ACNA Music & Worship Survey: The Music Task Force of the Anglican Church in North America is always seeking ways to improve this website and would like YOUR input as priests and music and worship arts leaders in the Province.
WHAT’S NEW?: A list of tried, true, and singable Contemporary Songs sorted by church season under the Contemporary Music tab. An update from the ACNA Provincial website of the work on the new ACNA hymnal (under the Hymns & Spiritual Songs tab). The proposed full edition of the new Altar Book can be found under the Altar Book tab. Psalms are up with weekly Simplified Anglican and Gregorian Chant postings as well as Simplified Anglican Chants and Gregorian Psalm Tones with guitar chords (under the Psalms in Worship tab), a powerful article titled, The Power of Good Melody (both under the Hymns & Spiritual Songs tab), and 110 Excellent Anthems for Children’s Choirs (under the Choirs tab).
(And see these below) as we explore the publication of an ACNA Hymnal an article titled, “Why Hymnals? Ten Reasons Why Hymnals are Important”, also new articles on The Acoustics of Sacred Spaces, Basics Helps: how to read music, Streams within our Anglican Liturgy, a video of Alice Parker’s watershed presentation on congregational hymn singing, a new article on “How Hymns Work”, an article on seven Biblical reasons why singing matters and two new outstanding books on the history of Christian music (found under the Music Leadership Philosophy tab)
An invitation for you: do you have a question or a need in your church’s music ministry? We have a whole host of contacts, experienced ACNA church musicians who would be happy to listen or to share their experiences with you. Or do you feel isolated, swimming somewhere out in the ACNA Province and need to visit, talk, or share with fellow church musicians swimming across the pool? This is the vision of MACNA (Musicians of the Anglican Church in North America), bringing together church musicians of the Province of churches of all sizes for fellowship, sharing, and growth. Let us know if you have an interest in being a part of MACNA or in helping make this vision become a reality. And finally, do you have an article, essay, or teaching that you would like to submit for possible inclusion on the ACNA Music Resources website? Submissions are welcomed. For any of these topics, please write to williams4950(at)bellsouth.net and we will route you to the right person/s. Thank you and may the Lord bless you in your work of ministry.
Yes, We’ll Gather-Alice Parker’s watershed video on authentic, renewed congregational hymn singing. (video found under the Hymns and Spiritual Songs tab.)
The Hymn Society (terrific resources for all types of congregational singing)
Welcome Brothers and Sisters in Christ!
With the establishment of a new Anglican Province in North America (the ACNA), much has been gained. Together, we have experienced a renewal of commitment to the Gospel, a new and better church polity, new and restored houses of worship, new international partners, a new and improved Prayer Book and Psalter and for many, too many blessings to number.
Much also has been lost. Many have encountered a loss of church friendships and members, loss of buildings and property, loss of hymnals, and organs, and pianos, and music libraries used in the work of worship and in continuing our rich musical heritage as Anglicans.
The focus of the Provincial Music Task Force is to provide resources, teachings, and aids to help the local parish in their worship and to equip current and future leaders in their work of ministry. In this, we know it all has to begin somewhere; to begin with priests and musicians with a calling and a joy upon their hearts to work as a team to more effectively lead God’s people in worship through music.
In this light, your Music Task Force has begun its work to provide resources for the full range of musical expression across the Province: traditional hymnody, songs of praise, anthems, chant, and service music as well as resources for new and existing choirs, folk groups and praise teams, keyboardists, handbells, and the vital Pastor/Church Musician relationship. Some resources will be downloadable and printable, some will be instructional videos or Q & A teachings, and some will be links to quality websites supporting the work of liturgical music and worship. Do visit the ACNA Music Resources page often as new updates and fresh content will be arriving soon. I am
Yours in Christ,
Mark Williams, Chair ACNA Music Task Force, Christ Church Anglican, Savannah, GA
ACNA MUSIC TASK FORCE
Mark K. Williams. Mark was chosen to chair the ACNA Music Task Force by Archbishop Robert Duncan. Mark has served as the Parish Musician at historic Christ Church Anglican (1733) in Savannah, Georgia since 1998 having served previously in a full-time capacity in Seattle, Houston, and Orlando. His current church separated from the Episcopal Church in 2007, fought a long battle in the courts, lost their historic building, met in a local Presbyterian Church for several years, and have now restored a local historic church building in Savannah into their new church home.
