International educational programmes for church music.
Students and rector of the Evangelical Pop-Academy created the evening program at the German Regional Assembly
Demand for temporary and popular music is growing in more and more congregations in UEM churches worldwide. Not only in Germany Christians long for professional guidance and accompaniment for good music in worships and services. Good music which contains elements of Jazz, Rock, Pop and Gospel – far beyond the classical forms of church music.
In the context of UEM´s thematic focus “Dance – Music – Arts” the demand of the UEM churches to improve their education in church music is taken account of. UEM therefore supports the Pop-Academy in terms of personnel in order to strengthen the international cooperation. One of the aims is to establish a network of educational institutions for church music in Africa, Asia and Germany.
The Evangelical Pop-Academy in Witten/Germany since winter semester 2016/2017 offers B.A. studies in popular church music which is unique in Europe.
Martin Bartelworth (Evangelical Pop-Academy) in his evening devotion at the opening day of the German Regional Assembly referred to the song “People get ready” in which it says: “You don't need no baggage, you just get on board, all you need is faith, you don't need no ticket”.
Six students of the B.A. Course (conducted by Rector Professor Hartmut Naumann) proved their abilities to motivate and guide people to sing together. The delegates visibly enjoyed to be given the opportunity to move after a long conference day and to sing some new songs under professional conductorship, among those the choral “Praise to the Lord the Almighty” in a modern arrangement.
Professor Hartmut Naumann (Rector of the Evangelical Pop-Academy) explains with regard to the new B.A. course “Popular Church Music”: “Music continues to speak where words do not reach. Music touches and provides moments of great interiority and on the other hand offers opportunities to experience fellowship. Seen in this way music is an indispensable part of proclamation of the gospel. Nobody will weaken the traditional form of church music, but Jazz, Rock, Pop and Gospel shall be added on equal footing in order to enrich the diversity of expression.”
The Evangelical Pop-Academy apart from the B.A. studies offers programmes for further training for church musicians (lay or professionals) in order to increase offers in pop-music in congregations. After the B.A. graduation students may be employed as church musicians. Provider of the Pop-Academy are the Evangelical Church of Westfalia, the Foundation “Creative Kirche” (Creative Church) and the Evangelical church district of Hattingen-Witten.
In July 2017 the following persons met in order to agree on a roadmap “International Network Church Music” and for further consultations on international Church Music projects (e.g. German Protestant Church Convention – Kirchentag 2019): (from the left to the right) Martin Bartelworth (Creative Kirche Witten), Hartmut Naumann (Rector Evangelical Pop-Academy), Angelika Veddeler (Head Germany Dept UEM), Jörg Spitzer (UEM Officer for Programmes), Helmut Fleinghaus (Rector University for Church Music, Herford). Annette Salomo (2nd from the left), chairperson of the German Regional Assembly of the UEM and herself choir conductor (volunteer) welcomed the new cooperation and the respective new opportunities for the work of UEM in the area of “music in the church”.