January 8-10, 2014 Music Clinics


National Conference for Sacred Music

January 7–9, 2015

San Antonio, Texas

Featuring David Bone, Mel Bringle, Michael Burkhardt, Mark Mummert, Charles Peery, and Randall Stroope

National Conference for Sacred Music is a unique conference designed to provide the practicing church musician with fresh new ideas to help create a vital, growing music ministry. The emphasis of this conference is to provide a wide variety of new approaches to revitalize and reinvigorate the church's passion for music in worship. Sessions will include the following:

  • New worship planning ideas for your congregation and choirs
  • Choral technique classes with an emphasis on deepening the spiritual experience for the choir member
  • Reading sessions featuring new publications from Augsburg Fortress, Hinshaw, and MorningStar Music
  • Sponsorship by three different denominational groups: the Association of Lutheran Church Musicians, the Presbyterian Association of Musicians, and the Fellowship of United Methodists in Music and Worship Arts
  • Classes on working with older singers
  • Strategic planning and educating the congregation about worship, with an emphasis on hymnody
  • Workshops for working with children
  • Handbells
  • Opening worship with the choir and staff of First Presbyterian Church
  • Morning worship creatively crafted by Mel Bringle
  • Opportunity to rehearse and sing for Friday evening's Festival Concert with Randall Stroope

MEAL PLAN: $35.00 (Wednesday dinner, Thursday/Friday lunch)

Hotel Information for NCSM

There are many hotels in the area, but we have reserved a block of rooms at the Fairfield Inn and Suites, 422 Bonham, San Antonio, TX 78205.

Please call the hotel directly to reserve your room at 866-706-7705 or 210-212-6262. Mention NCS to receive the conference rate of $109.00. The conference rate is good Tuesday through Friday and includes breakfast. In order to receive this conference rate, please reserve by Monday,
December 8

From the Fairfield Inn and Suites, you can easily walk to First Presbyterian Church at 404 N Alamo. The Alamo and the famed River Walk are also nearby.

The following hotels are also an easy walk to First Presbyterian Church and the River Walk.

Residence Inn, 425 Bonham St; 210-212-5555

Springhill Suites, 411 Bowie St; 210-222-2121

Schedule of Activities

    Wednesday, January 7
2:00pm – 3:00pm   Registration
3:00pm – 3:15pm   Welcome, introduction, and announcements
3:15pm – 4:15pm   Music for Worship: Making Choices; Mark Mummert
4:30 pm – 5:30 pm   Workshops
  1. David Bone
  2. Children in Worship; Michael Burkhardt
5:30 pm – 6:45 pm   Dinner (part of meal plan)
6:45 pm – 7:45 pm   Opening Worship, with the choir and staff of First Presbyterian Church
8:00 pm – 9:00 pm   Festival Concert rehearsal with Randall Stroope (for those who wish to sing Friday evening)
9:00 pm –   Social Gathering; Exhibit Hall Open
    Thursday, January 8
9:00 am – 9:30 am   Morning Worship: Mel Bringle (Sanctuary)

