CWTA 2012 Special Interest Sessions

Anton Armstrong

Practical Vocal Pedagogy for the Church Choir
Dr. Armstrong will address practical, healthy vocal techniques for use in the church choir rehearsal and which can enable every choir member to improve their singing skills.  Issues to be addressed are breathing for singing, “speaking channel versus the singing channel”, practical tips for enhancing the aging voice; and communicating with more expressive choral diction. All this and more will be explored by the good Doctor A!

A Century of Singing: the St. Olaf Choir at 100!
Anton Armstrong, the fourth conductor of the St. Olaf Choir, will trace the evolution of the choir from its earliest roots as the St. John’s Lutheran Church Choir 100 years ago. The changes in tone, genres and interpretations of music show distinct differences among the conductors–and yet many similarities.  What is the legacy of the St. Olaf choral tradition to choral music in the United States, especially to those working in 21st century church ? Dr. Armstrong will share insights about the impact that being in choir has on its members well beyond the years of actually being the choir, and he will take a quick peek into the future as well as the second one hundred years of the St. Olaf Choir begins.

Bruce Bengtson

The Lutheran Organist – an Historical Perspective
Gain a better understanding of today’s Lutheran Organist by looking at the job description of the Lutheran Organist from past centuries.

Bruce Bengtson & Elizabeth Shepley

Choristers Guild Reading Session
Including a wide variety of selections for children’s, youth, and adult choirs, the Choristers Guild reading session will provide many excellent anthems to program in your upcoming choir year. The selections will span varying levels of difficulty and will cover Advent, Christmas, and General seasons.

Judy Bowers

Including Musical Literacy and Critical Thinking in Church Choir Rehearsals
Since literacy contribute to the develoment of independent singers, this session will focus on ways to embed music literacy and skill building into church choir rehaearsals. In addition, opportunities for singers to use critical analysis while learning music will be addressed.

Emilie Bouvier

Visual Arts in Worship and Outreach: Engaging Tradition, Practice and Community
In today’s culture of media saturation, we cannot escape the mass of visual images that feed into our modes of communication and identity. How can the Church engage the visual arts in ways that do not adopt the slick advertising techniques of today nor revert to copying the archaic artistic styles of the Medieval European Church? In addressing the historical context and theological issues at stake, we will look at how congregations can make use of visual art in conscious and meaningful ways. Focusing on worship and community outreach, we will discuss how visual art can enrich the life and ministry of communities of faith.

Mari Espeland

Orff-Schulwerk with Your Children’s Choirs: Orff Instruments and MORE!
Explore the endless possibilities of speech, movement, singing and Orff instruments that spring from using an Orff-Schulwerk approach with your children’s choirs. Come prepared to to participate in the Orff-Schulwerk process. Step-by-step notes provided along with a resource list.

Walter Eshenaur

Water is Life!
“Water is life!”, as one Ethiopian mother exclaimed as she drank deeply from a new water supply, holds deep meaning on many levels.  In their 13 years as engineering and public health professionals working as missionaries and with UNICEF in Ethiopia and Somalia, and, more recently, volunteer work with Engineers Without Borders, Walter and Tannie Eshenaur have enabled thousands of people to draw life-sustaining water from wells, springs, and collection tanks.  At the same time, God enabled the planting and growth of His church within many of the same communities.  Our presentation will  explore the deep theological implications of Isaiah’s prophetic words “with joy you will draw water from the wells of salvation,” (Isaiah 12:3),  and illustrate how the Eshenaurs have put those words into action using the confluence of physical and spiritual water.

John Ferguson

The Organ for Non Organists — and Organists, too
The organ is one of the most versatile and misunderstood of all instruments.  We will take a look at the organ from the perspective of how it works tonally and how to use it in the best ways to accompany singing, both choral and congregational.  The goal is to develop ways of speaking about organ sounds so non organists and organists can better communicate and collaborate.

Amy Frykholm

Acts of Attention
Simone Weil called attention “the rarest and purest form of generosity.” In this special session, Amy Frykholm will explore what attention means in acts of writing, reading, preaching and ministry, the difficulties of being attentive and how we might cultivate this important capacity.

David Hagedorn

Ethnic Hand Percussion in the Church
Get in the groove as you make authentic sounds on congas, bongos, djembe and “toys.” Learn West African and African rhythms, improvisation and how to use effective percussion with ethnic hymnody in your church. Bring instruments if you have them; they will be securely locked in the seminar room for the week.

