Browsing Tag

national choir appreciation sunday


A Worship Event

October 9, 2012

A Worship EventWhen you work for a cutting-edge company like J.W. Pepper, you sometimes have to find new ways to reinvent the wheel.  We found ourselves thinking of this as we were planning a sacred event called Christmas in July.  We invited three of the best composers in the country:  Joe Martin, Randy Vader and Pepper Choplin.  Their music is featured on our website, including brand-new musicals with full-length sound and scores on our New Musicals for Christmas page.  We also feature reading sessions of their latest works on YouTube, so we knew this day needed to be different – special.

As we planned for the event, we thought about the sacred clinic and what it has become over the years – clinical.  Webster’s dictionary says that “clinic” means “the diagnosis and treatment of specific problems.”  So, our goal became to take the “clinical” out of the event and make it more of a worship experience with our clinicians.

The day was hot – in the high 90s in Georgia – but inside, there was Christmas in the air.  The choir was dressed in their concert attire as the congregation opened with “Silent Night” while the flickering lights twinkled merrily on the tree.  Randy took us on a trip to Bethlehem where we journeyed with Mary and Joseph, and saw the star shining so bright.  Joe astounded us with his talents on the piano and Pepper brought down the house with laughter.  We had a wonderful meal together, sang carols in madrigal style, and listened in wonder once again to the story which never grows old, of the child who came to earth on that Christmas so long, long ago.

Instead of a “clinic” we had an event – an experience which those who attended will not soon forget.  This was not just about the music, but about what the music brings to you when it is performed.  For music is nothing more than notes on a page until it is heard – but once it is heard, it touches your heart and touches every emotion.  Like the Psalms, it brings about worship.  This is the future of the sacred reading session – a worship event!


Click for Christmas musicals by Joseph MartinRandy Vader and Pepper Choplin.


A Legacy of Praise

June 27, 2012

So many things influence who we are.  For many of us, our spiritual lives are surrounded by music.  So much so, they often seem to be distinctly joined together, as two hands folded in prayer.  As children it’s often our first exposure to faith, singing Bible songs and reciting poems.  For composer Joseph Martin, faith and music began a legacy of praise which has become the focus of his career and life.

Foundations of faith and music were deeply planted within Joe from the beginning.  His father, a minister, and his mother, a church pianist, surrounded him with ministry and art.  This started a legacy which Joe himself would later pass on to his children.  “They established my foundations for worship and praise,” he says.

Joe’s passion for music, and love of Lord, led him to a career as a composer.  He is the director of sacred publications for Shawnee Press, a division of Hal Leonard.  In addition, he is also a lyricist, pianist and conductor, most recently taking the podium at Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts in New York City.

Recently, a beautiful article written by Mr. Martin came across my desk.  I got about halfway through and thought, I’m witnessing testimony.  Joe very eloquently puts into words what so many of us desire for our ministry.  He writes from his heart – truthful, faith-filled accounts of how God is working in his life, through the music he shepards.

We each hope to pass down a legacy in our lives, and in our ministries.  Our ability to share our gifts and give of our talents will enable God’s music to reach generations to come, continuing the legacy of praise.  As Joe says, “it’s sharing that empowers all of our ministries as we attempt to tell the old, old story in a new, new way.”

For the complete article by Joseph Martin, click here.


A Message from Dolly Parton to Church Choirs

January 6, 2012

It’s time to celebrate the wonderful contribution choirs make in churches across the country!

J.W. Pepper is happy to sponsor National Choir Appreciation Sunday and offer here a special message from Dolly Parton to all the musicians who raise their voice in praise.   Share with us on Facebook how you are celebrating this special day in your church.

Enjoy the video!