9:45 am – 11:00 am   Workshop: "Here M.I.:  Engaging Multiple Intelligences through Hymnody"; Mel Bringle
11:00 am – 11:30 am   Break
11:30 am – 12:30 pm   Reading Session 1: Multi Publisher; Michael Burkhardt
12:30 pm – 1:30 pm   Lunch (part of the meal plan)
1:30 pm – 2:30 pm   Workshops
  1. Choral Workshop; Randall Stroope
  2. Organ Workshop; Michael Burkhardt
  3. David Bone
2:45 pm – 3:45 pm   Reading Session 2: Multi Publisher; Mark Mummert
4:30 pm – 5:30 pm   Workshops
  1. Choral Workshop; Randall Stroope
  2. Organ Workshop; Michael Burkhardt
  3. Handbells; Charles Peery
5:30 pm – 7:30 pm   Dinner – On Your Own
7:30 pm –   Rehearsal for Friday Evening Festival Service (Sanctuary)
    Friday, January 9
9:00 am – 9:30 am   Morning Worship; Mel Bringle (Sanctuary)
9:30 am – 10:30 am   Panel Discussion with the Clinicians (Sanctuary)
10:30 am – 11:00 am   Break; Exhibits Open
11:00 am – 12:00 pm   Reading Session 3: Multi Publisher; Randall Stroope
12:30 pm – 2:00 pm   Lunch (part of meal plan); Exhibit Hall Open
2:00pm – 3:00pm   Workshops
  1. Singing with Simeon and Anna: Working with Aging Voices; Mark Mummert
  2. Handbells; Charles Peery
  3. Crafting Singable New Texts for Worship; Mel Bringle
3:15pm – 4:30pm   Rehearsal for Festival Service
4:30 pm – 7:30 pm   Exhibits Open (make final purchases!); Free Time
7:30pm   Festival Concert

Workshop Descriptions

Crafting Singable New Texts for Worship: Mel Bringle
In this hands-on workshop, we will practice close listening to a number of tunes to sense their rhythmic patterns, affective tones, and thematic possibilities. We will then use this information in crafting new, short texts for worship.

Here M.I.: Engaging Multiple Intelligences through Hymnody Mel Bringle
It is clear that hymns and songs engage our musical and verbal intelligences in learning about God. In this workshop, we will explore ways that songs call other intelligences into play as well: kinesthetic, naturalistic, visual/spatial, and logical/mathematical.

It's the Little Things: David Bone
Sometimes major problems in music ministry programs can be caused by small decisions that have big consequences. But some challenges can be solved by only a small change. Explore some new ideas for solving some of your own challenges.

Planning Music for Worship: Making Choices Mark Mummert
Christian assemblies currently have an almost unlimited supply of musical choices available for worship, in a vast array of styles, from an ever-growing list of sources. This workshop will consider a variety of criteria for making the choices we make concerning the music we will make each week. Among the criteria are views of tradition, contemporaneity, context, denominational consensus, local custom, familiarity, expectation, surprise, and memory. We will apply these criteria to choices we make regarding assembly song (including hymnody, psalmody, and other ritual music), music for our ensembles, and other vocal and instrumental music.

Singing with Simeon and Anna: Working with Aging Voices: Mark Mummert
As we age, things naturally happen to our bodies that can work against good vocal health and sound. This workshop will consider techniques to help singers and choral conductors work with older people and their aging voices. We will consider elements of breath, vowel formation and modification, negotiating breaks in the voice, vibrato, and choral blend. We'll also look at some repertoire for Christian worship well suited for choirs made up largely of aging voices.


David Bone is the Executive Director of The Fellowship of United Methodists in Music and Worship Arts, managing its program and financial affairs since 1991. In addition to this full-time position, David is the co-author of The United Methodist Music and Worship Planner and Prepare! A Weekly Worship Planbook. David holds Master of Music degrees in Sacred Music and Choral Conducting from Southern Methodist University. He attends and volunteers in the music program at West End United Methodist Church in Nashville, Tennessee, and is a regular clinician at local and national events in the areas of music, worship, and choral conducting.

Mary Louise (Mel) Bringle is Professor of Philosophy and Religious Studies at Brevard College in Brevard, North Carolina. Her Ph.D. in Theological Studies is from Emory University. An award-winning hymn writer whose original texts and translations appear in the hymnals of numerous denominations in North America and Scotland, she has recently served as President of The Hymn Society in the U.S. and Canada and as chair of the Presbyterian Committee on Congregational Song, responsible for creating the new hymnal Glory to God.

