Explore different techniques for creating an engaging atmosphere for worship. Geared toward band-led worship, there will be application for all approaches and styles. Some of the ideas presented will come from a book published this year called, Flow: The Ancient Way to Do Contemporary Worship (Abingdon Press, 2020), edited by Lester Ruth.
Register for the webinar through the Association of Lutheran Church Musician’s website: https://alcm.org/news-events/webinars/.
Michael Brady has released three tracks in “Psalm Settings.” These are musical arrangements of Psalm 27:1-4, 73:24-28, and 100.
by DeAndre Johnson
(posted May 27, 2020)
Two weeks ago, I posted my own musings concerning the wrongful death of another black man, and now I find myself today still coming to grips with news of still yet another life gone. I feel all the more today the truth of the prophet/poet James Baldwin: “To be a Negro in this country and to be relatively conscious, is to be in a rage almost all the time.”
I’m offering these words, yet one more time – not because I need the attention or pity (I don’t), but because I need the release from the anger, the hurt, the fear and the doubt. I’ve added a couple of stanzas for today. Also, some have asked me to set it to music, which I have included here.
There are no words that can contain
The depth of sorrow, grief and pain
That mothers, sons, and all exclaim:
“It is enough!”, the prophets cry
Yet still black men are doomed to die
By those who wish to vilify:
It is enough! The harm must cease
From warring madness by police
Who are sworn to protect, keep peace:
It is enough! We cannot wait!
No more excuse for bias, hate!
Your savagery we cannot take:
It is enough! We cannot breathe!
Will you stand there and watch us bleed?
Are you not moved by cries and pleas?
No! No more death! It is enough!
No more dead sons! It is enough!
No! No more tears for lives cut short:
O my soul, it aches and yearns
For a day when passions burn
For others with deep love, concern:
I’ve had enough of these charades,
Of clichés and hasty crusades
Whose triteness wounds and cuts like blades:
There are no words that can contain
The depth of wounds our souls sustain
Each time a grieving heart exclaims:
Location: TUNE UP is being held at Christ Church Sugar Land (3300 Austin Parkway, Sugar Land, TX 77479). The event will begin in the sanctuary; look for the signs when you arrive.
What to bring: If you’re a guitarist, feel free to bring your acoustic, electric, or bass guitar (no amplifiers, please). This is optional though; don’t feel like you have to bring your instrument. You might also like to bring something to take notes with.
Schedule: You can view the schedule for Saturday here. Check-in and registration begins at 9:00 AM, gathering music starts at 9:15 AM, and the event will start at 9:30 AM. The event will conclude by 3:30 PM.
Tracks: When your group registered, you were signed up for an instrumental, vocal, or worship leader track. Please plan to attend the track you were registered for during the “instrumental track” option. After that, you are free to pick from the available options for the “conceptual track.” If you decide you’d like to switch instrumental tracks – no problem. You can view the track options here.
Food: Lunch is provided for this event. We’re sorry, but we don’t have a vegetarian or gluten free option. There will also be coffee and breakfast items available in the morning.
#TUNEUP19: #TUNEUP19 is the hash tag for the event. Share your tweets and instagrams.
Thanks for joining us and we look forward to a great event on Saturday!
Clayton Faulkner & Richard Birk,
Welcome to 2019! We are excited to bring worship leaders and church musicians together for two events this year.
March 23, 2019 – Psalm Immersion with Richard Bruxvoort Colligan
August 17, 2019 – TUNE UP worship band gathering
Richard Bruxvoort Colligan is a psalmist making adventurous music for the ever-evolving church. A composer and musician, he serves across denominations singing songs, teaching the psalms and telling dumb jokes.
He has recorded several albums of original worship music, and his hymns have been published by the UCC, ELCA, UMC and PCUSA. Richard earned his M.A. in Theology and the Arts from United Theological Seminary of the Twin Cities and is currently working on his DMin through Eden Seminary in St. Louis. Since 2004, his central vocation has been immersion in the Psalms, studying, teaching, singing and creating new congregational songs for all 150. He teaches Psalms at several seminaries, in workshop at events and local churches and he is the weekly Psalm Correspondent for the Pulpit Fiction podcast.
