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Archive for the Music and Singing Category


Jul 11

Resources for Congregational Listening and Singing

2012 | by Trent Hunter | Category: Music and Singing,Recommended Resources,Sermon Follow-Up

In Sunday’s sermon, “A Both/And Kind of Praise: The Form,” Ryan addressed a number of principles that give shape to our Sunday gatherings.

The Role of the Sermon Listener

We learned that corporate praise should be both pastoral and participatory. So, while some are responsible for leading in song, all of us are part of the “church choir.” We should be engaged in singing, in relating with one another, and in prayer. But we should also be engaged in the preaching. That is, we should actively listen to and digest Sunday’s sermon as it comes at us. Much of our listening in a week is passive. Not this listening.

To help with this, there are two resources available at the Resource Center that teach us sermon listening skills:

Expository Listening: A Practical Handbook for Hearing and Doing God’s Word
by Ken Ramey

Listen Up!: A Practical Guide to Listening to Sermons
by Christopher Ash

Principles for Song Selection

Song selection is pastorally directed as well, a function of the shepherding role of our leaders. And our leaders aim to select songs that are singable and encourage our unified engagement in song. In addition, our praise, as Ryan explained, should connect us with the past and the present. For this reason, we work to utilize the best of older and newer songs for congregational singing. We want to sing songs that accurately, thoughtfully, and beautifully express the truth we love in a manner that fits that truth.

Several writers and writing groups are worth mentioning, each devoted to serving the church with texts and music for congregational singing.

Keith and Krystin Getty are modern hymn writers. You might recognize the songs, “In Christ Alone,” “By Faith,” or “O Church, Arise.” We have the Gettys to thank for those tunes and many others. Their two popular albums are, In Christ Alone, and Awaken the Dawn.  

Then, there’s Sovereign Grace Music, writing new songs and putting old songs to new tunes. You might be familiar with “Arise My Soul, Arise,” or “Now Why This Fear.” Both of these songs are from the newest Sovereign Grace album, From Age to Age.

Another group to check out is Sojourn Music, from Sojourn Church in Louisville, KY. Like Sovereign Grace Music, Sojourn writes a number of their own songs, and sets some of the better older songs to updated or new arrangements. A full list of songs with links for purchase is available here, including “Before the Throne of God Above,” “Warrior,” and “Absent from Flesh.” Examples of excellent songs that might not be familiar to you are, “Glory Be,” “Only Your Blood,” and “In The Shadow of The Glorious Cross.”

And, of course, at DSC we sing newer songs, many written by our own members, and older songs with updated arrangements. Click here for albums previously released by DSC, and check back to DSC’s bandcamp page for a slow trickle of free downloads of songs recorded at last year’s Cause for Praise concert, including, “He Hideth My Soul,” and “Kyrie (Lord, Have Mercy).”

The most important singing we do in a week is on Sunday morning when we’re together. But you can’t go wrong by investing in some of these songs for listening throughout the week.

Apr 30

“He Hideth My Soul,” Now Available for Download

2012 | by Trent Hunter | Category: Music and Singing

Last October, DSC hosted the second annual Cause for Praise. The concert was recorded and several songs will be released digitally and made available for free.

The first song to be released, “He Hideth My Soul,” is now available for download at DSC’s Bandcamp page.

A wonderful Savior is Jesus my Lord,
a wonderful Savior to me;
He hideth my soul in the cleft of the rock,
where rivers of pleasure I see.

He hideth my soul in the cleft of the rock
that shadows a dry, thirsty land;
He hideth my life in the depths of His love,
and covers me there with His hand;
and covers me there with His hand.

When clothed in His brightness, transported I rise
to meet Him in clouds of the sky;
His perfect salvation, His wonderful love,
I’ll shout with the millions on high.

He hideth my soul in the cleft of the rock
that shadows a dry, thirsty land;
He hideth my life in the depths of His love,
and covers me there with His hand;
and covers me there with His hand.

Following the first Cause for Praise in 2010, DSC released a live album, Cause for Praise, available at Amazon. And at the second annual concert in 2011, DSC released an album of Psalms set to song titled, Psalterium, Vol. 1, also available at Amazon.

Mar 23

For The Joy of Music and the Glory of God – Program and Pictures

2010 | by Zach Nielsen | Category: Administrative,Music and Singing

Here was the program for the night.  We had a great time.  I’ll be posting some audio and video soon.

Zach Nielsen:
Fugue in C minor – Johann Sebastian Bach
Fugue in E minor – Johann Sebastian Bach

Leslie Peltier:
Traumerei — Robert Schumann
Song Without Words in D Major, Op. 109 (posthumous) — Felix Mendelssohn
The Swan — Camille Saint-Saens
accompanied by Dianne Maier

The Zach Nielsen Trio:
Waiting for Charlie – Alan Broadbent
Nardis – Miles Davis
The Face of Love – Esbjorn Svensson

Leslie Peltier:
Sonata in C Major, Op. 119 for Cello and Piano — Sergei Prokofiev
accompanied by Matthew Stewart

The Zach Nielsen Trio:
Black Nile – Wayne Shorter
Message in a Bottle – The Police

Nov 2

Humility and Church Singing

2009 | by Zach Nielsen | Category: Music and Singing

“Years ago, I was in England at a large Christian conference. During one seminar, we were led in corporate worship by a guitarist whom I thought was average in every respect. As he finished what I would describe as a sorry time of worship in song, the elderly gentleman to my side turned my way. With a glowing smile, he asked, “That was simply lovely, wasn’t it?” I wanted to say no, but the Holy Spirit caught my tongue before the answer slipped out. What I realized was that only one of us had been worshipping God during that time. And it wasn’t me. I was busy worshipping myself, exulting in my knowledge of worship, my experiences, my training, my background. Needless to say, God wasn’t impressed. ‘But this is the one to whom I will look: he
who is humble and contrite in spirit and trembles at my word’ (Isa 66:2b ESV). May God grant us grace to truly seek His reputation above our own each time we meet to worship Him.”

– Bob Kauflin, Worship Matters

Oct 21

On Musical Preferences in the Church

2009 | by Zach Nielsen | Category: Music and Singing

Bob Kauflin:

How many of our thoughts about music and worship revolve around what we like, what we prefer, what interests us, and what we find appealing? And how often is that attitude passed on to the next generation, who then focus on what appeals to them?

I suspect this may be one of the reasons churches develop separate meetings for different musical tastes. In the short run it may bring more people to your church. But in the long run it keeps us stuck in the mindset that musical styles have more power to divide us than the gospel has to unite us. (my emphasis)

How do we pass on biblical values of worship to coming generations when we can’t even sing in the same room with them?

We have to look beyond our own generation, both past and future, if we’re to clearly understand what God wants us to do now. Otherwise we can be guilty of a chronological narcissism that always views our generation as the most important one. As Winston Churchill insightfully wrote, “The further back you can look, the further forward you can see.”

Enough thinking about ourselves and what kind of music we like to use to worship God. God wants us to have an eye on our children, our grandchildren, and even our great grandchildren. We have a message to proclaim: “God is good, for His steadfast love endures forever.”

Let’s not allow shortsightedness or selfish preferences keep us from proclaiming it together.

Read the rest.