I was fortunate enough to attend my 13th conference of the Association of Anglican Musicians last week in Washington, DC. I went two days early, to finish out my 2 year commitment as secretary on the AAM Board, at our pre-conference board meeting. Once I get those long minutes typed and sent, I will be done with this responsibility! The All Saints’ music budget covers my registration for this conference, and I thank you for that. As the conference committee states, “Our conference theme, Heart and Voice Uniting, expresses how we, as church musicians and ministers of music, view our vital and sacred role in the liturgy. We will explore many facets of this theme during the week, including a Clergy Day on Wednesday, in which we will join our own hearts and voices with those of our brother and sister clergy – in both worship, song, and discussion…. And so, the music of many local musicians and composers, both living and dead, will be represented during the various worship services this week. Finally, the liturgies of this conference encompass a range of styles and forms, but undergirding them all is the desire to be true- as much as possible- to the manner of worship normally found in the different host churches.”
Our conference hotel was the Keybridge Marriott, which is just over the Potomac in Arlington, VA. From there, we either took the Metro or were bused to the following venues for worship, education, or both: Redeemer, Bethesda MD, Calloway Chapel at Episcopal High School on the shared grounds of the Virginia Theological Seminary, National Cathedral, St. Columba’s, St. Paul’s K Street, Christ Church, Alexandria, St. John’s, Georgetown, and St. John’s, Lafayette Square, often referred to as the “Church of the Presidents.”
Our day at Virginia Theological Seminary/Episcopal High School featured a panel presentation with four Bishops – Virginia, Maryland, D.C., and our Chaplain from Atlanta, GA. We spent several hours in rehearsal with Julian Wachner, the dynamic musician from Trinity Wall Street, which culminated with our being the choir at a service of Choral Evensong at historic Christ Church, Alexandria.
This is a relatively small conference, with 300 attendees, so it is possible to spend quality time with many individuals. I have returned with my musical batteries recharged, and look forward to sharing some new music with you in the fall!