ACM Making More Than a Joyful Noise in 2013

Ron Bechtel, ACM Executive Director

Like a melody you can whistle and a harmony that follows alongside effortlessly, ACM and Christian musicians from greater Puget Sound have been teaming together to bring excellent music and teaching to our region.

The Alliance of Christian Musicians, a national organization founded in Philadelphia more than a decade ago by Vincent Treadway, held six events in 2013.

In March, the 8th Annual ACM Handbell Festival was held at Cairn University in Philadelphia.

In April, ACM hosted the 4th Annual Young Church Musicians’ Recital Competition in Tacoma, Washington. Forty-five students from Western Washington played memorized pieces, competing for scholarship prize money totaling $3,100.

In July, several adults and youth participated in an evening of eclectic solo and ensemble selections at the Midsummer Classics Concert.

For eight days in early August, Marion Read, ACM Youth Education Director, and Louise Allen, children’s music director at Faith Presbyterian Church (Tacoma), taught the annual Children’s Summer Singing Camp to fifty registered children. On the last day of camp, a final program displayed what they had learned as they sang three memorized pieces to an audience of over 100.

In October, Dr. Allen P. Ross, Old Testament professor at Beeson School of Divinity in Birmingham, Alabama, headlined the 7th Annual ACM Church Music Symposium in Tacoma, Washington, with teaching on “A Celebration of Worship Based on the Psalms.” Those who heard his lectures called them “scintillating,” and “richly thorough.” ACM expects to post online all six lectures as well as an interesting interview with Pastor Rob Rayburn.

The Church Music Symposium was not just lectures, however.

  • The ACM Festival Choir presented an hour-long Hymn Festival of Psalm-anthems and hymn singing under Vincent Treadway, organist director of music at First Presbyterian Church, Lake Wales, Florida.
  • Martha Alford, Regional Director of ACM’s Philadelphia Chapter and member of Proclamation Presbyterian Church in Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania, added musical delight to the Symposium sessions with her skillful flute playing.
  • A Young Artists’ Recital brought out over 150 people to hear excellent music from solo musicians and the Children’s Summer Singing Camp Choir under the direction of Marion Read.
  • Workshops presented by Douglas Bond, Ron Bechtel, and Vincent Treadway gave attendees in-depth instruction on various topics of church music.
  • The Symposium weekend concluded with an EvenSong program, featuring selected organ music and flute–piano duets, prior to Sunday evening worship.

On December 1 at Faith Presbyterian Church in Tacoma, Washington, ACM’s 50-voice Festival Choir and four soloists presented selections from Messiah by George Frideric Handel to an overflow crowd of 650 people. Under the direction of Ron Bechtel, ACM President, the musicians included singers from a dozen local churches.

The Alliance of Christian Musicians is thriving on the encouragement and support of its event attendees, volunteers, and contributors. And Christian churches are benefitting from the development of musicians through ACM’s commitment to inspire musical excellence by the Word of God. The teamwork is resulting in something much greater than a simple joyful noise!