The Church Music Institute (CMI) at Shenandoah University (SU) goes back many decades. Hundreds of church musicians from a wide variety of denominations have participated in these summer sessions. Teachers have included SU faculty plus outstanding guest clinicians. In 2020, due to the pandemic, CMI had to cancel its summer sessions. Now, for 2021, we are able to bring back CMI in a virtual format. Even though we are unable to meet in person, or to offer a full two-week experience, we have assembled five distinguished presenters who will offer five evenings of online sessions via Zoom. Plans are underway for a return to the traditional two-week, in-person CMI in the summer of 2022. In the meanwhile, we hope you will take advantage of this year’s unique presentations with five renowned clinicians!
Five Evening Sessions Presented via Zoom, 7:30 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. (EDT)
Each session will be interactive, with opportunities to ask questions of the presenter and to share tips with other participants.
Sunday, June 20
Renewal & the Church’s Song: Emerging Priorities & Practices
Jennifer Baker-Trinity, presenter
Since 2000, and especially in the last decade, the church has welcomed several new denominational worship books, hymnals, and supplements. Such new resources are needed by each generation to faithfully respond to contemporary experience. At the same
time the church’s song (re)forms as well as expresses faith. Using the ELCA worship supplement All Creation Sings as a primary example, this session will explore emerging priorities and practices in our assembly song.
Monday, June 21
Return to Ringing & Rejoicing
Jana Larson, presenter
Small ensemble ringing became a sudden, unexpected reality, but it can also be an unexpected delight! We will explore ways to be successful with less than a full choir through, not only anthems, but also liturgical additions. There are many quick and simple ways to engage your congregational musicians, even if they (or you!) are not familiar with bells. Our discussion will include repertoire and enhancing worship with limited players.
Tuesday, June 22
Accompanying Non-Traditional Hymns on the Organ Plus a Mini-Recital
Nathanial Gumbs, presenter
In this session we will explore creative methods for accompanying non-traditional hymnody on the organ. We will look into gospel, global, and contemporary hymns. We will also discuss various introduction, registration, and modulatory techniques. This presentation will be paired with a recital of organ works.
Wednesday, June 23
What’s New for Keyboardists & Vocal Soloists
Wayne L. Wold, presenter
2020/21 has been a challenging time for musicians but also for church music publishers. How much to publish when there is less demand? What types of things to publish when performances are being cancelled and worship services are limited to
smaller or even no choirs? Yet, many publishers have risen to the occasion and continued to offer us new materials for music ministry. At this session we will highlight new publications for organ and piano and also for vocal soloists.
Thursday, June 24
Page to Pattern: How the Printed Score Shapes Conducting & Rehearsal Planning
Zebulon M. Highben, presenter
A choral score poses a wealth of questions to a conductor: What technical challenges does this piece present? Does the tempo affect perception of difficulty? What pattern should I use? How do I “make it work” with my singers? This workshop will employ several excellent anthems—old and new—to demonstrate how careful score study can suggest teaching techniques, simplify rehearsal planning, and determine conducting gestures that will prepare both the conductor and the choir for a successful and musical learning experience.
Meet the Clinicians
Deacon Jennifer Baker-Trinity serves as program director for resource development, a shared position between the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) and Augsburg Fortress, a division of 1517 Media. In this position she attends to developing and teaching about resources that support the church’s worship. Prior to this she was a frequent writer and editor for several Augsburg Fortress publications and ELCA resources. Baker-Trinity completed her studies at Valparaiso University (B.M. in Church Music) and the Lutheran Theological Seminary at Philadelphia (MAR, STM). She has served as a church musician in congregations in Illinois, Minnesota and Pennsylvania, and has been active as a conference chair and regional president of the Association of Lutheran Church Musicians. From 2017 to 2020, she served as co-director for the Institute of Liturgical Studies held annually at Valparaiso University.
Renewal & the Church’s Song: Emerging Priorities & Practices | Sunday, June 20
Jana Larson is a lifelong handbell ringer having begun ringing in 4th grade. She began cultivating her love of handbells at St. Olaf College, where she played in the St. Olaf Handbell Choir under director Jill Mahr. Larson was selected to be the student director of the Manitou Ringers her senior year. Upon graduation, she moved to Milwaukee and earned a master’s degree in church music with a handbell emphasis from Concordia University Wisconsin, studying under Dr. John Behnke. In 2015, Larson was the interim director of the Alleluia Ringers at Concordia University Wisconsin. At the 2016 Area 7 convention of the Handbell Musicians of America (HMA), Larson was a featured clinician and performed with the Milwaukee Handbell Ensemble. As a member of the Milwaukee Handbell Ensemble since 2011, she has performed at area and national HMA conferences, with the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra, and on tours all around the Midwest. Larson is a published composer whose work is found in the AGEHR catalog. She has directed handbell choirs at two churches in the Milwaukee area and works full time as a banker with Associated Bank.
