Music Matters 2016!! April 29 – May 1 at Crossroads United Church, Delta, BC

We’re very excited to be holding our annual meeting and music education event this year at Crossroads United Church in Delta, BC (Vancouver area), in British Columbia Conference of The United Church. Visit our Eventbrite page to register. We’re looking forward to seeing you in Delta!

Registration cost:

  • Early bird registration by March 31 – $35
  • After March 31 – $50

If you’re coming from out of town, we have prepared a map with suggestions for local hotel accommodations.

Event schedule and details after the break…


6:30pm: Event Registration

7:00pm: Ode To Joyfulness: A Mini Hymn Singing Festival

A time to sing together, celebrating the diversity of music in The United Church of Canada! This is an open public event so invite your friends and family.


9:00am: Gathering with singing

9:15am – 5:00pm: Workshops with a lunch break

(lunch provided as part of your registration fee)


We’ll warm up our day with Fred Graham, a leading light in Canadian church and choral music, as he helps all of us and the singers we work with to sing “lustily and with good courage.” (Wesley) Fred will offer tips on where to stand, beside whom to stand, and how to stand to ensure consistent vocal support for the best results as we bring our best in the praise of the Creator.

A resident of Toronto, Dr. Fred Graham is Associate Professor Emeritus of Emmanuel College in the University of Toronto. As a staff person at the General Council, he was involved in preparing both Voices United (1996) and Celebrate God’s Presence (2000) and travelled widely to conduct workshops. Fred holds music degrees from the University of Toronto and the Eastman School of Music, as well as the PhD in Liturgical Studies from Drew University, New Jersey. He has practised music ministry throughout eastern Canada, and was recently honoured with the Fellowship of the Hymn Society for his contributions to congregational song. His publications include three hymn tunes, a book on Methodist hymns, and the authorized version of the Revised Common Lectionary. He is a Licensed Lay Worship Leader in the United Church.


With little or no warning, you are called upon to play the organ or a keyboard for worship. Keys you can handle, but what are stops or split points? What are pedals for? Why does organ music look different from piano music? These and other questions will be up for discussion with Lloyd MacLean, long-time church musician and blues piano player, as he assists musicians in navigating the changing world of keyboard accompaniment.

Lloyd MacLean serves as Music Director at Green Hill-Alma United, a small congregation in rural Nova Scotia, and more recently as Organist-Choir Director at First Presbyterian Church in New Glasgow, NS. Past duties (and joys!) have included being a part of the More Voices Development Team and former Music Editor of Gathering. He is currently Past Chair of Music United. He also plays piano with recording artists, the Common Cup Company. Lloyd is frequently disturbed by the theology expressed in Christian lyrics, old and new, but is always interested in exploring new attempts at sharing our beliefs in song.


11:30am: PANEL DISCUSSION: MINISTER/MUSICIAN RELATIONSHIPS AND EMPLOYMENT ISSUES – Karen Seagrave, Fred Graham, Cari Copeman-Haynes, Bruce Harding

How do we all get along, especially when there are power dynamics and unique congregational cultures at play? Join us for frank conversation as we share stories and learn from each other!

12:30pm: LUNCH (provided with your registration fee)


The art of singing in our churches needs a kick-start…a boost…a shot in the arm! We are forgetting the joy and meaningfulness that music can bring to our worship and our lives.
What is a Family Choir? Do we dummy-down for children? What can children teach the rest of us? Where do I find music that is theologically meaningful for a whole church family? These are just some of the questions for which we might find an answer, OR NOT. But at least we will try.

Alan C. Whitmore is an internationally known editor, workshop leader and worship facilitator. He has been associated with Wood Lake Publishing for over 20 years and has over 45 years of experience in congregational worship and music in Canada and the United States. Alan has edited over 10 music resources, the most current being The Sunshine Songbook due for released in the spring of 2016. One of his passions is engaging people of all ages in worship through the gift of music.

2:30pm: ANTHEM READING SESSION – Terry Head and Brenda McLay

This workshop session provides attendees with an opportunity to read through 10 up-to-date anthems focussing on different seasons within the liturgical year, that fit well within a United Church of Canada context.

Terry Head is currently the Minister of Music at Bridge Street United Church in Belleville, Ontario and has been in music ministry for over 20 years. Passionate about the gifts music ministry has to offer, Terry loves to share music through congregational singing, choral works and handbell ringing. Terry is regional convenor of Music United for the Bay of Quinte Conference, and is also Chair. Terry is looking forward to coming to Delta to share his love of sacred music with others and to lead the anthem reading session.


4:00pm: INTERCULTURAL AND INTERFAITH MUSIC – Bruce Harding and Amarjeet Singh

Sharing worship and music with people of other cultures and faiths can be a rich and rewarding experience for our faith communities, but bridging differences of musical language, theology, and worship practice can seem daunting. Through conversation and shared experience we’ll explore the blessings and challenges of welcoming “the other” into our midst.

Bruce Harding is a passionate lover of—and an advocate for – community song from around the world. He is a singer, song leader, composer and multi-instrumentalist, and was editor of More Voices, the most recent song collection for The United Church of Canada. Bruce serves as contractor for music ministry at Crossroads United Church in Delta, BC, teaches at the intercultural Naad Academy for the Visual and Performing Arts in Surrey, BC, and plays in a variety of global fusion ensembles.

Amarjeet Singh is director of the intercultural Naad Academy for the Visual and Performing Arts in Surrey, BC. A virtuoso tabla player and former faculty member at the University of Delhi, Amarjeet has played with distinguished artists from around the world, and is a regular part of the musical life of Crossroads United Church.

5:00pm Dinner break (on your own)

7:00pm: Annual General Meeting of Music United: The United Church of Canada Association of Musicians

All are welcome to attend this open meeting of our musicians association – the more, the merrier! Your presence and input would be greatly appreciated.


9:45am: Choir practice (join the choir for Sunday worship!)

10:30am: Morning Worship with Crossroads United Church congregation

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3 Responses to Music Matters 2016!! April 29 – May 1 at Crossroads United Church, Delta, BC

  1. Lois says:

    Just read the schedule, the price, the dates – – I’m in! Any hope of a billet Friday and Saturday evenings? That would sure be appreciated – – I am coming from Vancouver Island. I am really excited catching up with you folks again!

  2. I have a conflict with this event, so I can’t attend. But after 27 years as a United Church musician and finally being in a position where there is continuing education support, I still find I’m unable to take advantage. Is there any thoughts to record/livestream this event so that others across this country to could participate? I know it requires some technical know-how, and perhaps some additional expense, but this is just the type of event I’m looking for and am again unable to attend due to distance and schedule conflicts. Any suggestions?

    • Moderator says:

      Recording and streaming are a great idea – we’ve been experimenting with video recording at recent events, but haven’t yet been happy with the resulting quality (given our shoestring ministry budget). We’ll see what we can do for next weekend in Delta! Thanks for the suggestion.

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