Laurie Johnson and Diane Paulu

Listen, Follow, Create: Visual Art in Worship
Over the past year, the visual artists for CWTA have been sketching, scavenging, exploring and building on the themes of “Confluence” for the CWTA worship spaces and for the art exhibit in Flaten Gallery.  How did the artists arrive at the images and forms we see expressed through the CWTA logo and worship spaces? What does it mean when artists say they “listen to” and “follow” a work of art?  Come and bring your questions and comments to this informal gathering with Diane and Laurie to discuss the process and outcome of this year’s collaborative CWTA visual art. In addition, let’s share ideas, materials, methods and questions that might stir the imagination and invite the spirit into our midst. What inclinations and talents of yours (and of the people in your faith community) might be hiding under a bushel waiting to be called into artistic action? Let’s have a conversation.

Kristen E. Kvam and Don E. Saliers

Images and Emotions in the Psalms: in conversation with Augustine and Luther
This session will focus on the relationship between particular images from writings on the psalms by Augustine and Luther.   Special attention is given to the relationships between particular images and the religious affections elicited in and by the psalms.

David Lose

Preaching 2.0
Living in an increasingly digital culture, most of us have experienced a shift from being simply receivers of information to also being producers of it, and from being passive listeners to active collaborators in messaging. Yet much preaching remains uniformly mono-directional and transactional in nature. This session will suggest possibilities for developing a more participatory style of preaching, one which encourages congregants to do more than merely listen by becoming participants in the sermon and better interpreters of Scripture, faith, and life.

Jill Mahr

Basic Handbell Technique
Brush up on basic ringing and handbell techniques found in today’s music.

Handbell Reading Session
An opportunity to read and play through recently published handbell music.

Jeffrey O’Donnell, Joshua Wyatt and Sean Tonko

Media in Worship: Sound Reinforcement, Recording and Webcasting: A Case Study
This demonstration session will explore the challenges and opportunities for sound reinforcement, recording, webcasting and other technologies for worship spaces. Using the audio/visual system of Boe Memorial Chapel as an example, we will demonstrate techniques and concepts that will help improve many aspects of audio and video distribution operations in your church.  Will include Q & A — come with questions!

Meg Ojala

The Nicollet Project
The Nicollet Project retraces Joseph P. Nicollet’s expedition routes, juxtaposing descriptive passages from Nicollet’s diaries as well as those of his partner, botanist Charles A. Geyer, with photographs of the modern landscape, chemical testing of water quality in lakes along his routes, and a reconstruction of changes in productivity and eutrophication in these lakes and surrounding watersheds using dated lake sediments. Nicollet (1786-1843)has been described as a “scientis with the sensitivities of an artist.” Images from the project will be shown in the Flaten Art Gallery during the conference.

Ben Stewart

Baptism and the Waters of the Earth
In the Gospels, baptism first appears not only as an immersion in a river, but also as a pilgrimage to the edge of the wilderness, where the wild man John the Baptizer presided, and where the nonhuman creation flourished. How does a contemporary theology of baptism address the ecological emergencies facing the planet today, especially those involving water? Exploring ecological ethics and baptismal theology and practice, this session traces the waters of baptism as they flow into the promised renewed creation, where the river flows beside the Tree of Life, whose leaves are for the healing of the nations.

Mark Stover

Arranging Hymnody for the Worship Band
Too simple?  Too complex?  Too repetitive?  Too much?!!!  Whatever your context may be, come an learn practical tools for arranging hymnody to be played and led by your worship band in a way that will engage all who sit in the pews. Demonstration, participation, and accessible application will help guide us through this session under Mark Stover’s leadership.

For All The Saints — Empowering The Worshiping Voice of the People of God
How do we impress upon the congregation that they are the primary choir of the church?  How is the “empowered voice of the people” strengthened and nourished to be sent out from the church into the world in which we live?  Come and explore this critical worship and music leadership topic together!

Christian Wiman

Varieties of Quiet: Rethinking the Language in Which We Talk About Faith
Christian Wiman will share a chapter from his upcoming book, My Bright Abyss: Meditation of a Modern Believer (Farrar, Strauss and Giroux, March 2013)