Music Matters 2017!! May 5-7, 2017 at St. Andrew’s College, Saskatoon, SK

We’re very excited to be holding our annual meeting and music education event this year at St. Andrew’s College in Saskatoon, SK, in Saskatchewan Conference of The United Church! Our official programme begins on Saturday, May 6, but since we’re partnering with St. Andrew’s College this year we thought it would be fun to hold our event on convocation weekend, when many people are in the city already for the festivities.

 Visit our Eventbrite page to register. $45 registration (Saturday lunch included). Everyone who is interested in church music is welcome – choir directors and singers, organists/pianists and instrumentalists, all levels of ability. We’re looking forward to seeing you in Saskatoon!

We have recommendations for accommodation for out-of-town attendees and parking information for St. Andrew’s College here.

Event schedule and workshop information after the break…

FRIDAY, MAY 5th at Knox United Church, 838 Spadina Crescent East, Saskatoon, SK

7:00pm: Convocation celebration for the Saskatoon Theological Union

We’ll hold up a Music United sign after convocation – all Music Matters attendees are welcome to join us for a relaxing time of fellowship, location TBA

SATURDAY, MAY 6th at St. Andrew’s College, 1121 College Drive
Saskatoon, SK

8:30-9:00am: Registration

9:00-9:15 am: Gathering with singing

9:15-10:10 am: DRUMMING FOR WORSHIP – Helen Barclay

The hand drumming (and small auxilliary percussion) workshop will explore different techniques of playing various hand drums and small percussion instruments. Brief warm-up and centering activities will begin the workshop, and “how to listen to each other”, and playing as a team will be worked on as well. As a group participants will learn some rhythms in various time signatures and try them with a selection of hymns from Voices United and More Voices books. Layering of rhythms to enhance and not crowd the music is our goal!

Helen Barclay began percussion studies at the University of Regina and earned her Bachelor of Music Performance degree from McGill University. In Montreal she played in many ensembles including Lènsemble Percussion de McGill under Pierre Beluse, the Group of the Electronic Music Studio (G.E.M.S.) and Harmonie 5 Steel Band. She has recorded for CBC Radio and Radio Canada. Helen spent 2 semesters as artist in residence at the Banff Centre of Fine Arts and then returned to Saskatchewan. She has played in various ensembles, the Regina and Saskatoon Symphony Orchestras, and she now lives in Kindersley with her family and has a busy private music studio of percussion, piano and theory students, percussion ensembles and drum circles. Helen composes and arranges percussion music and she and her sister also run an annual summer Arts camp in Kindersley. As well she enjoys teaching clinics, band camps and adjudicating. She and her husband BIll Rosher operate an organic grain farm around Kindersley.

10:15-11:10 am: MUSIC RESOURCES & COPYRIGHT – Bruce Harding and Music United executive members

Are you mystified by copyright issues regarding copying and performing music in your congregation? Are you looking for help finding resources for music which suits the ethos of your community? This workshop session is for you!

Bruce Harding is a passionate lover of—and an advocate for—community song in Christian community. He is a singer, song leader, multi-instrumentalist, and a composer whose songs are sung in churches across Canada, the USA, Australia and beyond. Bruce served as managing editor for More Voices, the most recent song collection for The United Church of Canada. He comes to us from New Westminster, BC, where he serves as music minister 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.

11:10-11:30 am: break (coffee/tea/snacks provided as part of your registration fee)

11:30 am-12:25 pm: LEADING WORSHIP IN TRANSITION TIMES – St. Paul’s United Church Worship Design Team

A workshop with music and worship leaders from St. Paul’s United Church in Saskatoon, exploring different ideas that help us to consistently shape worship – a focus on the behind-the-scenes; preparation with intention; adaptability; challenge and opportunity; leadership training…and much more!

12:30-1:30 pm: lunch (provided as part of your registration fee)

1:30-2:25 pm: VOCAL TECHNIQUES – Fred Graham

Fred Graham, a leading light in Canadian church and choral music, will help 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.


SONGWRITING 101 – Jason Locke and Bruce Harding

The Spirit calls forth songs in all of us, but sometimes we need a bit of help listening to her voice! Join Jason Locke and Bruce Harding for a quick but informative romp through the songwriting process, after which we will write and share simple songs together, in groups or individually, as the Spirit calls.

Jason Locke bio coming soon

See Bruce Harding bio above…


An exploration of the use of handbells in worship, as well as ideas for variations in ensemble work.

See Terry Head’s bio below…

3:25-3:45 pm: break (coffee/tea/snacks provided as part of your registration fee)

3:45-4:40: ANTHEM READING SESSION – Terry Head and Wendy Fraser

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 First-St. Andrew’s United Church in London, 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 London Conference, and is also Chair. Terry is looking forward to coming to Saskatoon to share his love of sacred music with others and to lead the anthem reading session with Wendy.

Wendy Fraser bio coming soon

4:45-5:00: Workshop wrap-up, comments, and feedback

5:00pm Dinner break (on your own)



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


10:30am: Morning Worship, St. Paul’s United Church, 454 Egbert Avenue, Saskatoon

2:00pm: Annual General Meeting of Music United: The United Church of Canada Association of Musicians, at St. Andrew’s College

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

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6 Responses to Music Matters 2017!! May 5-7, 2017 at St. Andrew’s College, Saskatoon, SK

  1. Ellen Wilson says:

    I hope to attend the whole day but may need to miss a session.

  2. Moderator says:

    No problem, Ellen. Come for as much as you can!

  3. Carolyn says:

    Is there a deadline for registration?

  4. Moderator says:

    No deadline, Carolyn. You can even register on the day if you prefer, but advance registration, in particular by April 30, helps us better plan for lunch and snacks. Thanks for asking!

  5. Salesi Takau says:

    Please confirm my registration number. I misplaced it or erase in error.

    • Moderator says:

      Hi Salesi. I’ll email your privately with the information. Glad you’re joining us for Music Matters!

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