Why do we sing?It seems like a funny question – in our churches, it’s just what we do, every Sunday morning.But really, why do we sing?Furthermore, what does our singing say about our view of God? How does it reflect our relationship with the Lord and with each other as believers? What is the importance of congregational singing?
Keith and Kristyn Getty, modern-day hymn-writers, have teamed up with an amazing list of speakers and musicians to answer these questions and more.If you’ve heard any of the Getty’s music, you probably know the wonderful depth it has both theologically and musically.This coming week in Nashville, more than 4,000 believers from over 16 countries will be gathering for the very first Getty Music Worship Conference: Sing!Now, however, you can join them through the free, live simulcast they are offering, September 18-20!RSVP now and receive a free songbook download with 25 of Keith and Kristyn’s songs.
I know this is a late notice, but I didn’t find out about it until yesterday and was unable to post anything until now. However, you can still get the entire conference on demand because they are also making available all 70 hours available by purchasing a LifeWay Digital Pass as an individual or with a group rate here.
So, what are you waiting for? While you’re there, check out the Getty’s new book titled “Sing!” (If you order through the link, you get a really great discount.)
Jim’s vocal class was well received. In the first session, he had the most students!
For those of you, who haven’t had the pleasure of hearing him, he sings in a natural, easy style, that has really is a joy to listen to! A lot of people are preferring this over traditional classical operatic singing that typifies traditional church music. Jim showed that you can sing both praise and worship songs, and traditional solos, such as The Via Dolorosa, and not still project your voice, and add proper emotion and technique without sounding gaudy. One of Jim’s strengths which I believe added to this conference, is that he comes from a slightly less traditional background, having been a professional entertainer, and then later serving on the music ministry team at Calvary Chapel in Costa Mesa, CA. He now leads the music at a Messianic Jewish congregation in Irvine, CA., and he possesses the ability and sensitivity to balance the technique and style. He understands both sides and their proper uses and was able to communicate this through instruction and demonstration.
Jim did a lot of private lessons in addition to the group sessions that covered the basic techniques. Unfortunately, I don’t have a lot of photos from this class.
Everybody loves Mr. Fox! He is a blast to be around, and he knows his stuff! Don’t let his this serious look scare you away!
Too bad there isn’t a picture of the historical conducting devices which you would’ve seen had you been here, but I guess we will have to do this again, and you will have to come to his class, so you can learn not only the history, and beginning of conducting, but also learn some actual conducting skills (if you can between laughing!)
Really, Mr. Fox was another wonderful asset to this conference, bringing many years of teaching and believe it or not, actual conducting experience! 🙂 He is also very expressive, and his students always have a great time and burn calories laughing from the fun in the process!
Mr. Fox also had the difficult task of taking 46 of us, with varying degrees of ability and experience (some not even reading music), and led us in making actual music! It really was amazing that he was able to pull it off!
Each student at this conference was involved in either the chorale, or the accompaniment for the chorale.
In the short time we had together, we put together two anthems and a hymn, which were sung on Friday evening in addition to the individuals and groups that shared their gifts.
We had a number of string players which brought their instruments and did a fantastic job accompanying us, as well as Logan O. on the piano, under Mr. Fox’s fabulous direction.
Thank you to the Smith, Haymond, Osborn and Bisceglia family members who were willing to do a little extra and share your talents with us in the string ensemble!
Really, all of you should be congratulated on your perseverance and hard work on learning some brand new (to most of you) music in just two short days! You all did an incredible job!
On Friday afternoon, we held an instructor forum, with the combined experience of the professionals to answer your questions. As you can see, we aren’t always serious!
We solicited questions on Wednesday, and Thursday, and held the forum Friday.
Our purpose wasn’t to discuss the merits of Traditional vs. Contemporary, or to get into a divisive argument which doesn’t serve to help us worship. Instead, we deliberately steered the conversation toward things of practical value to any musician of any leaning, with the emphasis and encouragement of keeping a heart of true worship. We did seek to define what worship truly is, earlier in the week, and this discussion expounded on that somewhat.
The conference culminated on Friday evening, with a community evening of worship in song, led by the staff and conference attendees. Each of the students had the opportunity to put to use some of their new skills. All participated in one way or another. We had a chorale, special numbers, and community hymn-singing led and accompanied by the students and staff.
After we had sung the last song and acknowledged our incredible director, Mr. Fox, he said he had one more thing to do and handed me an envelope with donations he and Mrs. Lopez had collected so that I could go to the Pine Lake Composer’s Symposium in Atlanta, GA. Only Mrs. Lopez knew I wanted to go to this, and she “put a bug in someone’s ear” suggesting they do this.
I was so overwhelmed! We had just, by the grace of God, had the most wonderful conference, and then to top it off, the kind generosity of so many of the students, which allowed me to go and learn from the likes of Joe Martin, Mary McDonald, Brant Adams, Victor Jackson, Robert Sterling, and Brad Nix. THANK YOU ALL SOOOO MUCH!! it was an incredible “Composium” which I will write about in the next blog post, God willing.
All of you who attended made this a fantastic conference, which was better than I could’ve hoped for and all of you who didn’t make it, missed a great conference! Lord willing, we will do this again in the future.We have identified a number of areas that people are looking for further training in, and hope to be able add those as well. We are currently praying about what the LORD would have us to do. If you would join with us in this, we would greatly appreciate it!
