April 5, 2011

The Music Scene

What will the future Episcopal Church sound like? 

Two noteworthy events have taken place in the past few weeks regarding music in the Episcopal Church. First, the Standing Commission on Liturgy and Music (SCLM) has extended the deadline for folks to take a churchwide survey on whether or not the Episcopal Church needs a new hymnal. Haven’t taken it yet? You can do so by going here. The new deadline is April 30th.

The second noteworthy event regarding music in the Church took place on Facebook (where else?). Last week, the ECF Vital Practices Facebook page received a request for any information we might have on online forums where church musicians and choir directors can go to “talk shop.” In response, the folks over at Unapologetically Episcopalian created a new forum for musicians to gather, to celebrate what it means to be a musician in the Church, and to compare notes (pun intended). If you know of someone who might be interested in "liking" this page, please share this new resource with them. 
What strikes me as remarkable about these projects is that they are both online, intended for musicians and non-musicians alike, and are grounded in the idea that our music ministries will be improved by churchwide input. Presumably anybody with a strong opinion about church music can join the Facebook page, so it has the potential to be a diverse and thriving group. 

So what will the future Episcopal Church sound like? Will the sustained notes of the organ provide enough sustenance for future generations? Will we draw more deeply on folk melodies from around the world in Sunday worship? Will we all be singing from PowerPoint slides? Will we be singing regularly in Spanish, Lakota and Creole? Will we continue down the U2charist path and offer (gulp) Lady Gaga masses?

If you have thoughts on any of the above questions, please share them! You can do so in the comments section below or by navigating to the survey and Facebook page for church musicians.