“Sometimes we let ourselves get bogged down in a difficult melody and miss the true meat, the lyrics,” according to Patti Kreutzweiser of Moose Jaw as she used two one-hour sessions to talk about and lead those attending the fall renewal of the Nor’Western Zone in Saskatoon in singing many songs and hymns.
She set out to introduce the group to a number of not-so-well-known composers, many of them Lutheran: John Ylvisaker, Lana Gibbons, Michael Schmid, Rev. Michael Zehnder, Susan Palo Cherwien, Terry Dittmer, Rev. James Fritsche, Robin Mann and Dr. Norman Habel. Saying, “Our church leaders recognized that we are putting Scripture to music,” Patti often read the verses on which a song is based before singing it with the group. This was very effective in helping her listeners grasp how closely many of the lyrics follow Scripture.
She also spoke of the importance of seeking copyright permission. Not all music is covered by the CCLI license many congregations purchase. While it may take a little research, permission is usually not too difficult to obtain. A small sum may be charged. For example, for about $50 a year a congregation can have access to the more than 9,000 Scripture-based songs written by John Ylvisaker. She also noted that LWMLC has a CD with the scores and words for a number of songs written for use by the League. LWMLC societies and congregations may use them without cost. Speaking as a song-writer and composer herself, Patti stressed that, even though there is permission to use this music, it is a much-appreciated courtesy to drop a line to the composer telling them how and where their composition was used.
Theme of the workshop was “Shine like Stars with Joyful Music” based on Colossians 3:16, “Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God.” In addition to the day’s speaker, Pastor James Vosper, pastoral counsellor, helped the group delve into a study about
worship and several musicians entertained. Amy Timm and Megan and Corianne Bracewell sang and played a number of pieces. Jean Arndt, Judy Tamke and Carol Haatvedt provided music on organ, piano and guitar. Marion Neufeld played several pieces on the piano.
In a short business meeting the outline of a new structure for the zone, a two-year pilot project, was adopted in principle.
The event was hosted by Holy Cross LWMLC on Saturday, October 16, 2010. The next gathering will be at Kerrobert, Sask. in the spring.
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