Leading the Church's Song
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Featured Clinicians and Worship Leaders

The featured clinicians and worship leaders will engage you with fresh ideas and a variety of approaches to further your work in creating a vital, growing music ministry.

Featured Clinicians will be announced later this year!

2019 Workshop Descriptions

Workshops will provide the practicing church musician new ideas for the creation and edification of a vital, growing music ministry.

2020 Workshops will be posted later this year.

The Good the Bad and the Ugly Michael Morgan This plenary will look at versions of the psalms from the beginning of the Reformation in England and Scotland to the present day, showing how so many have endured-for better or worse! Prepare to bring your hearts, minds and senses of humor with you!
The Metrical Psalter for the 21st Century Michael Morgan Morgan will explore resources for including psalm singing in worship, looking at collections published since 1980. Singing metrical psalm paraphrases set to familiar tunes is probably the easiest way to incorporate musical psalm settings into congregational song, and the poetic meter and imagery add a new dimension to the traditional Scriptures.
Giving Our Best: An Offering of Choral Artistry Pearl Shangkuan Looking at 7 elements in music making to better serve the purpose of proclaiming the Word of God through songs. How music can be a channel of God’s grace and message to the congregation.
Effective, Efficient & Enjoyable Choral Rehearsal Techniques Pearl Shangkuan A session on planning and leading choral rehearsals using techniques that are efficient and also enjoyable to help singers of all ages understand quickly and remember better.
New Organ Repertoire John Ferguson This reading session will feature new organ music from Augsburg Fortress, MorningStar Music Publishers and the Fred Bock Music Company.
The Art of and Craft of Hymn Festivals John Ferguson After decades of experience, John Ferguson will share insights into building and leading hymn festivals, and lessons he has learned for effectively leading congregational song.
Children's Choir Session 1:
Working with the Child's Voice
Michael Burkhardt A session focusing on understanding the child voice and developmental experiences for singers of all shapes and sizes (speech-like singer, dependent singer, limited-range singer, untuned singer).
Children’s Choir Session 2:
The Three “Rs” – Really Rehearsing Repertoire
Michael Burkhardt A hands-on session and experience focusing on score study, rehearsal planning and rehearsal strategies
Children’s Choir Session 3:
Nuts and Bolts -Before During and After the Rehearsal
Michael Burkhardt A session focusing on the big picture of a children’s choir program including a perusal of new published resources.
How Am I Supposed to Ring THAT? Michael Glasgow This class addresses creative “outside the box” solutions to common ringing challenges in beginning-level to mid-level using “standard” Allured-method assignments. Weaving, Four-in-Hand Ringing, Bell Displacement, Bell Reassignments, Duplicate Bells, and” Neighbor Favors” are all discussed.
Past the Parentheses and Beyond the Brackets Michael Glasgow A Class designed to show the music theory behind why different octave complements must omit (or should not omit!) certain notes. Topics will include bass line continuity and inversion, alternate melodies, engraving challenges in publishing, options for doublings, and why certain keys seem to “work” better for the instrument. A terrific start to understanding the construction of a piece as a whole and the logic behind [all] (of that) {} we sometimes omit!
Available throughout the Conference An exhibit featuring metrical psalters which helped to establish our congregational singing from the Reformation to the present, consisting of around 40 volumes including the “Old Version” by Sternhold and Hopkins (editions from 1565 and 1567), the Scottish Psalter of 1564, Archbishop Parker’s psalter with the music by Tallis (1567, Ben Jonson’s copy), Ainsworth’s Pilgrim Psalter, Lord Fairfax’s manuscript psalter, the Authorized Scottish Psalter of 1650, first editions of Tate and Brady’s “New Version,” Cotton Mather’s Psalter, two first printings of Watts’s Psalter (one signed by Watts!), and various versions up to the 21st century. This exhibit will be set up in a secure space during the conference. People may browse at their leisure.
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the tickets

Buy tickets for each day, or save and buy a full registration.  Each day will include a variety of workshops, reading sessions, and opportunities to connect with others. 

what attendees are saying

Why is it worth attending NCSM?
"The worship services were especially meaningful and gave me an abundance of ideas for worship planning.  All the workshops I attended were extremely helpful and being able to network with other participants was very helpful as far as dealing with various problems in scheduling, introducing new music and/or worship ideas to congregations."
Past Attendee
"[The sessions] gave me multiple examples and ideas of how to make worship come alive!  I am SO excited to introduce some of these ideas in my home congregation.  I will also be making a presentation to our Worship/Music ministry team, hopefully encouraging more participation by congregants in not only the planning but the worship service itself."
Past Attendee
"Such great presenters! It is unique to have three different denominations represented at the same event. This provides a refreshing opportunity to mingle, share, and learn from musicians from other denominations. I appreciated the timing of this event after the Advent and Christmas rush and before Lent. This is a great time to sit back, reassess, and learn."
Past Attendee

Conference venue

Venue will be announced later in 2019