Resources for church musicians, choirs, and worship teams.
Perkins Piano Tuning - David Perkins, from First Baptist Church of Delavan, WI
Contact: Travelingperkins2@yahoo.com; 928-202-8224 (cell)
Just imagine – every seat in the sanctuary is full. Standing room only! Isn’t that something we all strive for as we prepare our worship and its many parts? We want people to come to worship and experience the presence of God. We want people to come to worship and feel that they are part of the family of God – the body of Christ. We want people to accept Christ as their Lord and Savior and to live a life of service. That is the reason we do what we do – to further the kingdom of God through our music and our worship.
When it doesn’t happen – when there are empty seats in the sanctuary we wonder why? Where is everyone? Why aren’t they here? How can we change their hearts? I don’t think we can – that is the work of the Holy Spirit. But all is not lost – there is much we can do to plant a seed or light a spark in someone’s life.
Our first point of contact with visitors is our worship service. What happens during that hour will have an effect on how that person experiences the presence of God. The songs and hymns we sing, the prayers we pray, and the readings we share will have an impact on those who gather. Scripture tells us we are to “Worship the Lord with gladness; come before him with joyful songs” (Psalm 100:2). We also need to come before him with a servant heart – one that seeks to plant a seed or light a spark in someone’s life through our songs, readings, and prayers.
There may be room in the pews for more people but lets concentrate on who is sitting in the pew today. Let us worship with so much gladness that those who gather will feel God moving among them.
Organ: Masterworks for Organ Arranged by Robert Lau,#10527501. This collection of pieces by Bach, Gigout, Boellmann, and Mendelssohn is very useful. The setting of Psalm 19 is especially festive. Intermediate level.
Piano: Everlasting Praise: 10 Arrangements of Enduring Hymns by Cindy Berry. This collection of early advanced pieces has something for everyone. Titles include “His Eye is on the Sparrow,” “Praise to the Lord,” and “To God Be the Glory.” Useful for prelude, postlude, communion or personal improvement.
Choir: Every Knee Shall Bow by Lloyd Larson, SAB, #10956073. A wonderful setting of Phil 2:5-11 with a flowing melody and limited ranges. There are plenty of opportunities within this song for working on pitch, blend, and interpretation.
Handbells: Keep It Simple 3 by Lloyd Larson. This collection of Level 1 pieces are quick to rehearse and ready for worship. Titles include “America, the Beautiful”, “Were you There?” and “Amazing Grace.”
Don’t have a full choir? Only have 5 ringers? Then Bob Burroughs’ Five or Less offers settings of familiar tunes for worship. There are a number of volumes in this series that provide music for small groups and/or ensembles.
Praise Team/Worship Band: Check out the recordings of Jadon Lavik. Quite an accomplished guitarist, his arrangements of familiar tunes are fresh and interesting. Also check out worshiptogether.com. This website has free songs available as well as a paid area. Videos highlighting certain songs are also available.
Remember – if you want to talk worship, give me a call at 414-531-0717.
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 jwpepper.com
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 http://jwpepper.com
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 http://www.worshiptogether.com/songs/alive-in-you-jesus-culture/.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org or at First Baptist-West Allis, 414-258-7400.