On June 1-3, 2016, we held the very first Powerful Praise! Music Conference, at Opportunity Presbyterian Church, in Spokane Valley, WA!
Forty-six musicians and worship leaders from as far south as Southern California, and as far North, as North Dakota, showed up to learn how to improve their musicianship in order to make God’s praise glorious! It was an awe-inspiring time with representatives of several different denominations including Presbyterian, Baptist, United Methodist, Messianic, and Non-Denominational churches. I really appreciated the oneness in spirit that everyone had-we were here for the purpose of learning to bring our Lord and Savior praise through music, in the best possible ways, preparing our hearts, minds, and bodies (through excellent technique and practice), to bring Him the very best we can.
We had instruction in piano accompaniment, modulations, arranging, master classes, playing the message of the music, vocal techniques, singing with proper form, projection, mic techniques, conducting hymns for congregational singing, conducting choirs and ensembles, understanding your audience, understanding the difference between praising God and putting on a performance, a forum with the experts, and hands-on practice. This is only a partial list of the many, many things taught during this two-day conference.
Our instructors were Faye Lopez (piano accompaniment), Brian Fox (song leading and directing), and Jim White (Vocals). Mr. Tom Wylie was invaluable behind the scenes with technical aspects making things run smoothly, as well as Logan O., and the Shove, Pinkerton, Smith and Haymond families. And I can’t fail to mention the gourmet refreshments and service which were graciously provided by the John Smythe family! Thank you all for your servant’s heart and your gracious generosity in giving of time and resources to help out in making this a success!
This has been the culmination of a vision which has been such a joy to see come together! THANK YOU TO All who participated, helped get out the word, attended, gave of your time and resources, and made this conference happen. It would’ve been a lonely endeavor without you!
At the close of this two day conference, after the choir sang, and we acknowledged our amazing conductor, I was presented with an envelope of donations which they had collected unbeknownst to me, so that I could go to Pine Lake Music’s Composer’s Symposium, I had heard about through Mrs. Lopez. I will tell more about that in part 2. Thank you to all who donated toward this!
As people arrived, they checked in with Tom W. and received their name tag and personalized folders.
Everyone received a name tag and a folder with sheet music (several octavos and a new hymn), instructions, and notes, as well as information on copyrights and church music complimentary of CCLI, and Hymnprovisation.com
We were blessed to have 46 worship leaders, pianists, vocalists, and fellow musicians from South Dakota, Montana, Idaho, Washington, Oregon, and California! It was a great group of people who sought to improve their skills in musicianship, and to learn how to make excellent music in praise to God.
We began on Wednesday evening, with welcome, introductions, announcements, and a concert by our instructors, Brian Fox, Jim White, and Faye Lopez.
Mr. Fox was Master of Ceremonies, and led in corporate worship at the beginning of the group sessions, as well as conducting the chorale, and string ensemble, and teaching conducting and song leading. We began with the introduction of a brand new hymn by Faye Lopez, Blest Be The Tie, which was fitting for this conference seeing as we had many people from many denominational backgrounds, who all were come together to make God’s praise excellent!
After the the introductions and announcements, the rest of the evening was dedicated to hearing from Faye Lopez and Jim White, as they shared the gifts God has entrusted to them, with us. Part of the purpose of this was to hear what they are able to do with the training and experience they have gained from years of practice, performance, worship, and teaching.
J.W. Pepper was also on hand with four tables of music, books, and resources for those involved in music ministry, and if they didn’t have what you were looking for here, they offered free shipping to conference attendees!
This was intended to be a “hands-on” music conference. Each student was encouraged to try out and implement the techniques they were learning, and each who wanted it, had the opportunity to present, accompany, or lead the singing at the final concert and community hymn sing.
Impromptu singing at the breaks in the wonderfully acoustic lobby!
Piano Accompaniment Class
We were very, very blessed, to have published composer, teacher, and pianist, Faye Lopez, all the way from Bob Jones University, in South Carolina, come out and teach piano accompaniment. The wonderfully expressive Mrs. Lopez, shared from her years of experience teaching, playing, arranging, and writing music. In addition to the regular sessions, she also did a couple of Master Class sessions, where students could present a piece they had been working on, and receive instruction on how to improve their technique, the way they think of the music, the way they express their music and much, much more, in a mutually encouraging, constructive environment!
Students were encouraged share a song they had been working on, with the purpose of improving techniques through excellent instruction.
There were also a limited number of private lessons available from Mrs. Lopez for an additional cost.
During the breaks, there were numerous opportunities for networking, and to learn from others, browse, and purchase sheet music from JW Pepper, practice what you learned, play or sing music in the lobby with others, or simply relax and enjoy the incredible refreshments provided by the John Smythe Family!
High quality, hands-on instruction by dynamic music ministers in the following fields:
Song leading/Choir/Orchestra directing
Congregational Accompaniment (piano)
If you lead music, sing, or play for your church, or want to learn these skills, join us on June 1-3 in Spokane, WA for two+ days of instruction in these fields! You won’t be disappointed! This is a hands on class, designed with the intent that you will come away with useful techniques to make excellent music.