Issues and the Church Musician

What is new in the world of copyrights and licensing, and how does it affect the church musician? This session is designed to bring you up to date on the latest information that you need to know to navigate legally in this ever changing digital world.

Tom Mueller – Leading the Church’s Song from the Organ

Organists face a variety of challenges in preparing and leading congregational song from the organ. This workshop will address issues in hymn interpretation, preparation, and congregational leadership, along with tips for incorporating basic concepts in improvisation, composition, and arranging into your hymn playing. Participants of all skill levels and musical backgrounds are welcome to attend!

Ralph Nelson – The Mature/Aging Voice

Most church choir directors are both blessed and challenged with valuable choir members who are simply getting older every year. Since these choir members are often our most loyal members, we’d like to keep these singers involved in the choir for as long as we can. However, the problems of the aging voice often present real challenges for choir directors.  In this session, Ralph Nelson, Director of the Holladay Park Plaza Singers (a local senior center in Portland with a choir of 40 voices – ages 75 to 105) will look at tips and techniques for working with the aging voice.  Ralph will examine what happens to the voice as we age, and in particular, he’ll give suggestions and techniques for keeping aging voices healthy, and also for keeping a good sound in our choirs as the voices age. Specifically, he’ll discuss tips and techniques for dealing with warm-ups, repertoire selection, hearing loss issues, memory loss issues, and important aspects of communicating with an aging population.

Don Nevile – Post-Modernism for Church Musicians

Modernism, post-modernism, structuralism, post-modern musicology, regionalism, trans-avant-garde, post-colonialism, deconstruction, music as cultural trope, de-territorialization, cultural autonomy, musical narratology! What is the everyday, practical church musician to make of all these new and confusing terms in the artistic vocabulary? Does any of it even matter on Wednesday or Thursday night, or on Sunday morning? This presentation will try to make sense of the intellectual, social, and artistic movement called Post-Modernism in our musical context. There will be an opportunity for discussion, and time to work through a personal assessment to discern “How Post-Modern Am I?” So be sure to bring a pencil!

Frederick Niedner - Singing the Gospel: Lectionary/Hymn of the Day

Most of our Eucharistic liturgies link the hymn of the day with the gospel lesson and sermon by placing it immediately before or after the proclamation. Does the hymn of the day have a single purpose, or several? How does the hymn of the day relate to the lessons and sermon, and are there kinds of connections we have not considered? Does it matter if the hymn comes before or after the sermon? Who (singular or plural) should choose the hymn of the day? Is it ever wise or appropriate to skip it, change it, or make its place in the liturgy somewhat unpredictable? In addition to addressing these questions, this session will include some sample studies of texts and proclamation paired with hymns of the day.

Anne Krentz Organ - Advent Service Music: Incorporating Short Sung Refrains into the Liturgy

Attendees will be invited to sing through twenty-one musical examples from a variety of resources. Consider how you might include one or more of these songs in the Advent liturgy: as gathering music; during the entrance rite; alongside the Kyrie; during the lighting of the Advent wreath; as a Gospel acclamation; as a sung prayer response; as a song at the offering, or during the distribution of Holy Communion. Many of the pieces may be sung a capella, while some may benefit from the addition of a few handbells, a solo instrument, a Shruti box, or keyboard.

Anne Krentz Organ - Leading the Church’s Song from the Piano

What are the “central things” to consider when leading the church’s song from the piano? How can we as musical leaders help the assembly to sing with simplicity and beauty? This workshop will focus on doing the common things – hymn/song introductions, transitioning between stanzas, leading with clarity and confidence – uncommonly well. A variety of accompaniment styles will be explored.

Samuel Torvend – Singing More than Bread and Wine

Musicians play a significant role in shaping the conscience of the worshiping assembly through lyric and tune. In this workshop, participants will explore the ways in which they can nourish a eucharistic spirituality that possesses a worldly trajectory. We will sing texts ancient and recently composed and consider how they move the singing assembly beyond a sweet moment alone with Jesus into the world where he spent his public life.

Jacob Weber - Introduction to the New, Online Lutheran Service Builder

Lutheran Service Builder is a web-based software that allows churches to quickly and easily plan services, create custom bulletin interiors, export presentations and playlists, and conform with copyright requirements. Developed and maintained by LCMS pastors, this software is presently being used in half of the LCMS congregations. This introductory session will demonstrate the core service planning features of Lutheran Service Builder and show you how to use it to plan an order of service, search for appropriate service elements, and create your own worship resources.

John Weit – Worship Resources and the ELCA

10.04.2017 – Chicago, Illinois – Headshots of John Weit, ELCA program director for music, in the Office of the Presiding Bishop

This workshop session will introduce (or review) the many resources centered around Evangelical Lutheran Worship for planning worship. Special emphasis will be placed on materials to help deepen knowledge and involvement in worship including the important role of music in the weekly assembly. Time will be spent looking at supplemental music for assembly singing around the seasons of the church year and life passages. Whether you are new to ELCA worship resources or use them regularly, take a deeper dive into the many resources available to help you and your congregation in your planning and leadership.