Wednesday, June 28, 2017
9:00-9:50 a.m.
Omni Hotel

Choose one of two workshops:

Maximizing Your Handbell Skills (a hands-on workshop)

Carol Feather Martin

This workshop is sponsored by A. Grant Hellmers.

Whether you love handbells, tolerate them, or lead a group under duress, you can be on top of your game by learning correct execution of the various techniques. Members of Virginia Bronze will be on hand to assist with this class as you hone your skills and get answers to your questions. Knowing how to lead with healthy ringing styles will enhance the performance of any ensemble.


Carol Feather Martin, a native of North Carolina, graduated from Oberlin Conservatory with a BM in piano performance in 1978 and MM degree in Organ Performance and Piano Chamber Music and Accompanying Performance from Catholic University in 1985. Carol has begun her 27th year as Director of Music and Arts and Organist at Trinity Presbyterian Church in Arlington, Virginia where she works with all ages of singers and handbells ringers.  Solo and chamber music recitals have taken Carol to many areas of the U.S. and also Canada and Germany.  She is a frequent clinician and consultant for professional music organizations.   In her free time, Carol enjoys reading, gardening, working crossword and jigsaw puzzles, biking and cross country skiing. Carol resides in Alexandria, Virginia with her husband, two children, and four animals. Carol is also the Artistic Director of Virginia Bronze which is celebrating it’s 10 year anniversary this season.


Surefire Choir Recruiting

Michael Kemp

This workshop is sponsored by the Philadelphia Chapter of the American Guild of Organists.

When faced with directing a choir that is not all you desire, you have two choices: scale back your hopes and expectations, or recruit more singers. Several decades ago, choir recruiting was much easier because active participation in church was the norm in most communities. But that is not so for today’s younger adults—Gen Xers and Millennials. Younger adults have been disappearing from church choirs, but they are out there, and we need them. How do we entice them? We answer their essential questions, “What’s in it for me and my family? What makes this activity worth doing?” Once these questions are answered and marketed, then we need to build a recruiting support system wherein the whole church is helping you recruit more singers. With these ideas, you can build up any choir!


Michael Kemp, conductor, clinician, author, and voice teacher is the founding conductor of Philadelphia’s Academy Chorale and Orchestra, now in their 20th season. In his career, Michael has conducted some 350 choral and orchestral masterworks. For 30 years he directed prestigious church music programs in Texas, Tennessee, and Pennsylvania, and then for 15 years served as choral and orchestral director for Germantown Academy, highly respected Philadelphia institution.

While in Texas, Michael founded and conducted for 11 seasons the Arlington Choral Society, which critics placed “on the top rung of choral music in the Dallas Metroplex”. During that time, he was also choral music lecturer at SMU’s Perkins School of Theology.  In his 52 year professional career, Michael founded two community choruses, one community symphony orchestra, four church youth choirs, and two academic high school choirs.

A respected choral clinician and voice teacher, Michael has taught and conducted over 430 choral workshops and festivals in almost every state and Canadian provinces, including the national music conferences of fourteen different church denominations.  He is the author of The Choral Challenge: Practical Paths to Solving Problems, Innovative Warm-ups for Volunteer Choirs: Creative Concepts to Improve Choral Sound, and Rejuvenating Senior Voices: Enhancing the Sound and Confidence of Mature Choirs, all available from G.I.A. Publishers in Chicago. His 4th training book for choir directors, Igniting Rehearsals with UMF’s (Unique Musical Focuses and Unique Motivational Flashes), is currently being published by GIA.


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