Serving at Christ Church as a full-time Pastoral Church Musician, Mark is best known for leading a Music Ministry rather than a Music Program which includes adult, children’s, and Compline choirs, a touring/outreach youth handbell choir, as well as an instrumental Folk Group/Praise Team that leads singing during communion. Mark is a gifted teacher and music educator and comes from a long lineage of educators. He also regularly composes for the church, having written three service music Masses and numerous anthems, hymns, and Psalm settings.
Of interest, during his college years, Mark was a part of the music scene at Church of the Redeemer, Houston under Betty Pulkingham and later George Mims. Redeemer was a leader in the Renewal and Charismatic movements and was the church that led Mark to his calling in Pastoral Music Ministry. This time was followed by Dr. Peter Hallock serving as a significant mentor to Mark while in Graduate School at Seattle Pacific University and Mark’s later serving on the University’s music faculty. Peter Hallock was well-known for bringing the unique weekly Office of Compline to St. Mark’s Cathedral in Seattle. During this time, Mark began composing sacred music and found a deep interest in Compline as a way of reaching out to the local community. Christ Church’s weekly service of Compline, sung by an auditioned ecumenical choir, does just that attracting many seekers, tourists, and High School and College students.
Following his time in Seattle, Mark participated in the high church music ministry of St. Luke’s Cathedral in Orlando under Canon Ben Lane. Mark met his wife Tina there, a professional classical singer and voice teacher, and his years of organ playing came alive again in his time at the cathedral. Additionally, he spent two intensive summer studies under composer and song leader Alice Parker on her farm in western Massachusetts. This was a formative time for Mark studying hymn leading and arranging, the characteristics of good melody, and furthering the skill of composition. And finally, his many years of interest in designing and constructing church organs led him to design and to build the 56-rank Hauptwerk Williams Opus 3 organ for his home church of Christ Church Anglican in Savannah.
All this to say, Mark gives all credit and much thanks to the Lord for the breadth and gift of these many experiences. Experiences which allow him to walk joyfully in our Province’s high churches, low churches, and everything in between churches as well as within all styles of sacred music, without prejudice. Mark is well-known for two sayings. First, “I really don’t care so much about what the style of the music is. What I care about is whether the music is well-crafted, if it is singable, and if it is appropriate for liturgical worship, the church season, and the lections of the day.” And second, “I want people who visit our church not to leave worship talking about what a great music ministry our church has, but about what a great God we all have!”
Richard Bierman. Richard came to All Saints Church on Pawley’s Island, SC as Worship Pastor and Director of Music in the Spring of 2012, with his wife Pamela and their children Daniel and Faith. Richard helps lead the parish in the area of corporate worship and especially with music, coordinating and leading a number of services and other community events. The Biermans came to Pawleys Island from Birmingham, AL where for the previous 8 years Richard served at St. Peter’s Anglican Church and at Beeson Divinity School. He was born and raised in St. Paul Minnesota and has also ministered at churches in Minnesota, Texas, Kansas and Colorado.
Richard was a church music major at St. Olaf college in Northfield, MN and was further educated at the University of Minnesota and at the Royal School of Church Music in England. Bierman was previously a member of The Gregorian Singers in the Twin Cities, The St. David’s Compline Choir in Austin, TX, and Colla Voce in Birmingham, AL. He has led workshops and given presentations hymnody and worship planning for a number of gatherings in recent years, as well as helping to lead worship for several national Anglican gatherings and the ANCA college of bishops
“My formal training is in classical music, but I love to help people worship using a wide variety of music. I love singing and music of course, but I really love God’s people as it is my calling to help them draw nearer to Him through worship and music. I am indeed looking forward to helping with the ongoing work of the ACNA Music Task Force. I feel that my gifts there will be to help connect people and to help with discernment of the vast array of historical and contemporary musical resources available today.”
Dr. Joseph Butler. H. Joseph Butler is Professor of Music and University Organist at Texas Christian University in Fort Worth, where he also serves as Associate Dean of the College of Fine Arts. Joseph teaches courses in sacred music and hymnology, as well as organ. He holds a DMA from the Eastman School of Music, an MM from the New England Conservatory, and a BA from Bowdoin College. Richard also holds the AAGO certification from the American Guild of Organists.
Dr. Butler is a native of Annapolis, MD, where he grew up singing in the boy choir at St. Anne’s Episcopal Church. He has held positions as organist and choirmaster at Episcopal and Anglican Churches in Massachusetts, New York, and Texas and is currently organist at St. Peter and St. Paul Anglican Church in Arlington, TX. Joseph has a deep knowledge of both the Book of Common Prayer (1928 and 1979) and the Hymnals (1940 and 1982). His interested is in hymns, psalmody, and service music in all styles both traditional and contemporary.
