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The mission of the ACDA is to inspire excellence in choral music through education, performance, composition, and advocacy.

Resources for those studying for a degree in Sacred Music

Sacred Choral Music of J.S. Bach - edited by Dr. John Butt; Published by Paraclete Press
The sacred choral works of J.S. Bach have long been considered among the greatest masterpieces in music. Choir directors and singers need a comprehensive, yet accessible guide that encourages musicians at all levels of ability in the performance of these works, whether in the church or concert. This handbook presents a wealth of information including chapters on Bach's theology, chorales, and ornamentation, as well as a selected and annoted bibliography. It will be an inspiration to the scholarship and practical advice on the performance of sacred choral music of Bach.
 
In this book of thirty meditations, Gordon Giles introduces readers to some of the most important composers who have shaped the traditions of Western sacred music over the last four centuries. From Monteverdi to Howells, Rachmaninov to Virgil Thomson, Renaissance Italy to contemporary America, readers are taken on a musical journey of discovery to enter the spiritual and biblical world of church music. Understand the music of Evensong and the Mass; the texts of the liturgical year are lovingly and prayerfully discussed, enabling readers and listeners alike to engage more deeply with the musical theology of sacred song. Each chapter concludes with a prayer and the book comes with a full-length CD containing superb recordings of each work made by America's accomplished choir, Gloria Dei Cantores.  Wonderful to recommend for course work!
 
Most organists are reluctant to attempt improvisation because they seem convinced that it must be elaborate and complex. In the hands of masters of the art this may be true; simple improvisation, however, can be within the grasp of most organists. When learned, this skill can be of great use, and it is especially effective as a tool to enhance worship. These lessons make this material as practical as possible, allowing the organist to make direct and immediate application of the art of improvisation to the playing of the church service itself.

Lessons include:
*Improvising a hymn introduction
*Adding non-harmonic material to a hymn
*Solo with accompaniment
*Embellishing the melody
*Additional improvising of the hymn-tune melody
*Improvising an introduction
*Improvising a complete prelude based on a hymn tune
 
All available at: www.paracletepress.com
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