Monday, December 31, 2007

If I were a policeman

If I were a policeman, this would probably happen to me . . .

Danny Boy

For those of you who don't follow Chris Reid's blog:

Thanks, Chris. Great find.

Sunday, December 30, 2007

Star of the County Down (and more)

Other music that we are going to learn available from ITUNES.

Here's the Itunes link for "Star of the County Down." This is an awesome piece . . . but it will be quite difficult to learn. My advice . . . listen now!

The Flower of Maherally. A fantastic tenor solo. Choir back up. Anthony?

Dulaman. Charles?

Dulaman. Chanticleer singing.

Schutz: So far ich hin zu Jesu christ SWV 379

Preparing for next semester . . . studying the Schutz piece I gave you at the end of the semester.

Lots of recordings on Itunes.

Here's the one I like best. And it's nine cents cheaper at Amazon's mp3's.
This one is also worthy of a listen. Or purchase. (it's only 99 cents, you know)

Found this information about the work here.

11. So fahr ich hin zu Jesu Christ

SWV 379 is a setting of the fifth and final stanza of the hymn Wenn mein Stündlein vorhanden ist by Nikolaus Hermann (1500-1561) published in the Gesangbüchlein Geistlicher...Psalmen at Bonn in 1575. It has a rhythmic scheme of 87878888 syllables, and a rhyme scheme of abcbde.

Schütz's setting is intensely depictive. The opening figure, with its simultaneous stepwise ascent and descent, demonstrates the contrapuntal technique fuga inversa, which Schütz used to encapsulate the spiritual paradox that the descent into death was simultaneous with the ascent to the afterlife. To set "ruhe" Schütz's rhythmic motion nearly stands still and comes to a full stop in m. 19. The music for "kann mich aufwecken" seems to shake the listener from slumber, and the motet closes with "ewigen Leben" set with rapturous flourishes.

So fahr ich hin zu Jesu Christ,
mein Arm tu ich ausstrecken,
so schlaf ich ein und ruhe fein,
kein Mensch kann mich aufwecken,
denn Jesus Christus, Gottes Sohn,
der wird die Himmelstür auftun,
mich führen zum ewigen Leben.

Thus I go hence to Jesus Christ,
I stretch out my arm,
thus I fall asleep and rest soundly;
no one can wake me
except for Jesus Christ, Son of God,
who will open the gate of heaven
and lead me to eternal life.

Saturday, December 22, 2007

Zach Hill checks in

For those of you who knew Zach, he wrote me this email today:


I just wanted to let you I'm thinking about you and your family and wish you all a very Merry Christmas this year and that the Lord would bless you. You have played a very important part in my life and I just wanted you know that I appreciate the time I had singing for you at UAB. I'm working as a Database Developer at a company now and just recently became engaged to a Wonderful Woman. I thought that you would like a update and to know that you are on my mind and I am and will continue to pray for you and your family. May the Light of His love fill you this Christmas and all of your life!

Zachary Hill

His second email contained this:

Actually I was looking at the UAB choir blog today and trying to track down folks and see what was going on in people's lives. I was also listening to a UAB Choir Listening CD from when i was still there..Maute Saule, I Thank You Jesus, Jauzete Dame Herrn... were just a few on there. I was kind of reminiscing about when I was there and realized just how much i missed it. It is really weird how time has passed so quickly.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

The No-Rehearsal Friday's - Spring 2008

No rehearsal on these days:


We'll plan a Saturday rehearsal soon.

Friday, December 14, 2007

The Competition in Cork

Looks like these are a few of the choirs (from what I can ascertain) that we will see in Cork. Formal announcement of the participating choirs will come later.

Mornington Singers, Dublin.
University of Alberta Madrigal Singers, Canada

molto cantabile, Switzerland
St. Johannes Chamber Choir, Sweden

Looks like fantastic competition. Mornington and Alberta have won before.

