WAPC Hosts Sacred Choral Reading Workshop

Musicians from as far as Maryland came together at the Watchung Avenue Presbyterian Church on Saturday, August 6th, to attend a choral reading session, led by local composer Mark Miller. He is popular among church musicians, and has over 30 choral anthems currently in print, and more are coming soon.
The workshop featured 5 of Miller’s own compositions, as well as 28 others in a wide variety of styles. The purpose of the workshop was to present a selection of interdenominational, high-quality choral anthems to church musicians interested in new material. Both a morning and an afternoon session allowed enough time for the attendees to sing through all the anthems.
An organ workshop presented by North Plainfield resident John Nowik, Organist and Liturgical Music Professor at Seton Hall University, provided a fun and interesting break for the participants, followed by a networking luncheon prior to the afternoon session. The organ workshop made good use of the church’s wonderful 24-rank Moller organ.
The church music conference was sponsored by the Plainfield Music store, and was directed by sales associate and Watchung Avenue Presbyterian Church Music Director Karl Kaefer. Vicky Griswold, owner of the store, accompanied the anthems, assisted by Mark Miller and John Nowik. A display of sacred choral and keyboard music was available for the participants to browse, as well as purchase the anthems they had just heard.
The day was “an extremely valuable experience,” according to one musician, with many others echoing the same sentiments. “It provided us with an opportunity to hear some wonderful sacred music we would not have heard otherwise, and Mark Miller is a wonderful composer and clinician!” said another. Karl Kaefer, whose idea it was to present the workshop, commented, “We would like to see this event as a way to invite local musicians to come together and grow together.”