Category Archives: Music

Salt & Light Choir to Visit Hanover

Press release from Hanover Presbyterian Church:

Salt & Light High School Choir from First Presbyterian Church, Boulder, Colorado has been in existence for about 35 years under the direction of a handful of leaders. Currently under the direction of Jim Keller, it has about 35 members ranging from 9-12 grade and from a total of 6 different high schools. Many of these students are highly talented in the performing arts and participate in their high school choirs. They come together each week to rehearse and eat together and they sing during the contemporary worship two times per month. Every year the choir takes a Tour over spring break and the destinations have ranged from Washington, D.C. to Seattle, WA to Scotland! It is the highlight of the year! In order to make this trip happen the group sets up various fundraising and this year is no exception. In the fall, they chose to set up a Pumpkin Patch in the Courtyard with fall snacks and pumpkin sales. In February they put on a Talent Show called Don’t Stop Believing where various students and friends put together acts to showcase their talents. The audience delighted in the extraordinary and diverse abilities of the Salt & Light High School Choir kids, their friends and family.

This year 20 students will be going on Tour and they will be visiting Indianapolis, Cincinnati, Dayton, Hanover, IN and Louisville. The stop in Dayton will include a visit to Devon Howard (and his wife Kimberly), former First Pres organist and accompanist to Salt & Light, supporters and chaperones. One of the benefits of going on Tour is the relationship building that takes place. The students come back with many stories of how they bonded with one another, developed a closer walk with Jesus, and shared their love of Jesus with others. This trip is truly an epic experience for many and the fact that they give up Spring Break vacation with their families is a testimony to that and their commitment to loving and serving others in the name of Jesus Christ!

Download a flyer for this event.

Faith in Our Music: Many Voices, Diverse Chords, Common Hopes

A music conference for clergy, church musicians, worship committees, and anyone interested in music in the church!  Featuring John Bell from the Iona Community in Scotland; Warren Cooper, who writes and performs sacred jazz music; and Amanda Powell, whose specialty is global music.

September 23-25, 2014 ~ Union Presbyterian Seminary Richmond Campus ~ $195 for the first two registrants from one church ($150 if registration is received by July 31); $125 for subsequent registrants from the same church. Includes dinner on Tuesday and Wednesday, lunch on Wednesday, and breakfast on Thursday.

Click here for more information and to register for Faith in Our Music:  Many Voices, Diverse Chords, Common Hopes.

Click here for a printable flyer to share with your congregation or denomination.

Concert Saturday evening at Bloomington First

Taifa Mziki
Kenyatta University

Sylvester Makobi, Director
Wilson Shitandi, Director

together with The International Vocal Ensemble
Jacobs School of Music, Indiana University

Katherine Strand, Director
Loida Pineda, Assistant Instructor


Building Cultural Bridges through Music and Art

March 8, 2014 at 7:00 PM

First Presbyterian Church, Bloomington Indiana

A note about Taifa Mziki:
Taifa Mziki was founded on 20th February 2010 by Collins Murambi and Sylvester Makobi who also serves as the group’s director. The name of the group means, ‘music which brings people together to make one nation.’ The group’s repertoire is mainly African pop music and folksongs arranged for male voices.

Being one of the best all male choral groups in Kenya, in 2012, the group participated in the first televised choir competition in East Africa, ‘The Kwaya,’ and thrilled fans due to their wonderful and creative performances. In 2011 the group was invited to perform during the premier of the International Student Film Festival held in Nairobi, Kenya. The group has also been performing in various corporate, state functions, and concerts.

Taifa Mziki members, most of them being University students, are involved in a choral music mentorship program in high schools in the country. Through this program, the group encourages young people to join or form choirs. The performances and workshops create a platform for the group to preach peace. The members of the group come from different ethnic communities and use the diversity as an opportunity to learn songs from different languages.

Taifa Mziki aims to be an ambassador of African Music.

New Hymnal Publication Celebration Events

sm_launch_logoHarvey Browne Presbyterian Church (Louisville, KY) is hosting one of the six national hymnal publication events. Join us Mar. 14-15, 2014 for two days of worship, workshops, and lectures. The conference is designed for everyone – pastors, musicians, worship committees, and ecumenical friends. Whether you have adopted the hymnal and want to immerse yourself in the contents, or just want to explore the possibilities within this new songbook, all are welcome.

Martha Moore-Keish and John Wurster will join the members of the Presbyterian Committee on Congregational Song (PCOCS) and Hymnal Project staff as presenters. Focus topics will include global music, how to teach a new hymn, the theology behind the notes, liturgy in Glory to God, and much more!

The $35 registration fee includes two meals, a pew edition of Glory to God, and much more. Register online today: Mark your calendars now for this important introduction!

Registration will close on March 3, 2014. A small number of walk-up registrations will be accepted. All Hymn Festivals and worship services are open to the public.

Presbyterian Center celebrates publication of new hymnal

Pre-orders of Glory to God will be delivered by Oct. 10

October 2, 2013

Presbyterian News Service
Bethany Daily

Employees at the Presbyterian Center here gathered this morning for worship and to celebrate the publishing of the new Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) hymnal, Glory to God.

At the beginning of the service, congregants sang the first two stanzas of “Holy, Holy, Holy! Lord God Almighty!” using the 1990 (blue) hymnal. Then, during an interlude, they processed to the front of the chapel and exchanged those hymnals for new ones. The remaining two stanzas of the hymn were sung from Glory to God.

“Music is important to the church, and this hymnal is going to be important to the church,” said the Rev. Gradye Parsons, stated clerk of the General Assembly.  More…

For a complete list of Glory to God content click here.

For more information about hymnal editions or events, or to order the hymnal, visit

Doctoral Music Students Present Recital

On Sunday, August 25th, at 2 p.m. the Mitchell Presbyterian Church will host a recital given by three Indiana University doctoral music students.  The classical piano/vocal recital is free to the public.  A free will offering with be gathered and given entirely to the music programs at Mitchell and Bedford Jr/Sr High Schools to provide assistance to students who might not otherwise be able to afford and receive a music education. Light refreshments will be available following the recital.

Please announce this information to your choir and congregation.   We are excited that these musicians are donating their substantial talent to benefit younger students.  The recital will be of benefit to all who attend because the music they present will be outstanding.

Sara Shields, Pastor
Mitchell Presbyterian church
520 State Road 60 East, Mitchell

It’ll be music for your soul!

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“Rockin’ at Rockville”

On Saturday, June 15, a small but enthusiastic group of Presbyterians were introduced to the new Presbyterian hymnal “Glory to God” at the Memorial Presbyterian Church in Rockville.  In a large sanctuary with beautiful organ and piano instruments available, two doctoral students at the Indiana University’s Jacobs School of Music helped show the new possibilities of using the hymnal–even in smaller congregations.

The Rockville Church has known great “days of glory” in the past, but presently struggles to attract newer and younger participants in a largely rural county with declining population.   Brian McNulty and Brian Mueller, along with Hymnal Advocate Rev. Tim Jessen, introduced ways to use contemporary music in exciting and innovative ways.   At one point, participants joined in praising God with drums and other percussion instruments, including an ordinary cast-iron frying pan.

The new hymnbook will include “old favorites,”  (and some omitted from recent denominational hymnals), as  well as new songs and hymns from around the globe.   Though participation in the two workshops to introduce the Hymnal in Ohio Valley was smaller in terms of both the number of  congregations and participants represented, those who attended were enthused, encouraged, and ready to sing joyfully “new (and old) songs of praise.”

Indeed, they were really “Rockin’ at Rockville” and enjoying the joy of music in praise.    It was heartwarming to see one of our smaller membership congregations provide such gracious and welcoming hospitality.

Thus far,  events have been held in Rockville and Jeffersonville, with a Region presentation earlier in Bloomington.  An additional workshop can be planned for the Evansville area, if there is enough interest.

Tim Jessen , Hymnal Advocate, Presbytery of Ohio Valley