Michael Burkhardt is known internationally for his innovative and inspiring hymn festivals and for his creative work with children. Michael is in frequent demand as a choral clinician, organ recitalist, and hymn festival leader. From 2001–2007 he served on the faculty of Carthage College (ELCA) in Kenosha, Wisconsin, as Director of Choral Activities, College Organist, and Artist in Residence. Prior to his appointment at Carthage, he was a Faculty Associate in organ at Arizona State University, Tempe. In addition, he served Christ College Irvine (LCMS), Irvine, California, as College Organist and head of studies in church music and music education, as well as Luther Seminary, St. Paul, Minnesota, and Trinity Seminary, Columbus, Ohio, as Guest Lecturer in their Master of Sacred Music programs.

Dr. Burkhardt is a graduate of Carthage College, Kenosha, Wisconsin. He earned his M.M. degree from Southern Methodist University, Dallas, Texas, and his D.M.A. degree from Arizona State University, Tempe. 

He has performed and led seminars at both national and regional events for the American Guild of Organists, the Hymn Society, the Association of Lutheran Church Musicians, the Presbyterian Association of Musicians, the Fellowship of United Methodists in Music and Worship Arts, and the American Choral Directors Association. He made his symphonic hall debut in 1999 at the Meyerson Symphony Hall in Dallas, and since 2003 has made four performance-teaching tours to South Korea and Singapore.

Dr. Burkhardt is author of Part-Singing Global Style, a resource focusing on sequential part-singing techniques in treble arrangements of global pieces, and author of Singing with Understanding, a curriculum utilizing the great hymns, folksongs and spirituals of the church to share faith stories and to teach the elements of music and worship. He is composer of two settings of the Eucharistic liturgy, A New Song and Missa St. Andrew, as well as numerous organ improvisations, choral octavos and handbell compositions, available through Augsburg Fortress (Minneapolis), MorningStar Music Publishers (St. Louis), Choristers Guild (Dallas), and Concordia Publishing House (St. Louis).

Mark Mummert is the Director for Worship at Christ the King Lutheran Church, Houston, Texas, where he conducts the Chorus, Choristers, Music Explorers, Taizé Ensemble, and is the primary musician for the worship of the congregation. Mark is a composer of the first setting of Holy Communion in Evangelical Lutheran Worship, and served as editor and contributing composer for Psalm Settings for the Church Year and Music Sourcebook for Lent and the Three Days (Augsburg Fortress). He was Seminary Musician at the Lutheran Theological Seminary at Philadelphia 1990–2008. Mark is an active member of the Association of Lutheran Church Musicians.

Randall Stroope is the Director of Choral and Vocal Studies at Oklahoma State University in Stillwater, Oklahoma, where he conducts the Concert Chorale, Chamber Choir, and Women's Chorus and coordinates the undergraduate and graduate choral conducting program. The OSU Concert Chorale recently recorded Stroope's "Song to the Moon" and "Go Lovely Rose," toured France and England (2013), and will tour Ireland and Scotland in 2015. Under his direction, the ensemble also presents a seven-concert season each year, which has included works such as Ein Deutsches Requiem (Brahms), Messiah (Handel), Requiem (Verdi) and Rejoice in the Lamb (Britten). 

Dr. Stroope has received many awards, including Distinguished Professor of Creative and Scholarly Research (1995–2001), the Douglas R. McEwen Award for National Choral Excellence, Nebraska Choral Director of the Year, Doug and Nickie Burns Endowed Chair in Choral Music (2013), and one of five Oklahoma State University Distinguished Professors (2013–2014), as well as several composition awards. 

As a guest conductor, Stroope has directed 38 all-state choirs, and conducted music festivals in 45 states. He has directed 12 summer international music festivals in England, Germany, and Italy.

Born in Albuquerque, New Mexico, Stroope completed a Master of Music (Voice Performance) degree at the University of Colorado Boulder, and Doctor of Musical Arts (Choral Conducting) degree at Arizona State University. He did post graduate work with Margaret Hillis, Chorus Master of the Chicago Symphony. As a recipient of the Australian-American Fulbright, he has also done work in western Australia. He and his wife, Cheryl, a junior high choral teacher, love to travel and spend time with their sheltie.






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