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Music of the Month: Go, My Children, with My Blessing

Composed in commemoration of the centennial of the birth of Jaroslav J. Vajda (1919–2008), Kevin Hildebrand’s setting of the favorite hymn is flexible for SATB or two-part choir or soloists, organ, optional congregation, flute, and strings.

Five-Step Summer Plan for Music Teachers and Directors

It’s 8:46 on a Sunday morning, and I’m still in my pajamas sipping coffee and listening to the birds outside my sun-filled apartment as I write. No choir obligations, no classroom work looming for the after-church hours, no rush to get the laundry done today, no urgent Sunday-evening meal prepping to anticipate.

Music of the Month: To Live Is Christ

Benjamin M. Culli’s exquisite SAATB a cappella anthem uses a text by Lisa M. Clark. Inspired by Philippians 1:21, “For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain,” this piece features a soaring tune that is supported by close, rich harmonies.

Musical Literacy, Sightreading, and the Church

Can you comprehend a world without literacy? Think for a moment about a world in which only a small percentage can read and a smaller percentage can read well. If we church musicians also consider music essential to life, should we not also consider music literacy, especially in the form of sightreading, an indispensable skill for any budding, and accomplished, musician?

Highlights of Our 2019 New Music Releases

Our new music for 2019 became available last Wednesday! At the end of this post, you can browse the catalog to see all the pieces. In the meantime, here are some of the highlights as you start choosing your church’s new music for the coming year.

Music of the Month: Christ Jesus Lay in Death’s Strong Bands

Hart Morris’s arrangement of “Christ Jesus Lay in Death’s Strong Bands” is a Level III piece scored for 3–5 octave handbells. With roots in the Ancient Church and strong theological undercurrents, the piece is well placed on Easter Day or any Sunday during the Easter season.

Music of the Month: Easter Fantasy on Ancient Hymns

Sondra K. Tucker’s arrangement of “Easter Fantasy on Ancient Hymns for Brass Quintet and Organ” combines two hymn tunes with Dupré’s celebrated organ solo “Cortège et Litanie.” The triumphant tone and historical relevance make the piece perfect for Easter Day or any time during the Easter season. Listen to “Easter Fantasy” here, and at the end of the post, preview the score on CPH.org.

3 Project Management Tips to Streamline Lenten Worship Planning

As Lent approaches, you’re probably realizing that there’s always more to do around Lent than there are time and hands to complete the tasks! By making a few adjustments to the way your team works, your church office can reduce friction and confusion and increase efficiency to make Lenten worship planning easier.

How to Get Middle Schoolers to Participate in Choir Class

Students, especially middle schoolers on the cusp of adulthood, long to be treated with respect and dignity; however, as music teachers, it is often tempting to search for music we think might be popular with our students regardless of musical, or spiritual, value. As soon as we recognize that kids can tell when we are trying to cater to their childishness rather than help lead them toward a mature adulthood, we can see how valuable hymns are in teaching our middle schoolers.

Emmanuel Has Come—Even to Tired Church Musicians

As Christmas approaches, everything around us tells us to be merry and happy—and we should be as we rejoice at the remembrance of the birth of Christ. For us church musicians, though, this time of year finds many of us busy, anxious, and stressed, a far cry from the Christmas cheer everyone around us espouses. Fortunately for us, our tasks during this season lead us to the truth, the ultimate cause of rejoicing.