Return to Ringing & Rejoicing | Monday, June 21
Nathaniel Gumbs, concert and recording artist, is a native of the Bronx, New York, and currently serves as the director of chapel music at Yale University in New Haven, Connecticut. As a recitalist, Gumbs has performed throughout the United States and abroad, including Antigua, St. Thomas, Ghana, Paris and Munich. Music critics have described his playing as “mature, lyrical, accurate and energetic.” Consistently collecting a following, Gumbs was acclaimed in the New York Times for playing with “deft and feeling” on his duo recording with bass-baritone Dashon Burton. In 2018, Gumbs curated the opening Hymn Festival (Singing Diverse Music in The New Church) for the Hymn Society’s annual conference. In their May 2017 issue, The Diapason journal recognized Gumbs as one of 20 organists under 30 years old for outstanding achievement in organ performance and church music. Transferring concert caliber performance to worship leadership, Gumbs served as the director of music and arts and church organist at Friendship Missionary Baptist Church in Charlotte, North Carolina from 2012 to 2017. Gumb’s major teachers include Steven Cooksey, David Higgs and Martin Jean. He holds degrees from Shenandoah Conservatory, Yale University and Eastman School of Music.
Accompanying Non-Traditional Hymns on the Organ Plus a Mini-Recital | Tuesday, June 22
Wayne L. Wold
Wayne L. Wold serves as the director of Shenandoah University’s Church Music Institute and as adjunct associate professor of music at Shenandoah where he teaches organ. From 1990 to 2020 he was professor and chair of the music department at Hood College in Frederick, Maryland. He also serves as director of music ministry at First Lutheran Church in Ellicott City, Maryland. He holds the Doctor of Musical Arts from Shenandoah University, a Master of Sacred Music from Wittenberg University in Springfield, Ohio, and a Bachelor of Music from Concordia College in Moorhead, Minnesota. He is an active performer of recitals and hymn festivals and the composer of more than 400 published works and the author of three books.
What’s New for Keyboardists & Vocal Soloists | Wednesday, June 23
Zebulon M. Highben
Zebulon M. Highben is director of chapel music at Duke University Chapel and associate professor of the practice of church music at Duke Divinity School. He conducts the Duke Chapel Choir, edits the Music from Duke Chapel choral series, and oversees the chapel’s extensive music program. Highben’s choirs have performed at numerous conferences and festivals and have toured domestically and internationally. His scholarly output includes two sacred choral anthologies, many articles and essays, and more than sixty published compositions. He is a past recipient of the American Prize in Choral Conducting and the Raabe Prize for Excellence in Sacred Composition. He holds a bachelor’s degree from Ohio State University, a Master of Sacred Music from Luther Seminary with St. Olaf College, and a Doctor of Musical Arts from Michigan State University.
Page to Pattern: How the Printed Score Shapes Conducting & Rehearsal Planning | Thursday, June 24
Registration is now open for the virtual 2021 Church Music Institute!
Because of this summer’s abbreviated session, cost for the entire conference is only $200 per person. This gives registrants access to all five sessions (sorry, no discount for fewer than five sessions). All who register by Tuesday, June 1 will be mailed copies of the hymnal supplement to be used in the session by Jennifer Baker-Trinity and choral octavos to be used in the session by Zeb Highben. Other handouts will be available as downloads at no additional cost.
Because of this year’s shorter and virtual program, we are unable to offer academic credits. Plans are underway to return to the full two-week session in 2022, for which credits will be offered once again.
Church Music Certificate
Shenandoah University offers a Church Music Certificate which requires attendance at three consecutive two-week summer sessions of CMI. Because of the shorter virtual offerings, we unfortunately are unable to offer credits toward the certificate in 2021. Plan to attend next summer when we will return to the full two-week program that will count toward completion of the certificate.
More information coming soon.
Dr. Wayne L. Wold, Director
Church Music Institute
Send Registration & Housing Forms to:
1460 University Drive
Winchester, VA 22601