I think one of the most enjoyable aspects of being in an organization like the Association of Lutheran Church Musicians is the fellowship with our colleagues—people in the same boat. We’ve been members since their first national conference in 1987, which coincidentally met in Seattle. I think I’ve been to something like 12 national and 4 regional conferences, and have been able to renew friendships with so many people. We’ve shared resources, commiserated about church politics, and seen our children grow up together. We’ve become family—and a comment I heard this week was “I don’t care what the program is. . . I just want to attend these conferences so I can see everyone!”
I think I actually enjoy being in ALCM more than AGO (American Guild of Organists) because we have so much in common with our colleagues in ALCM — we all work with the same liturgy and the same hymnal, the same challenges, the same problems.
At the last few conferences, we heard comments about the “graying of the ALCM” and so the organization is consciously trying to reach out to younger church musicians. At next year’s regional conference in Thousand Oaks, CA which I’m helping to plan, we’re setting the registration fee for college students at half-price.
I’m pleased that my sister, Doris, has also become a member of ALCM, and it was fun to be with her and Sharon Dennis (The Braeded Chord) during the week. Last summer when Carl and I were in France, she and Sharon attended the regional conference in Boulder, CO and got to meet and know many of the same ALCM colleagues.
Guess who we saw here at ALCM —Joe Pettit! He was one of the tenors who came to sing our Monteverdi Vespers last November! Joe also spent a number of years living in Hawaii and held positions at St. Andrew’s Cathedral and Central Union Church.
We also visited with Mark Mummert from Christ the King Lutheran in Houston, TX where Vicki Gorman and her family now attend. He’s the one whose setting of the liturgy (Setting I from ELW) we sing during the green seasons.
When I get home, I’m going to talk to Miguel Felipe about joining ALCM.