$60 – $180

National Conference for Sacred Music 2020

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St. Matthew's Lutheran Church

405 King Street

Charleston, SC 29403

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Event description


The National Conference for Sacred Music is a unique conference designed to provide the practicing church musician with fresh new ideas to help create a vital, growing music ministry. The emphasis of this conference is to provide a wide variety of new approaches to revitalize and reinvigorate the church's passion for music in worship. The event takes place each January, and is collaboratively sponsored by music publishers Augsburg Fortress, Hinshaw, and MorningStar, with additional support from ALCM, PAM, and The Fellowship.

Leading the Church’s Song

Tom Trenney, David Cherwien, Susan Palo Cherwien, Mark Hayes

Wednesday January 9

1:00pm – 2:00pm

Registration – Browse exhibits

2:00pm – 2:15pm

Welcome, introduction, and announcements – Sanctuary

2:15pm – 3:30pm

Opening Plenary with Tom Trenney: Preaching FROM the Choir

3:45pm- 4:50pm


  1. For Glory and For Beauty: Poetry in the Service of God -Susan Palo Cherwien

  2. Sing Your Faith – Tom Trenney

5:00pm – 6:00pm


  1. Choral Rehearsal Experience– Tom Trenney (For those who wish to sing in the Friday Concert)

  2. Handbell Repertoire – Tim Waugh

6:00pm – 7:30


7:30pm – 8:30pm

David Cherwien & Susan Palo Cherwien Hymn Festival

8:30pm -

Social Gathering/exhibits

Thursday January 10

9:00am – 9:30am

Morning Worship– Susan Palo Cherwien

9:45am – 10:55am


  1. New Organ Repertoire – David Cherwien

  2. Handbell workshop – Tim Waugh

  3. Then Sings My Soul: Tom Trenney

10:55am – 11:30am

Break- Exhibits

11:30am – 12:30pm

Reading Session 1 Multi Publisher - Tim Waugh

12:30pm – 1:45pm

Lunch (on your own)

1:45pm – 2:55pm


  1. Best use of Piano in Worship– Hayes

  2. Then Sings My Soul – (repeat) Trenney

  3. For Glory and For Beauty – (repeat) Susan Palo Cherwien


Choral Rehearsal Experience – Trenney

Improvisation: Too much, Too little? - David Cherwien

4:00pm – 4:15pm

Break - Exhibits

4:15pm – 5:15pm

Reading Session 2 Multi Publisher – David Cherwien


Mark Hayes concert

Denominational Dinners or Free Night

Join with others from ALCM, The Fellowship or PAM and enjoy dinner at a restaurant. Members, non-members alike are invited. Everyone orders off the menu and individuals are responsible for payment.

Friday January 11

9:00am – 9:30am

Worship- Susan Palo Cherwien

9:40am – 10:55am


  1. Piano Repertoire for Worship - Hayes

  2. Do Not Let My Words Fall to the Ground: Reflections of a Hymn Writer – Susan Palo Cherwien

  3. Sing Your Faith (repeat) – Tom Trenney

10:55am – 11:30am

Break. Visit Exhibits

11:30am – 12:30pm

Reading Session 3 Multi Publisher – Trenney with Wesleyan Singers

12:30pm – 1:45pm

Lunch (on your own) Visit exhibits. Exhibits close at 1:45pm.

1:45pm – 2:55pm


  1. David Cherwien

  2. Children’s Music in Worship – Tim Waugh

  3. Piano in Worship – Mark Hayes


workshops or round table discussions

  1. Children’s Music – Tim Waugh

  2. Do Not Let My Words Fall to the Ground – (repeat) – Susan Palo Cherwien

  3. Publishers concerns – David Sims, Mark Lawson, Steve Bock

4:15pm – 4:45pm

1. Rehearsal for Concert with University Singers

2. Q&A with conference leaders- Cherwien, Palo Cherwien, Hayes, Waugh

5:00 – 6:15 Final Concert – From Darkness to Light with the Nebraska Wesleyan University Choir and the Conference Choir (open to the public)


Preaching From the Choir – Tom Trenney – Remembering our vocation and recommitting to our calling as church musicians.

Then Sings My Soul – Tom Trenney – Teaching choirs to express both the music and the message. Score, study, preparation, interpretation, teaching content of repertoire.

Sing Your Faith – Tom Trenney – Refresh your spirit: freeing the voice and spirit of the choir; technique, seating of choir, helpful language, teaching strategies.

Choral Rehearsal Experience – Experience a stimulating choir rehearsal featuring a variety of pieces, 3 of which will be used for final concert

For Glory and For Beauty: Poetry in the Service of God – Susan Palo Cherwien -Words are not benign. Words are not neutral. How does poetry affect the human brain? The human spirit? How do the words we sing together shape us into a body for praise and for life in Christ? Into what are we being shaped by the poetry that we sing and pray together?

Hotel Information

Embassy Suites; 337 Meeting Street, Charleston SC 29403
Conference Rate: $159.00 ($169.00 for Friday evening)
Includes free breakfast buffet and daily evening reception serving complimentary cocktails, beverages, and light snacks from 5:30–7:30.

Each guest must make their own reservation by calling 1-800-362-2779 or the hotel directly at 843-723-6900 by December 9th. Guests must identify themselves as members of the National Conference for Sacred Music while making their reservation in order to secure the Conference Rate.

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St. Matthew's Lutheran Church

405 King Street

Charleston, SC 29403

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