He lives with his wife and teenage son in Strawberry Point, Iowa. Free listening at PsalmImmersion.com.
Registration for the Psalm Immersion will open soon. Registration for the TUNE UP gathering in August will open after Easter.
Stay tuned for more updates.
Thank you to everyone who attended the TUNE UP gathering on Saturday, August 5, 2017. Thank you to the volunteers and Messiah Lutheran Church for hosting us. Thank you to Larry Bose for capturing our day together with photos. This was our fifth year of TUNE UP and we are so blessed that you came and learned with us.
We had over 70 participants from 19 different churches all around the Houston area join us for this day of training and networking. The gathering began with opening worship and presentations from Brian Hehn, Clayton Faulkner, and Richard Birk. They covered the subject of diversity in church music with each presenting on genre, selecting songs pastorally, and why we should incorporate hymns into band-led worship. Then everyone divided into instrumental/vocal/tech tracks, and conceptual tracks. The instrumental tracks were divided by specific area (worship leader, acoustic/electric guitar, bass guitar, keyboard, drums, vocals, and sound tech). Conceptual track offerings included sessions on improving your worship band, running an effective rehearsal, increasing congregational singing, and using video technology. During the “Coaching for Bands” session a volunteer church band from Autumn Creek Baptist Church in Houston received feedback and help with their music from a panel of track leaders.
We want you to know about these helpful resources from some of our track leaders:
- Richard Birk has an ensemble called “Jazz Sunday” that provides music for churches on Sunday mornings.
- Michael Brady has a podcast called “The Worship Lab Podcast” that has great info for worship leaders and church musicians.
- Brian Hehn is launching “The Center for Congregational Song” with an event this October in Dallas.
Thanks for a great event and stay tuned for future event announcements…
Hello everyone! Thanks for checking out our TUNE UP website. We are excited to announce that we have a date and location set for our gathering this year!
TUNE UP 2017 will take place on Saturday, August 5, at Messiah Lutheran Church in Cypress, TX (11522 Telge Road, Cypress , TX 77429). We are looking forward to being in a new venue a little bit further to the west of Houston. We have many returning leaders, as well as some new faces joining us.
Registration will open on the website sometime after Easter. Please get the word out to your teams and bands.
On Saturday, August 20, 2016, the TUNE UP worship band gathering was held. Over 60 worship musicians, pastors, sound techs, and video techs assembled on the campus of Faith Lutheran Church in Bellaire, TX for a multi-denominational training event. Continuing in its fourth year, the event was organized by the Worship Excellence Team of the TX-LA Gulf Coast Synod (ELCA) to improve the quality of band-led worship in smaller churches.
The assembled musicians and techs represented 14 congregations including Lutheran, Presbyterian, Baptist, and United Methodist churches. Participants traveled from as far as Austin, Texas and DeRidder, Louisiana to attend the training event.
The gathering began with opening worship and a panel discussion about the intersection of worship and culture. Then everyone divided into instrumental/vocal/tech tracks, and conceptual tracks. The instrumental tracks were divided by specific area (worship leader, acoustic guitar, electric guitar, bass guitar, keyboard, drums, vocals, sound tech, and video tech). Conceptual track offerings included sessions on music theory, collaborative worship design, making worship contextual, live streaming, and a web tool called Planning Center Online. During the “Coaching for Bands” session a volunteer church band from Messiah Lutheran in Cypress received feedback and help with their music from a panel of track leaders.
One of our special guests for the event was Brian Hehn, Director of The Center for Congregational Song at The Hymn Society in the U.S. and Canada. Brian, who joined the house band on percussion, had this to say: “Great event. Thanks for doing this important work. The overall spirit of the event and people who attended/led was very joyful and kind-spirited.” Watch the website for details on upcoming events: TuneUpGathering.org.
We have a date for this year’s event: Saturday, August, 20, 2016! The event location this year will be back at Faith Lutheran Church, 4600 Bellaire Blvd, Bellaire, TX 77401. We have many returning leaders as well as some new faces to lead and inspire us this year. Registration will be opening after Easter.
