A Publication of the Christian Fellowship of Art Music Composers (CFAMC) Andy Sauerwein, editor
NOTE: The views expressed herein are not necessarily those of CFAMC, nor of the editor.
In this issue:
- From the Editor
- Welcome New Members!
- Reflections on the National Conference
- News of Note: Activities of CFAMC Composers
- CFAMC listening pages
FROM THE EDITOR:
First, an apology: The CONCERTed OFFERING is (*ahem*) a quarterly publication, and its editor has utterly failed to maintain that standard over this last academic year. Lord willing, the issue is resolved, and quarterly issues will once again issue forth. I ask your forgiveness and invite you to renew your involvement with CFAMC.
Since our national conference at Northwestern College of Iowa last September, CFAMC has been somewhat quiet-but not without reason. The board has been thinking and praying through some new initiatives designed to renew and refocus CFAMC’s purpose and vision as a fellowship, as a body of God’s children committed to encouraging and sharpening one another as we pursue the creative process we call “art music.” Important, significant things are brewing, and this means (among other things) warfare in the spiritual realm.
Yes, warfare. The CFAMC list is relatively silent, as Tony Leung has most recently noted (yes, puns intended: he gets the high score for his most recent pitch), and the newsletter went into hibernation. We are “busy”, occupied with individual demands and problems, distracted and unfocused by media overload. If you are like me, you are brimming with visions and ideas but fighting to stay rooted in the daily process of seeking God, finding balance, persisting in obedience. This is also the story of CFAMC, at present: our individual challenges crowd in on the “long obedience” required to sustain long-distance relationships, and the weight of things works a wicked entropy. We live in a fallen world. No surprise.
But what great hope we have in the love of the Father, the work of Christ, the strength of the Holy Spirit! In some marvelous way, God weaves even darkness and weakness into his perfect expression of his glorious light and strength. We may see only the cracked cup and the spills with our mortal eyes, but our cups are overflowing with the Lord’s gracious provision. “God has won the war,” my pastor recently said, “now go fight the battle!”
I recently returned from a musical mission to Peru. For two weeks, faculty and students from Belhaven College worked with PeruMission to bring music, vision, encouragement, and training to churches, schools, and colleges in Trujillo and Cajamarca. The weight of poverty (physical and spiritual) in their society has distracted many Peruvians from pursuing the gifts of beauty and truth God has given all of us by creating us in his image, so we encouraged people to revitalize the creative pursuit of musical beauty and excellence. Through the entire process, the Lord made it clear to us that HE was the author and finisher of our efforts to serve him. My own sense of purpose and focus was deeply renewed, and I find myself now more firmly wrapped up in seeking God and practicing daily obedience to his calling and purpose.
This, too, is warfare: moreso than in Peru, here we have the same kinds of immense distractions, the same erosion, the same leaking cups. In spite of the renewal I experienced upon visiting Peru, daily life easily devolves into an exotic jumble of detours. CFAMC navigates this same dynamic. God is at work, winning the war through us and in spite of us. On some days, the compelling vision of fellowship and renewal in the world of art music seems lost in fruitless distraction. Yet the vision remains compelling, and CFAMC continues to look for God’s direction and purpose, to fix our eyes on the overflowing cup Christ continues to fill.
Whether you’re relatively new to the fellowship, or have long involvement, I invite you to shake off the distractions which “so easily entangle” and continue running the race God has marked out for us. For me, this means getting the newsletter out on time. It means renewing and continuing friendships within the fellowship. It means figuring out who the other Mississippi CFAMCers are, and getting to know them. It means asking God to direct my steps, and then trying to keep up with his pace. To this end I pray, not only for me but for all of us connected to CFAMC. May we find God’s vision for the fellowship and the committed passion to encourage one another and sharpen one another, as Christ has called us.
Grace and peace be with you, in the name of Jesus Christ.
WELCOME NEW MEMBERS!
CFAMC has welcomed several new faces since last Summer. Take some time to welcome them into the fellowship and get to know them, especially if they live in your neck of the woods. See the CFAMC web site for contact information.
- Jesse Ayers
- Benjamin Fraley (Ars Deum Percussion Duo)
- James Geiger
- David Messer
- Gerald Bouma
- Richard Pressley
- Mathew Monticchio
- Sarah Majorins
- Patrick Peringer
REFLECTIONS ON THE NATIONAL CONFERENCE
(held in conjunction with the Iowa Composers Forum at Northwestern College of Iowa, in Orange City, September 2006)
David Davies writes: “This was my first national CFAMC conference, and I was truly encouraged by the experience. It was so refreshing to spend time in conversation with fellow brothers and sisters who share a passion for the Lord and art music. I was also greatly encouraged by the quality of music and music making that occurred over the weekend. How great to see what the Lord is doing through His people to build the kingdom. For those who’ve yet to attend a CFAMC conference, I strongly encourage you not to miss the next one…. I certainly won’t.”
William Vollinger writes: “This year’s CFAMC conference was a meaningful and stimulating experience. Thanks particularly to Marc Wooldridge and a host of other wonderful musicans, I was blessed to hear music by many of my colleague brothers and sisters and meet them, as well as some (perhaps) non-Christians. I felt like a plant in a garden getting transported to look at other plants. What a variety of creations, and all alive! But I think the high point was the closing Sunday morning worship service at Northwestern, led by Heather Josselyn-Cranson. To me it was a send-off for us to continue the work God has given us to do. I left with a profound sense of the importance God places on what we create, more than we ourselves often dare to realize. A scripture that comes to mind is ‘Whatever you do, do heartily as for the Lord rather than for men.'”
