Dr. Anthony Leach
Division R&S Chair, Music in Worship
The internet has positively transformed aspects of the planning that teachers, musicians, worship leaders and others use to frame and/or guide their process that often results in successful programming. Within the African American community there are two organizations that have become my “go to” points of reference as I coordinate repertoire and identify worship resources in African American sacred music:
A collaborative project of the African American Pulpit and American Baptist College of Nashville has archival planning materials for a wide array of worship services that are celebrated in African American congregations across the USA. Contributions from pastors, musicians, scholars and others occurred from 2008 – 2013. Selected categories include the following: Emancipation Proclamation Day, Holy Communion and Epiphany, A Service of Healing, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Birthday, Baptism, African Heritage Sunday, Ash Wednesday, Lent, MAAFA Service, Contemporary Heroes and Heroines Day, Anti-Incarceration Day, Jesus and Women, Palm Sunday, Holy Thursday, Good Friday, Easter, Jesus and Economic Justice Sunday, Earth Day, Jesus and Hip Hop Culture, Ecumenical Day of Worship, First Sunday of Advent & World AIDS Day, Christmas, Kwanzaa, Watch Night
For each topic, scriptures, themes, hymns, choral/instrumental repertoire, liturgical dance, video and other resource materials are provided. Additional worship and cultural resources are also listed as separate links. I enthusiastically suggest that if you are seeking materials that may help you in planning worship encounters that have an African American focus, visit the website and be inspired!
NtTimeMusic is a music distributor based in Charlotte, NC. Their print, video, music transcription and audio holdings are vast in African American sacred music. In recent years they have provided downloading services for selected repertoire. Traditional and contemporary gospel, Praise and Worship, Liturgical Dance, Musicals, Children’s Choir Resources, Spirituals, Anthems and Hymn Arrangements by African American Composers are some of the broad categories that are available to the consumer. Currently there is a link on their website for compositions by the late André Crouch, composer of ‘Soon and Very Soon,’ ‘My Tribute/To God Be The Glory’ and ‘Let the Church Say Amen.’
NTimeMusic.com is my “go to” resource for compositions that I perform with all of the choirs for which I provide artistic leadership as well as festival choirs around the world. If you are seeking something that they do not have on site they will probably be able to connect you with the composer/arranger for further guidance.