David Clifton. David has become our representative from England, as he has now taken a position as Artist in Residence at Wycliffe Hall College Oxford, a role which includes the teaching, training and development of contemporary and traditional church music and musicians. David most recently served as Director of Music and Worship Arts at Apostles Anglican Church in Knoxville, TN. At that time he was invited to join the ACNA Music Task Force to contribute to the work already begun in resourcing, encouraging, and enhancing parish church music across the Anglican Church in North America. David’s work at Apostles included the use of both choral and modern contemporary music styles and settings utilizing blended music forms for the church’s services of worship. Over the years he has contributed to international conferences as a worship leader and in the training of worship music teams and teaching on the practicalities, principles, and theology of worship music.
In his youth, David was a choral scholar at Peterborough Cathedral and attended the King’s School (founded in 1541 by Henry VIII for the Choristers). He then attended college in Chichester receiving a Cert. Ed in ceramics, art and music and then Sussex University Brighton, gaining a B.Ed. After teaching special education for four years, David moved to London to focus on a music career recording with Red Bus Records (EMI), then PVK, and Virgin Records. He went on to play for some of the UK’s most respected singer-songwriters, touring and recording for artists such as Julia Fordham, Tanita Tikaram, Steve Booker, Matt Redman, Mary Coughlan, Robin Mark, Graham Kendrick, Delirious, and USA artists including Kim Hill, United Pursuit, Paul Wilbur, Don Moen and Sheila Walsh.
As a worship leader and choir director, David was first appointed director of music to St. Paul’s Onslow Square in 1991. Then in 1996, he joined the worship department of Holy Trinity Brompton, London, where he served for nine years and witnessed the phenomenal growth of the Alpha Course and the subsequent spiritual renewal with church-planting across the UK and around the world. In 2005, at the invitation of Bishop Sandy Millar, David was appointed director of worship at St. Mark’s (and the churches of Emmanuel & St Saviour’s) in Tollington Park, London.
In 2009 he joined the staff of Apostles Anglican Church, Knoxville, Tennessee, where he conducted the choir for the traditional liturgical service and lead the worship music group for the informal service. Part of David’s on-going role, whether here in the States or at Oxford, is to teach, train, mentor and encourage worship leaders, advocating the inclusion of music from the best of our latest contemporary worship songwriters and modern repertoire, as well as mining the rich choral repertoire of the past and present.
Simon Dixon. Simon is a classically trained, Spirit-filled church musician, with over 30 years of experience leading both classical and contemporary worship in the Anglican Church in the UK and the US. Simon came to faith at a Billy Graham crusade in London in 1989.Since then he has had a passion to encourage intimacy with God through developing excellence in Spirit-led worship of all traditions; music that is well-planned, liturgically appropriate, well-prepared and prayed through. Simon also has a pastoral heart for seeing men and women released from the lies that hold us in bondage and prevent us from becoming the men and women Christ intended us to be, freed up and fully alive in Him to worship authentically and without limits. ” If the Son sets you free, you shall be free indeed” John 8:36
Simon is married to Caryn and they have a 5yr old son Jono. Simon grew up in the Anglican Church tradition and trained in London where he gained his MA in performance on the pipe organ. He lived as a concert organist, accompanist, singer, and choral conductor for a number of years before being asked to join the worship staff of Holy Trinity Brompton (home of the Alpha course) where he remained for 21 years. Simon currently serves as the Director of Worship and Music at The Falls Church Anglican, VA where he has been for the last 10 years. Simon is very excited about and feels quite privileged to be invited to join the ACNA Music Task Force.
Dixie Hall. Dixie has been a life-long church musician. She grew up in the Assemblies of God where she played piano and violin and developed a deep appreciation of the role music offers the Church. In her early 20s, she and her husband, Thomas, traveled for several years with Living Sound, a Christian band, to many countries sharing the Gospel through music. While her husband was in seminary, Dixie obtained an MM degree at Westminster Choir College in piano and played violin in several orchestras in the New Jersey/Philadelphia area. Upon graduation, her husband began a PhD in Liturgics, transferred his ordination to the United Methodist Church in Eastern Pennsylvania, and Dixie was musical director in both established churches and a church plant. Concurrent with her role in the church, her full-time career took her into the field of finance as a financial advisor. The company had 10,000 employees so, at the request of management, she developed what became a 30-piece band and 80-voice choir. Where there are musicians, there will be music – even in a finance company!