On Saturday, August 8, 2015, the TUNE UP worship band gathering was held. Over 100 worship musicians, pastors, sound techs, and video techs assembled on the campus of Westbury United Methodist Church in Houston, TX for a multi-denominational training event. Hosting over 100 participants for the third year in a row, the event was organized by the Worship Excellence Team of the TX-LA Gulf Coast Synod (ELCA) to improve the quality of band-led worship in smaller churches.
The assembled musicians and techs represented over 20 congregations including Lutheran, Nazarene, Baptist, United Methodist, and Non-Denominational churches. Churches from all over Texas including San Antonio, Austin, and the Houston vicinity were represented.
The gathering began with opening worship and a panel discussion about the issues facing church musicians today. Then everyone divided into instrumental/vocal/tech tracks, and conceptual tracks. The instrumental tracks were divided by specific area (worship leader, acoustic guitar, electric guitar, bass guitar, keyboard, drums, Latin percussion, vocals, sound tech, and video tech). Conceptual track offerings included sessions on hospitality in worship, multicultural worship, creative worship planning, and loops and multi-tracks in worship. During the “Coaching for Bands” session a volunteer church band received feedback and help with their music from a panel of track leaders. Then an “Instant Band” was formed from volunteer participants that had never played together. They were able to learn and arrange a song on the fly. An optional post-event included a tour of the worship technology at Houston’s First Baptist Church.
One attendee commented, “Great clinic! Thank you very much! My band mates and I returned home fired up for the future of our band!” Watch the website for details on upcoming events: TuneUpGathering.org.
Registration for the 2015 TUNE UP worship band gathering is open! Go HERE to register online (only 1 registration per church needed; $25/person, $150 max per church).
We have new presenters and track options this year. We also have a new venue! We will gather at Westbury United Methodist Church (5200 Willowbend Blvd, Houston, TX 77096) for a great day of learning and sharing ideas. Bring your whole worship team and don’t forget the techs!
Join us Saturday, August 8, 2015!
Photos by Larry Bose.
We are looking for churches and other organizations to help make the TUNE UP worship band gathering a success by donating toward the event. Your support of this event will help keep registration costs affordable for everyone.
For a $500 sponsorship, your church/organization would be listed as a sponsor on the promotional material as well as the event website. Additionally, you can send as many members from your worship team and congregation to the event at no further registration cost. We know that many churches see the fruits of offering a quality worship music experience and would like to invest in making this possible for other churches. We would greatly appreciate your help in providing financial support to further equip and enhance worship band ministry throughout our synod and beyond.
For further questions or to join as a sponsor, please use our Contact form.
Thanks to everyone who attended the TUNE UP worship band gathering on Saturday! We had a great event and were glad you all came. I hope you took something new back to your church for worship and music.
If you haven’t taken the online survey, please do so and give us some feedback. This was our first event and we would love to hear your suggestions. Click here for the survey.
Stay tuned to this website for announcements and details about future TUNE UP events.
Here is a list of the songs we used in worship on August 10:
- Hallelujah, We Sing Your Praises (ELW 535, South African, arr. Richard Birk)
- Glory to God Forever (Steve Fee and Vicky Beeching)
- Come, Let Us Worship God (Ray Makeever)
- 10,000 Reasons (Jonas Myrin and Matt Redman)
- All the Earth Will Sing Your Praises (Paul Baloche)
- Somos uno en Cristo/We Are All One in Christ (ELW 643, Anonymous, arr. Richard Birk)
- How Great Thou Art/How Great Is Our God (ELW 856 Stuart Hine/Chris Tomlin, Ed Cash, Jesse Reeves)
- The Only One (Chris Tomlin, Carson, Reeves, Maher, Gilder, Scott, Ingram)
- Our God (Chris Tomlin, Redman, Myrin, Reeves)
- There Is a Balm in Gilead (ELW 614, African American spiritual, arr. Richard Birk)
We also showed two videos: