This webinar will give tangible, practical steps for one of the most important Reformation legacies for the Lutheran church—the training and instruction of young musicians who enter a world marked by rapid technological and cultural change. We will also take stock of where we are in this time and place, to assess the challenges posed by the pandemic and anticipate creative opportunities for what may come.
Like birthdays, anniversaries, and other life milestones, the church’s calendar of festivals and commemorations invites wide-ranging reflection on the past, present, and future. In the fall of 2020, Reformation Sunday (October 25) is followed by the annual commemoration of Lutheran hymn writers Philipp Nicolai, Johann Heermann, and Paul Gerhardt (October 26). Both dates are significant for the vocations of church musicians: the Reformation helped establish the importance of congregational singing in the Lutheran church while Nicolai, Heermann, and Gerhardt penned memorable hymns, often writing in times of pestilence and tribulation. These commemorations are especially noteworthy in 2020, for we have been challenged to think anew about longstanding practices—both liturgical and pedagogical—that we have sometimes taken for granted. Like our forebears, we ask: “What does this mean?” And, perhaps more urgently: “What are we to do?”
The webinar is led by Cantor Chad Fothergill (LSM ‘00) who has taught organ and church music at LSM since 2018. In addition, he serves as editor of the Association of Lutheran Church Musicians journal CrossAccent, is a member of the advisory council for the Institute of Liturgical Studies at Valparaiso University, and is author of Sing with all the People of God: A Handbook for Church Musicians, a new (2020) volume of the Worship Matters series published by Augsburg Fortress.