Competition Literature: Cork

Here it is, world:

Regina Coeli Romuald Twardowsky (b. 1930)
Edition Ferrimontana
(EF 2091)

Nunc Dimittis Gustav Holst (1874-1934)

So Fahr Ich Hin Zu Jesu Christ, SWV 379 Heinrich Schütz (1585-1672)
CPDL: Choral Public Domain Library

With A Lily In Your Hand Eric Whitacre (b.1970)
Santa Barbara Music Publishing
SBMP 431

Regina Coeli (Twardowski) 2:49
Nunc Dimittis (Holst) 2:55
So fahr ich hin zu Jesu Christ 2:44
With A Lily In Your Hand 2:34

Well, I Did It - The purging of the blogs

Well, I did it. I purged my bloglines feed of all the dead choir blogs. It was a little sad. Back when we started this blogging deal, we had quite a little community all blogging about our life, our music, our thoughts and whatever.

Today, I said goodbye to:
heregoesnothing (Sarah Labriola). Last post December 2006
Caroline Blog (Caroline Spears). Last post August 2005
Zach's Journal (Zach Hill). Last post November 2004
They Made Me Sign Up (Lauren Davidson). Last post August 2006
Who'Da Thunk It (John MarriedKristina). Last post February 2006
Illinois State Choirs. Last post October 2005
The Profound Thoughts of Jonathan Hood. Last post February 2006
ClayTablets (Clay Rector). Last post September 2006
Andy's Often Psycho Rant About Important Things. First and Last Post September 2005
Radagast1986. Last post December 2006
Mitchell Miller. Last post December 2006

Thanks for the memories.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

The Importance of Diction

You might like this as much as I did . . . also posted on ChoralNet:

I found this here.

A choral director used this video to make a point about the importance of diction in singing.

Here are the actual words - but don't look until you've watched it without them at least once and tried to make sense of it!

1. Blessed city, heavenly Salem,
vision dear of peace and love,
who of living stones art builded
in the height of heaven above,
and, with angel hosts encircled,
as a bride dost earthward move;

2. from celestial realms descending,
bridal glory round thee shed,
meet for him whose love espoused thee,
to thy Lord shalt thou be led;
all thy streets and all thy bulwarks
of pure gold are fashioned.

Results of Today's Work

Rune of Hospitality
Nunc Dimittis (Holst)
Christmas Song (version 1)
Christmas Song (version 2)

Monday, December 10, 2007

So I'm Driving To Work Today . ..

IMG_1563, originally uploaded by philipco.

So I'm driving to work today talking on my cell phone and all of a sudden I spot this scene in front of me.

Now, I'm not one to really think about omens, but this certainly had me worried about the rest of my day.

I took three pictures of the unique scene and only drifted into another lane once. Note: I had nothing to do with the name of the cow . . . what you see is what I saw.

Sacrilege: Burger King Whopper Goes Away

Burger King eliminates the Whopper.

Recording Session is a YES

Recording session is a YES:

Concert Choir
Recording Session: Nunc, Rune, Christmas Song
Thursday, December 13 1:30 - 3:15 p.m.
Bluff Park Methodist

This is part of our final exam, attendance is required and you will be dismissed in plenty of time to make your next exam.

Sunday, December 09, 2007

A tremendous concert

I'm busy working on Ireland competition details . . . but needed to say to everyone involved with today: FANTASTIC JOB!!!!!

I'll have more specific comments later and I look forward to hearing yours. Let me know what you thought.

Saturday, December 08, 2007

CAA: Dress Rehearsal Schedule

8:00 UAB and Birmingham Concert Chorale seated
UAB on Jemison Stage
BCC in choral balcony (Jemison)
BCC runs their set
UAB runs Nunc, Christmas Song

8:40 Brass downbeat: Willcocks: The First Noel
Rehearse Gabrieli “Canzon noni toni” (Brass Only)

9:00 Samford arrives and is seated

Gabrieli: Et In Terra Pax
Pinkham: 3rd Movement
Handel: And the Glory (brass is dismissed)
Birmingham Concert Chorale dismissed
UAB runs “Rune of Hospitality” with Joel Smith, guitar
UAB dismissed

10:00 Samford runs set

10:30 ASC closes

Call Times for Sunday, December 9, 2007]

Birmingham Concert Chorale: 2:00 Hulsey Recital Hall
UAB: 2:00 Hulsey 210 (Band room)
Samford: 2:00 Hulsey 308 (Choir room)

Thursday, December 06, 2007

Friday's Performance

Be there tomorrow at 10:30 AM and we sing from 11 - 11:30. Directions below. My advice: carpool.

Where to Gather: third floor of the South Exhibition Hall.


Wear nice clothes that have a lot of black . . . NOT the concert outfits.

