Music Matters – It’s Back!

Romans 12:4-5  Just as our bodies have many parts and each part has a special function, so it is with Christ’s body. We are all part of his one body, and each of us has different work to do. And since we are all one body in Christ, we belong to each other, and each of us needs all the others.

I am happy to announce that Music Matters is back. This is a place where church musicians can come for practical suggestions for music of all kinds, reading suggestions, and a little bit of encouragement.

Sometimes as musicians, we can feel a bit on our own or disconnected from other musicians in the church. As the Scripture states, we are all part of the body of Christ and we need all the others. We all have our own musical situation. It may include choirs, organ, piano, a small ensemble, or any number of configurations. We may be the organist, pianist, singer, and/or director or maybe all of them! None of that matters because we are all called to serve the body of Christ through and with music, to enable people to worship through the music we offer.

One of the most important things a musician can do is to know and understand their musicians/congregation. If we allow our congregations into our lives, we will be able to make appropriate choices that are accessible as well as challenging. This is applicable to choir music as well as congregational song.

In the future, we will discover ways in which we can enliven the song of our church with the resources we have on hand. We are all in this together!!

All musical suggestions are available at

Organ: Loud Praise to Christ, Our King, Lillenas MB-934, ©2004. This collection contains 9 joyful hymn tune settings that are very useful for preludes or postludes. It includes a setting of “Praise God From Whom All Blessings Flow” with “Come, We That Love the Lord.” The tune is in the pedal and alternates with flourishes on the manuals. It is rated moderate difficulty so will require some practice.

Piano:  Meditations for Quiet Worship, Hope Publishing, #8320, ©2007. These hymn settings are designed for those times when reflection is the goal. They would work well during Lent and Holy Week, communion, or in a prayer service. This volume includes settings of “Be Thou My Vision,” “Were You There?” “What Wondrous Love,” and Amazing Grace. Very useful for all pianists.

Choir: “God of Grace and God of Glory” by Keith Getty and Jonathan Rea, arranged by Lloyd Larson, 2 part mixed with optional violin (part included), Lorenz 10/4512L, ©2003. Keith Getty is one of the most prolific hymn writers of the 21st century. This setting contemplates the sacrifice of Christ in a folk-like setting. Divided between women and men, the well-constructed part writing and a comfortable range support the text. The accompaniment quotes “Amazing Grace” very briefly towards the quiet ending. Useful for general worship services as well as Lenten services.

Hand bells: "Bring a Torch"arranged by Ron Mallory published by Sound Forth, 20/1993SF-2, ©2017. If you like using multiple techniques with your hand bells, this is the piece for your group! Mallets, stick clicks and shakes add excitement to this arrangement of this French Christmas carol. Written for 3-5 octaves, it will be a bright addition to your Christmas concert or worship service. Available at

Contemporary Praise and Worship: "Alive in You" by Jesus Culture. Not only is this song great to listen to, it is accessible for the average congregation. This song I a testament to the saving power of God through Jesus Christ. The video includes the guitar chords which cuts rehearsal time for everyone. It is also available on

Book Alert: I will Sing the Wondrous Story: A History of Baptist Hymnody in North America. Baptists have always been a singing people and this book traces that tradition. Beginning with our history in England, the story continues in America, examining our song during the nineteenth century and through the Civil War. Sunday school and gospel songs are also included along with descriptions of various denominational hymnals. This is a thorough reference that offers a glimpse into the development of the song we sing today.


If you have any questions, contact me at or at First Baptist-West Allis, 414-258-7400.

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