National Conference for Sacred Music

Register Here

January 4-6, 2017
Charlotte, NC

Leading the Church’s Song

Featuring Robert Hobby, Allen Hightower, Craig Mueller, Tom Shelton, Stephen Mitchell, and Mark Lawson.

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. Sessions will include the following:

  • New worship planning ideas for your congregation and choirs
  • Choral technique classes with an emphasis on deepening the spiritual experience for the choir member
  • Reading sessions featuring new publications from Augsburg Fortress, Hinshaw, and MorningStar Music
  • Sponsorship by three different denominational groups: the Association of Lutheran Church Musicians, the Presbyterian Association of Musicians, and the Fellowship of United Methodists in Music and Worship Arts
  • Workshops for working with children
  • Handbells
  • Morning worship creatively crafted by Craig Mueller
  • Hymn Festival with Robert Hobby and Allen Hightower

Registration Fee for Entire Conference: $150
Registration Fee for Individual Days: $50
Meal Plan (includes Wednesday dinner, and Thursday and Friday lunches): $35

Hotel Information for NCSM

There are many hotels in the area. A block of rooms has been reserved at The Dunhill Hotel at a rate of $139 (Vintage Queen) or $159 (Deluxe Queen).

The Dunhill Hotel is located 2 blocks from First Presbyterian ChurchPlease call the hotel directly to reserve your room at 704-332-4141, and reference “National Conference for Sacred Music” to receive the conference rate. Or reserve online here. The conference rate is available Tuesday, January 3, through Friday, January 6. Be sure to reserve your room by Monday, December 12, 2016, in order to receive the conference rate.


Wednesday, January 4

2:00pm-3:00pm Registration; Browse Exhibits
3:00pm-3:15pm Welcome, Introduction and AnnouncementsSanctuary
3:15pm-4:30pm Opening Workshop: Ministry in a 24/7 WorldCraig Mueller
5:00pm-6:00pm Dinner (Part of Meal Plan)
6:15pm-7:15pm Rehearsal for Friday Night Hymn FestivalAllen Hightower and Robert Hobby
7:30pm-8:30pm Opening Worship Service
8:30pm Onward Social Gathering/Exhibits

Thursday, January 5

9:00am-9:30am Worship for the Twelfth Day of ChristmasCraig Mueller
9:45am-11:00am Workshops
ChildrenStephen Mitchell
Organ WorkshopRobert Hobby
Handbells SessionMark Lawson
11:00am-11:30am Break
11:30am-12:30pm Reading Session 1: Multi PublisherRobert Hobby
12:30pm-1:30pm Lunch (Part of Meal Plan)
1:45pm-2:55pm Workshops (Repeat of Morning Sessions)
ChildrenStephen Mitchell
Organ WorkshopRobert Hobby
Handbells SessionMark Lawson
3:00pm-4:00pm Reading Session 2: Multi PublisherAllen Hightower
4:00pm-4:15pm Break
4:15pm-5:30pm Workshops
Developing Youth ChoirsTom Shelton
Not Your Parents’ ChurchCraig Mueller
Choral WorkshopAllen Hightower
5:30pm-6:30pm Friday Festival RehearsalAllen Hightower and Robert Hobby
6:30pm Onward Free Night

Friday, January 6

9:00am-9:30am Worship for EpiphanyCraig Mueller
9:40am-10:55am Workshops (Repeat of Thursday Afternoon Sessions)
Developing Youth ChoirsTom Shelton
Not Your Parents’ ChurchCraig Mueller
Choral WorkshopAllen Hightower
10:55am-11:15am BreakVisit Exhibits
11:30am-12:30pm Reading Session 3: Multi PublisherTom Shelton
12:30pm-2:00pm Lunch (Part of Meal Plan)Visit Exhibits
2:00pm Exhibits Close
2:00pm-3:00pm Workshops
Organ WorkshopRobert Hobby
Children’s Music RepertoireStephen Mitchell
3:15pm-4:30pm WorkshopAllen Hightower and Robert Hobby
4:30pm-7:30pm Dinner and Free Time
7:30pm Hymn Festival with Allen Hightower and Robert Hobby

Workshop Descriptions

Not Your Parents’ ChurchCraig Mueller

Many churches are facing declining attendance and morale. Pastor Mueller will tell the story of Holy Trinity Lutheran Church’s redevelopment and growth. Located in Wrigleyvillea diverse, vibrant and somewhat hip neighborhood in Chicago, and populated with young adults in a transient and fluid time in their lives. Holy Trinity’s blend of traditional worship/music and progressive theology is both appropriate and surprising. Come and hear more about the congregation’s values of hospitality, inclusivity, liturgy, social justice, and spirituality, and what lessons there might be for the church of the future.

Ministry in a 24/7 WorldCraig Mueller

Most people say that they don’t have enough time. Church professionals often do not model healthy boundaries such as taking a day off or not checking work email constantly. Whether you or others on your staff struggle with workaholism, this workshop will look at the challenge of time in our digital world, and spiritual resources that provide balance, rest, and renewal.