Full choir rehearses at 1:30 in Hulsey Recital hall. See you then!

Here are directions:

From Atlanta and Gadsden
Take 22nd Street exit from I-20/59 west (125) At bottom of ramp go straight across 22nd Street. At the next intersection take a right on to Richard Arrington Jr. Blvd North. The Sheraton Birmingham Hotel and Medical Forum are on your right and the Arena, Concert Hall, Exhibition Halls and Meeting Rooms are on your left.

From US Hwy 280
Take Carraway Blvd. exit. At the second light take left on to Richard Arrington Jr. Blvd North. Go four blocks.

From Huntsville, Montgomery or Tuscaloosa
At the downtown interchange of I-20/59 and I-65 take I-20/59 east to Atlanta and Gadsden. Take the 17th Street exit (125A) and turn left on to 8th Avenue (first light). Take left on 19th Street, go under the interstate and the Arena is on the right side of the street.

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Vestavia Country Club Singers--UPDATED

Here's what I've got scheduled. They want you to wear nice clothes . . . khakis, white shirt and tie for guys and nice outfit for girls.


Tuesday December 4, 2007 6:00 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.

Sami Ashley
Elizabeth Bannister
Anthony Concepcion
Bryan Bastow

Thursday December 6, 2007 6:00 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.

Katie Harris
Whitney Cummins
Brian Denton
Jason Leger

Friday December 7, 2007 6:00 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.
Samantha Pace
Whitney Cummins
Anthony Concepcion
Jason Leger

Saturday December 8, 2007 6:00 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.
Jenny Smith
Nancy Lewis
Roxy Nelson
Jake Richey
Lincoln Parrott
Jason Leger

Sunday December 9, 2007 11:00 am. to 12:30 p.m.

Tuesday December 11, 2007 6:00 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.
Sadie Mason-Smith
Whitney Cummins
Anthony Concepcion
Bryan Bastow

Wednesday December 12, 2007 6:00 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.
Katie Harris
Madison Holler
Jake Richey
Ron Baxter

Thursday December 13, 2007 6:00 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.
Sadie Mason-Smith
Jennifer Thorp
Brian Denton
Ron Baxter

Friday December 14, 2007 6:00 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.
Katie Fussell
Jenny Smith
Brian Denton
Alex Fecanin

Sunday, December 02, 2007

Christmas Carol Packet and Singing around

For those going a'caroling, I've created this packet. Please download it, print it out, put it in a folder and show up at your appointed time.

Proper dress for Vestavia Country Club: Women nice clothes, men in khakis, button up shirt, and tie. My thought: look like carolers.

On Friday, I've committed us to three groups of 8 that will perform as Christmas Carolers at the BJCC. For those who don't have exams during the Friday late morning slot, we'll show up at the BJCC at 10:30 and sing from 11:00 - 11:45.

Special note: Solos are announced in previous post.

Results: Christmas solos

Congratulations to these soloists for Nunc Dimittis:

Soprano: Samantha Pace
Tenor: Lincoln Parrott

For Christmas Song, I'll be choosing from these women with help from Dr. Kris:

Ashley Arrington
Whitney Cummins
Nancy Lewis
Katie Smith
Jennifer Thorp

Saturday, December 01, 2007

Help me figure it out

It's your turn to help me shape tasks for the choir, students.

Goal: We have a goal of putting out a CD this summer from our recordings.

Opportunity: We have three songs ready to sing in performance. (well, almost)

Potential reward: If we have a recording session, we can put these down for posterity.

Problem: Scheduling recording sessions is difficult and potentially infringes upon your time.

Possibility: We have a stated exam time for the 2E part of our class on Thursday, December 13 from 1:30 - 4:00. UPDATE: The more I think about it, this is the ideal time to do it. It's scheduled and there should be no other conflicts with it unless you are in the Honors School (and they might not have exams then). My advice: don't schedule anything on that day and time.

Shall I make that a definite? Speak now. If you are good for it, I need to schedule the church, the recording engineer, put it on the UAB Music Dept. calendar, and hope that Joel Smith (our wonderful guitarist) has that time free.

Singing with yourself

It's always interesting.

It's always interesting to see what people say about you when they don't know you can read their blog.

And . .

I find this site very interesting. I searched, but there is no Choral Director Rumor Mill.

