The music of Bethlehem Lutheran Church is one of its great strengths and is central to our rich liturgical life. It is dedicated to fulfilling our mission to lead the congregation in worship and share the gospel.
We offer our musical gifts trusting that God will speak through the music we offer to all.
There are many ways your musical gifts can be shared. Please contact Marshall Jones to find out more.
Below you will find the latest Hymn Histories Zoom meeting exploring three hymns each week and the background of that hymn as well as its connection to our readings for the upcoming Sunday.
Choir----We will have Bethlehem Lutheran Choir on Wednesdays at 7 PM. We will supplement that with a virtual choir once every 3 months as an opportunity to sing music that would require a larger choir to cover more parts.
Handbells--- We need 4 more ringers to restart GosBells. Please let me know if interested in ringing. In the meantime, there are opportunites to ring descants on hymns as part of mixture and opportunities for solo and small ensemble ringing listed in the Bethlehem Music News email.
Mixture (tentative name and reference to a type of organ stop)----We will begin a new ensemble dedicated to leadership on hymns and liturgy through vocal leadership for congregational singing and the addition of instruments as appropriate for hymns and liturgy. This group will rehearse music for the upcoming few weeks of worship at 6:30 PM on Mondays.
Bethlehem Music News
September 20, 2021
Come join us for Mixture at 6:30 PM on Mondays. I will have a list of some of the instrumental or vocal things we can do for the hymns and liturgy then, whether it’s vocal leadership for something new, a handbell descant, an instrumental part, or a simple percussion pattern over the next few weeks and we will start from there and add the things we can with the people who are there.
Curb your children’s warring madness; bend our pride to your control; shame our wanton, self-ish gladness, rich in things and poor in soul. Grant us wisdom, grant us courage, lest we miss your kingdom’s goal.
—-Harry E. Fosdick (Hymn #705)
Bethlehem Lutheran Choir will sing on September 26th and October 17th. Be in the sanctuary ready to run things at 8:30 AM on those Sundays.
The handbell quartet will be on hiatus indefinitely. Quartet ringing is quite different than ringing within a larger ensem-ble. It poses some different challenges that while a worthy goal have only served to add a lot of stress at this time. May-be one day we will be ready to revisit this kind of ringing, but for now we will refocus on re-cruiting ringers for a larger en-semble.
Ringers who wish to still ring in some way are encouraged to join us for Mixture on Monday nights—-there will often be handbell descants that can be added to upcoming hymns.
Although New Testament References to the use of church music are few, much can be learned from the scriptural instructions given. From the letter to the church of Ephesus can be gleaned these truths:
• New Testament believers were to be active participants in praising God, not passive spectators
• The psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs should minister to us spiritually. A parallel verse in Colossians teaches that we are also to use these musical forms in ministering to others. Church music, then, must always be thought of as a ministry and not mere entertainment.
• Our musical expressions are to be directed “to the Lord.” Singers must al-ways have a God-focus when ministering.
• Our music ministry should employ a balance of musical styles as represent-ed by “psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs.”
—-Kenneth W. Osbeck
Upcoming music for Worship
September Song of the Month Go, Make Disciples
October Hymn of the Month Making Their Way
Thank you to the Bethlehem Lutheran Choir for sharing the gift of your voices together in the declaration of Psalm 19—The heavens are telling the glory of God.
Thank you to those in our Mixture group for the leadership of your voices, percussion, and bass in worship on Sunday.
Thank you to Bridgett for the gift of her courage and voice in singing Psalm 1.
Did You Know?
C instruments (such as violin, flute, or oboe)sound at the same pitch as they are written. Bb instru-ments like trumpets and clarinets sound a Bb when the play a written C. Eb instruments such as the alto saxophone or F in-struments such as the horn sound at those re-spective pitches when the play what is written as a C on the staff.
Mixture (tentative name and reference to a type of organ stop)----We will begin a new ensemble dedicated to leadership on hymns and liturgy through vocal leadership for congregational singing and the addition of instruments as appropriate for hymns and liturgy. This group will rehearse music for the up-coming few weeks of worship at 6:30 PM on Mondays.
This is a flexible instrumentation ensemble and will require some flexibility as we get started. The idea is that we will be what is needed. If a hymn or liturgy can be livened up with an instrumental descant, guitar or some simple percussion pat-terns, or we need more vocal leadership for hymns that are designed as a call and response or that may require more vocal leadership as we learn something new, that is what this ensemble will be.
Upcoming things include some vocal leadership for our October hymn of the month, some handbell descants, some simple percussion, and opportunities to add strings, woodwind, and brass instruments.
Go, make disciples, baptizing them, teaching them. Go, make disciples, for I am with you to the end of time. Go, be the salt of the earth. Go, be the light of the world. Go, be a city on a hill, so all can see that you’re serving me.
—-Handt Hanson (ELW hymn #540)
BLC Music Upcoming Schedule
September 20 6:30 PM Mixture
September 22 7 PM Bethlehem Lutheran Choir
September 26 9 AM Worship (choir report at 8:30)
September 27 6:30 PM Mixture
September 29 7 PM Bethlehem Lutheran Choir
Music in the Community and Virtually
7 PM FVCC (AT building room 139)
FVCC Faculty and Guests
(I will be performing on this recital.)
Solo and Small Ensemble Opportunities
I am looking for one of the following on each of these days:
• S or T solo for We Are A Garden Walled Around
• Solo (good for children) for Jesus and the Children
• S or T solo and C instrument (violin or flute ideal) for Whosoever Does Not Receive the Kingdom
• Duet or solo and C instrument for What Shall We Give to God
• Duet for On Eagle’s Wings
• Solo or SATB quartet for Man of Sorrows
Please let me know if you would like the music for any of these and any times that you might be able to rehearse. I can help you to use your gifts to the best of your ability.