DCMW will give musicians tools to effectively communicate Christ-centered musical truth to an increasingly self-focused, entertainment-drenched world.
Worship is intended to instill in us a deeper commitment to God’s Kingdom and draw us into a more intimate, reverential relationship with Jesus. Countless approaches and musical styles have been employed toward these goals throughout the past 2,000 years. Worship leaders encounter two constraints in achieving these goals.
- The musical style and content must be familiar enough to the congregation, so that worship can proceed smoothly and spontaneously, without undue striving.
- The repertoire must be sufficiently innovative to promote freshness and to engage the target demographic.
Christian musical expression has run the gamut from Gregorian chant and Psalm recitation to 18th century hymnody to contemporary rock worship; from Negro spirituals to modern Black gospel; from Southern gospel to choral anthems. Numerous models have been explored to great effect.
The current trend favoring rock-inflected choruses during the past 40 years has dramatically enhanced worship’s appeal among a secular generation raised on this genre. Still, the weekly search for popular choruses which are simple to sing – but which also convey the profound truths of the Faith – can pose a real challenge to conscientious worship leaders. Couple this with the recurring need to recruit unpaid musicians blessed with Godly hearts, rock band experience, and sufficient skill…That can be a daunting task for worship leaders in small to medium congregations. Without diplomacy and discernment, the team can easily appear to be an exclusive, elite cadre of “in crowd” players. In turn, this leaves significant pools of talent within the body feeling sidelined and marginalized.
How, for instance, does a worship leader respond to the request of a 17-year-old clarinetist from the high school band with a longing to serve God? All too often, the unfortunate reply is, “I appreciate your initiative, but I have no idea how to utilize your talent.”
Dungeness Christian Music Workshop aims to explore innovative ways to utilize the various artistic gifts with which God has blessed our congregations.
Dungeness Christian Music Workshop (DCMW) will run from Monday morning through Friday evening, July 17-21, 2017. In order to place each musician in the appropriate groups, interviews will be conducted in advance via Skype, email, or through the post.
The activities described below will occur daily Monday through Friday. Friday evening will feature the culmination performance open to the public in the DCC sanctuary. Camp will terminate at the conclusion of the Friday night concert.
The workshop will center around these main disciplines:
- One or two “big bands” performing original jazz arrangements of hymns and other big band repertoire — (A “big band” refers to a group of from 12 to 20 musicians playing jazz arrangements with one player per part.)
- Contemporary rock-oriented worship teams developing teamwork and communication skills
- Jazz combos creating and performing original arrangements of hymns, choruses, and other relevant repertoire
- Vocal ensembles exploring traditional and modern sacred literature
- A brief devotional message and prayer time each day
- The Monday-Thursday evening sessions will feature concerts by the faculty (with students sitting in as appropriate), demonstration, discussion, or Q&A sessions addressing participant concerns about issues such as teamwork, arranging, communication, and other topics relevant to the worship experience.
Of course, other topics would also be appropriate for a workshop of this type, but these seem most relevant to our goal. Among additional offerings we might consider could be:
- Classes in improvisation and ear training
- Basic music theory
- Sectionals for each instrument
- The theological and Biblical foundation underlying texts found in worship repertoire
Naturally, there will be opportunities for recreation, breaking bread together, fellowship, Bible study, and prayer.
The success of this model has been demonstrated in both adult and youth contexts. Enrollment at DCMW will be open to girls and boys ages 12 and up, as well as adults. For those students, teachers, staff, and volunteers who are 18 and over, there will be appropriate screening by law enforcement authorities.
“Worship is no longer worship when it reflects the culture around us more than the Christ within us.” — AW Tozer
“Our hope isn’t in the songs, the quality of the music or in the experience. It’s only in Jesus.” — Chris Tomlin