Traditional Anglican Music in a Mission Setting
Kurt J. Henle & Jo-Ann M. Henle, All Saints Anglican Church, Traverse City, Michigan.
Accepted for publication in the The North American Anglican, May 2009.
Abstract: Planting new churches is imperative for carrying out the Great Commission.
New mission initiatives based on traditional Anglican Music and Liturgy are often limited by the scarce resources available to new mission works. Digital technology is a means to overcome this problem and offers new opportunities to create organ accompaniments for congregational singing with high quality results and low costs.
We have met the musical need for our new Anglican church in Traverse City, Michigan, using the software program Sibelius to score congregational hymns suitable for enhancing the liturgy. The program is highly versatile in matching the musical dynamics to singers, creating any number of verses, and changing the music accompaniment for each verse. The limitation with Sibelius is the restricted choice of organ samples for playing the programmed music.
Real organists would use different stops (groups of pipes) for the hymn introduction and for each verse of the hymn. They would also select stops that underline the mood of the hymn text. This is not possible with Sibelius alone. Therefore, we have used the output from Sibelius as the "organist" - the input to an organ program, called Hauptwerk (Crumhorn Labs, England). Hauptwerk can "play" any number of organs from around the world, either from a MIDI keyboard, or from a program like Sibelius. The resulting organ accompaniments are recorded as a WAV file.
Finally, we use a free-ware program, Audacity, for final adjustments, editing, and conversion of the WAV file into the MP3 file format. We use the MP3 files every Sunday in Worship Services, played through a laptop computer, where the output from the sound card is further amplified through a Bose Computer multimedia speaker system. The results are excellent and a welcome opportunity for an active lay ministry. The assigned "Music Master" makes decisions about the loudness of the hymns and selects from a variety of possible preludes, offertory anthems, communion anthems and postludes. Since this ministry does not require keyboard skills, the music ministry is open to anybody with a love for church music.
The full manuscript describing our music system is linked below.