NEWS OF NOTE: ACTIVITIES OF CFAMC COMPOSERS
Congratulations to one and all! Knowing that we are God’s workmanship, we encourage readers to celebrate God’s work through members’ creative efforts, and offer thanksgiving for opportunities to bring our music to life.
Here are a few reports. For more, see .
Tony K. T. Leung writes: “Today (May 14) is the public launch of a project called ‘Influence of Many Musics’ created by the Canadian Music Centre (http://www.musiccentre.ca/influences/index.cfm?language=en). I am one of the 40 composers featured. I am grouped under the theme ‘Other Musics.’ Under my profile, you will be able to hear the full length orchestral recording of my ‘In the beginning’.” [editor’s note: this work is recorded on Masterworks of the New Era, vol. 9]. Tony also had the premiere of his “Snakes and Ladders” by the Regina Symphony Orchestra Chamber Players last November in Regina, Saskatchewan. See <http://www.reginasymphony.com/special.htm> for more details.
Last October, Frank Felice gave a recital of some of his piano-centric pieces, in all sorts of combinations and genres, at Butler University. Among other works, the concert featured the Biblical piece “…a chasing after the wind” for alto flute and piano (based on Ecclesiastes) and the premiere of Frank’s “Concerto for Toy Piano and iPod” (which he describes as “an obviously serious piece”).
Andy Sauerwein presented a concert of chamber works at Belhaven College last January, including the premiere of his “Seven ‘O’ Antiphons” for voices, instruments, and congregation. The audience got to sing along.
CFAMC LISTENING PAGES (ongoing)
Would you be like to prepare a CFAMC listening page of your music? Would you like to share your God-given talent with your Christian colleagues? The CFAMC listening page goes out as an e-mail to those in the CFAMC e-mail discussion group on Yahoo (plus some other people) in the middle of each month, with an mp3 audio link and an explanation. If you are interested, this would require on your part:
1. Your choice of a composition of yours, preferably not more than 10 minutes long, either as an mp3 attachment to an e-mail, or as a CD mailed to:
21 Ruckman Road
Woodcliff Lake, NJ 07677
Please do not use “snippets” (short excerpts of pieces). Complete pieces, or movements, or longer excerpts, are preferred. The mp3s are streamed on Bill’s audio hosting service by a link on the listening page e-mail, and are not downloadable. Each piece is linked to a URL address on the monthly CFAMC listening page, which is kept active for at least three months after your page goes out. They are recorded at 32 kpbs, making it easier for those with slower dialups to listen. Sending the following in the body of an e-mail to (not as an attachment, since I use a Mac).
2. Correct title(s) and names of the performers of your music
3. A description of the piece
4. If it’s vocal, a text, which if it’s in another language than English, would include both the original language and an English translation.
5. A statement of your faith
6. A brief bio
7. Your e-mail address and website URL
All this material, plus links, is assembled by me and sent back for you to proofread first. One final (but minor) request, try to avoid the use of quotation marks and apostrophes, as the two symbols sometimes get electronically mistranslated on other people’s e-mails.
If you do not subscribe to the CFAMC email discussion group, please sign up with this Yahoo! e-group by scrolling down to the bottom of the main page of the CFAMC website site: <http://www.cfamc.org>. This is a valuable service to keep our geographically scattered Christian composer members “in tune” with each other. If you’d like to see our latest listening page, go to <http://groups.yahoo.com/group/cfamc/message/1563>. Please contact Bill Vollinger at if you’re interested.
Although CFAMC is not a clearinghouse for conference and competition announcements, we do like to point out a handful of interesting and unusual events which might interest members. Many of these are culled from the CFAMC email list, and the editor welcomes suggestions for announcements.
December 2006: The Symphony of Oak Park and River Forest Walter A. Horban, Composition Competition. The Symphony of Oak Park and River Forest announces the Walter A. Horban Composition Competition. The winning award is $2,000. This competition is open to composers, who reside in or attend schools in Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Michigan and Wisconsin.
* The composition submitted must be a new composition that has never been performed.
* The composition must be written between September 1, 2006 and May 28, 2007.
* The composition can be no longer than 15 minutes in length.
* The composition is to bridge the gap between the Classical and Pop fields of music.
* The style of the composition can include pop, jazz, and classical.
* The contest deadline is May 28, 2007. The winner will be informed by August 1, 2007. * The winning composition will be performed by The Symphony of Oak Park and River Forest in the spring of 2008. The orchestration may include but can be larger than: 1st violins, 2nd violins, violas, cellos, basses, 2 flutes, piccolo, 2 oboes, English horn, 2 clarinets, 2 bassoons, 4 horns, 3 trumpets, 2 trombones, bass trombone, tuba and percussion (standard for an orchestra).
* Applications with a CD or a tape and a score, full or piano, should be sent to: Composer Competition, The mail Room, 618 S. Northwest Hwy., PMB#306, Barrington, Illinois, 60010, with a postmark no later than May 28, 2007. The Composer Competition email address is: . (www.symphonyoprf.com)