A move to Montana and an early “retirement” from parish ministry put the Halls in the unusual role of finding a church community with which to worship. In Missoula, MT, a new Anglican church was being formed and met in the priest’s home. After the first visit, the Halls were “in”. It was a fortuitus move for them. Shedding the idea of being “relevant”, worship instead connected them with the saints of old in the prayers and canticles, in the ancient words of the liturgy. And they valued the shift away from music driving worship to music serving and affirming the liturgy.
Several years later, the Halls moved to North Idaho, Tom was ordained a priest in the Anglican Church of North America, started a parish in their home in 2020, and Dixie enrolled in a doctoral program with the Institute of Worship Studies. She, of course, is leading musicially in their new parish. They have their eyes wide open to what the Lord is doing in His Church and grateful to be a part of the ACNA.
The Halls have two married children and two grandsons (who are acolytes at their parish).
Allison Keeport. Allison is a singer and music teacher based in Chicago. After graduating from Moody Bible Institute in 2010 with a BMus in church music, Allison moved to Budapest, Hungary, where she served at the International Christian School of Budapest as the elementary music teacher/choir director, middle school choir director/drama teacher, and school voice teacher for all grade levels. After returning to Chicago in 2014, she founded and directed the children’s choir for The Community Music School of downtown Chicago. In 2018, Allison transitioned to teaching older students, focusing on vocal development in teenage girls and first-time adult singers. She is currently on voice faculty at Northside Music Academy. Most recently, Allison was invited to join the faculty at her alma mater, where she now enjoys the privilege of teaching music and worship courses at Moody Bible Institute.
Allison is also active as a singer. In May 2020, Allison completed her master’s degree in vocal performance from North Park University in Chicago. She sang a lot of opera during that time, but discovered her real love in performance is the intimacy and nuance of art song.
When she is not in a classroom, Allison is heavily involved with her church, Immanuel Anglican Church, in various musical and non-musical ministries. After a lifetime in evangelical churches, Allison was led to Immanuel Anglican in 2019, and found there her spiritual tribe. When she’s at home, Allison loves to cook, read, or craft new poetry for her blog www.crabapplecreative.wordpress.com.
Charles Maggs. Chuck Maggs is the Director of Music Arts at St. James Anglican in Costa Mesa, CA. He has served as choir director, organist, worship leader, accompanist and handbell choir director at several churches in the Orange County area for over 30 years. Chuck graduated from California State University, Long Beach with a Bachelors degree for Music in 1983. He also has a music teaching credential he received in 1984. Chuck was honored and privileged to assemble teams of musicians and direct the music for the consecration services of the first and second bishops of the Diocese of Western Anglicans. Mr. Maggs has been working with handbells since 1974 and has more than 80 pieces of handbell music in print for beginning choirs and small ensembles. He currently directs the handbell groups that are part of the All-American Boys Chorus in Costa Mesa. Mr. Maggs has been married to his wife Jill since 1992 and they have two sons.
Elise Massa. Elise Massa serves as Assistant Director of Music and Worship Arts at Church of the Ascension in Pittsburgh, PA. She is also the Northeast Regional Leader for United Adoration (UA), a global non-profit organization which seeks to “revitalize the creativity of the local church by empowering artists to write music & create art in their own language, culture, and context.” Elise became an Anglican after a long, fruitful formation in the Assembly of God church, and desires the church and all artistic expressions to be united in proclaiming the Lord’s redemptive story to all people. She lives with her husband Chris and their son Caleb.
Andrew Schooley. Andrew Schooley is Associate Director of Music and Worship Operations at The Falls Church Anglican, VA. He supports the Director of Worship and Music by working out specific liturgical and operational plans for worship services. Most recently, he participated in the design of technical systems for the church’s new 900-seat church which followed a six year period of weekly setups in high-school auditoriums.
Andrew’s experience as a lifelong Anglican has given him an appreciation for the breadth of music that is in use in our tradition with the diversity of liturgical environments ranging from Choral Evensong to Alpha retreats. An analyst with a keen attention to detail, Andrew helps The Falls Church by compiling and typesetting custom arrangements of hymns or other works for choir, congregation, and brass. He hopes that his experience with typesetting will be particularly valuable to his work on the Music Task Force.
Andrew has extensive experience operating A/V systems for liturgical worship in many different musical styles. He leads a small team of A/V volunteers at church and has assisted several other local churches with their technical systems. Andrew most desires that the church’s technology will never distract from God as the focus.
Andrew has college degrees in Music Performance and Electrical Engineering. He and his wife, Ellen, whom he met in the church choir, have four wonderful young children.