Church Music Program Changes

“Church Music Program Changes,” Ensign, June 1974, 63

Church Music Program Changes

The Church Music Department has introduced changes in the Church music program that will eliminate duplication of effort and phase out some traditional stake positions.

In both stakes and wards, the functions of the permanent music committees have been replaced, and in the stakes the permanent positions of music director and organist are being phased out. The ward music committee, comprised of a chairman and all ward music leaders, has been discontinued.

The new program is as follows: under the direction of the ward music adviser, who is a member of the bishopric, the ward music chairman will meet collectively or individually with the ward music leaders to assist them as the need arises. These leaders include the ward music director, organist, priesthood music director and organist, choir president and officers, Aaronic Priesthood MIA music leaders, and the assistant librarian for music, as well as music directors and organists or pianists for the Relief Society, Primary, and Sunday School organizations.

The ward music chairman will receive guidance from the stake music chairman, who is under the direction of a member of the stake presidency or a high councilor who serves as stake music adviser.

The permanent stake music committee that used to be composed of a chairman and the stake auxiliary music leaders has been discontinued. Under the new program, the stake music chairman will meet with stake auxiliary music leaders collectively or individually.

Since the positions of stake music director and stake organist have been discontinued, the stake music chairman may appoint any capable musician to fill these roles on a temporary basis.

At the regional level, a stake president within a given region may be recommended by the Regional Representative and approved by the Council of the Twelve to be adviser for a regional or multiregional activity. The appointed stake president, with his stake music chairman, would supervise the required talents and music for the activity, whether it be one event or a series of events. This appointment, made as the need arises and on a temporary basis only, would replace the existing position of regional music leader.

Although certain positions are being phased out, there still is a need for training courses, seminars, and workshops. Under priesthood leadership, such programs would be organized by the ward or stake music chairmen who may assign qualified instructors to conduct specific courses or sessions. The Church Music Department has recommended that a continuing program of preservice training for potential music directors, organists, and pianists be maintained, and that, where feasible, stake inservice seminars and workshops be conducted quarterly.

Ward auxiliary music leaders receive basic music skills training through the ward or stake music chairmen, while specialized help pertaining to their specific auxiliary needs should be forthcoming from their particular stake auxiliary music leader.

The positions of stake music director and stake organist or pianist for the Relief Society and the Primary should be phased out under the new program and be replaced by a single stake music leader for each auxiliary. These leaders will receive instruction and counsel directly from their respective general boards. The Sunday School may continue with its existing program of the stake music leader, or leaders, for Junior Sunday School and Senior Sunday School. Stake auxiliary music leaders may use ward auxiliary music directors and organists in their stake programs as needed.

This new music program is also applicable to districts and branches of the Church.

The organization of the Church music program

In this chart showing the organization of the Church music program, the solid lines indicate priesthood direction. Broken lines indicate open communication between music leaders.