Music Camp, July 25 – 28, 2013

Theme: “Singing in the Orthodox Presbyterian Church”

Bring your whole family to the Machen Center from Thursday, July 25 through Sunday, July 28 for Music Camp — back by popular demand! Soak up wonderful teaching from Dr. Tim Shafer and participate in choral singing classes (for both adults and children) led by Rev. Tom Tyson and family while you enjoy the great outdoors of Highland County, “Virginia’s Little Switzerland.”

Camp Schedule

Choir for Adults and Singing Classes for Children

Thomas E. Tyson, retired OPC pastor, will be leading a choir comprised of as many conference attendees who love to sing! This year’s repertoire will include:

  •  Two choruses from Mendelssohn’s “Elijah” — powerful, gorgeous praise
  •  “River in Judea,” the beloved spiritual learned two years ago

US Navy (retired) Commander Peter Tyson and Mrs. Barbara Tyson will lead a singing class for children 12 years and younger.

Interactive Lectures

Dr. Tim Shafer, professor of music at Penn State University and member of the OPC’s Psalter Hymnal Committee, will deliver five lectures, as follows:

1. Anatomy of a Hymn: Singing with Understanding

In this session, we will explore the various disciplines that combine to create a hymn: theology, poetry, and music. Using examples from the Revised Trinity Hymnal, we will examine how these elements are integrally combined in good hymns, and how they work together to amplify various aspects of God’s historical redemption narrative.

2. How Does the Music Sound? A Beginner’s Guide to Musical Communication

Uncovering some of the mysteries of how music affects our emotions will be the topic of this session, where examples will be selected from a wide array of musical styles, and those attending will participate in discussions of their reactions to the examples.  Using as little musical jargon as possible, we’ll attempt to discover how music accomplishes its aims of causing certain feelings.

3.  A Short History of Music in the Church

From the earliest records, the history of notated music is found only in the church.  Though an enormous topic, with many branches, we will try to hit a few highlights of the development of music throughout the centuries.  Beginning with Scripture, we will travel through what is known of music in the early church, the Middle Ages and Renaissance, the Reformation, and then into modern times whizzing through the past 400 years.

4.  Singing the Psalms I

The current OPC psalter/hymnal project will be the source for exploring the Lord’s songbook.  We will learn and sing representative selections that have been proposed for the new psalter portion of the psalter/hymnal, and examine the reasons for the pairing of the particular tunes with the texts.  This first session of two will also have a brief period of time allotted to the process of the committee in examining the psalms.

5.  Singing the Psalms II

In this second session, we will dedicate all the time to a preview of new psalter tunes for the proposed OPC psalter/hymnal. More exploration of the relationship between the theology of the psalm and the music selected to help amplify the text.

Biography of Dr. Timothy Shafer

Dr. Tim Shafer

Dr. Tim Shafer

Pianist Timothy Shafer has concertized extensively throughout the United States, performing, teaching, and discussing the rich heritage of piano repertoire. With degrees from Oberlin Conservatory and Indiana University (Bloomington), Dr. Shafer is the recipient of Oberlin’s Rudolf Serkin Outstanding Pianist Award, Indiana University’s Annual Concerto Competition, and the 1997 PMTA Teacher of the Year Award.  He has twice appeared at Carnegie Hall’s Weill Recital Hall, and has also recorded a CD with violinist James Lyon entitled Out Standing in Our Field.

Appointed in 1986, Shafer is currently Professor at Penn State where he teaches piano, coordinates class piano and pedagogy programs.  He is a frequent concerto soloist with regional orchestras, and is active as a chamber musician and soloist.  Shafer’s writings about piano teaching and repertoire have been published by Prentice Hall, Scarecrow Press, and the American Music Teacher, among others.  Shafer is currently serves as music consultant for the Psalter-Hymnal project of the Orthodox Presbyterian Church.  Tim lives in State College with his wife Lou Ann and their daughters Sarah, Elisabeth, and Grace.  All are members of Resurrection Orthodox Presbyterian Church.

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