Friday, November 30, 2007

Monday Night


We have an evening rehearsal with Birmingham Concert Chorale on Monday night, December 3 at 7:00 p.m. for one hour.

I've mentioned this to you before but I've not stressed it like I should have.

Birmingham Concert Chorale meets at Briarwood Presbyterian Church. Directions here.

More Directions to Briarwood

FROM THE NORTH [to Birmingham, AL]:
Traveling south on I-65, go north on I-459. Take the first exit, Acton Road. Turn left on Acton and take a right at the second traffic light. Bear to the left up the hill and onto the Briarwood campus.

FROM THE SOUTH [to Birmingham, AL]:
Traveling north on I-65, go north on I-459. Take the first exit, Acton Road. Turn left on Acton and take a right at the second traffic light. Bear to the left up the hill and onto the Briarwood campus.

FROM ATLANTA [to Birmingham, AL]:
Traveling west on I-20, go south on I-459. Take the Acton Road exit. Turn right on Acton and take a right at the second traffic light. Bear to the left up the hill and onto the Briarwood campus.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Singing makes it better

From something I posted today at ChoralNet.

Hat tip to Michael Parker for this story:
Why such a brouhaha about singing when every week seems to bring more evidence that schools are failing to teach basic skills to our children? The answer is that singing plays a big role in making those other things possible.

As the Sing Up programme manager Baz Chapman points out, singing is more than a musical act; it's a primordial feature of mankind, predating even agriculture. It's connected to the roots of our being, as breathing, feeling, social creatures.

Get schoolchildren singing together regularly, and something miraculous happens. They concentrate better, they're happier in themselves, and the school takes on a real cohesive sense of identity. This isn't just the subjective impression of starry-eyed music teachers: it's hard fact. Every single one of the top 30 primary schools in England has a singing programme involving all pupils.
More here.

Monday, November 26, 2007

For Nancy

Nancy needs a blog post to balance her life.

This is it.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

All West TN 2007 Greets Copeland Triplets

I spent Thursday - Saturday conducting the 2007 All-West Tennessee Honor Choir and it was an incredible experience. The students were extremely well-prepared--I didn't have to teach them one note. They listened intently to everything that I said. Because they were so well taught, I spent most of the time shaping musical lines and talking about what the music means and how to perform it best.

The teaching in the Memphis area is at an incredibly high level. I've admired some of the teachers there for a very long time. Overall, I've never seen students better prepared or so willing and capable to take musical instruction. The event was very well run by all those involved. I'm especially thankful to Paul Whited for asking me to do this event.

We did these works:

1. Fanfare for a Festival (Ron Nelson)
2. Abendlied (Rheinberger)
3. Rise Up My Fair One (Healy Willan)
4. In Remembrance (Jeffrey Ames)
5. There Shall a Star From David (Mendelssohn)
6. Sicut Cervus (Palestrina)
7. Domaredansen (arr. Bengt Hallberg)

They did great work on all the pieces, especially Domaredansen. I've done that work with three honor choirs and this choir really nailed it. Our most nuanced work was probably Willan's "Rise Up" but Rheinberger's "Abendlied" was also well done. The choir helped me come to a new understanding of the Mendelssohn piece in the musical ideas in the "There shall a star" motive and "and dash in pieces." The Ames' "In Remembrance" was probably the choir's favorite. They loved the dramatic middle part with the text "Oh God, My God, Why hast thou forsaken me." And let me tell you . . . 240 talented singers singing that music is a powerful and moving experience.

If I had one regret about the performance, it was the Palestrina "Sicut Cervus." In rehearsal, the choir sang it as well as any group I've ever conducted--very sensitive and incredibly nuanced. In the performance, it reverted back to it's pre-rehearsal state . . . something that happens when the pressure is on in a performance situation. The fault was mine, of course. I need to be more proactive in finding a solution to that common problem . . . I even anticipated it happening but wasn't able to prevent it.

Overall, it was an outstanding honor choir experience. I absolutely loved it.

Other highlights:
1. Seeing all my friends and former students that have become my friends and colleagues.
2. Working and talking with Judy Bowers
3. The one bite of some chocolate desert at YaYa's . . . wow.
4. Seeing such outstanding teaching from graduates of Jerry Jordan's Concert Singers. Members of that choir are forever linked in a wonderful bond of musical excellence, inside jokes, legendary stories, and compelling life experiences.

The students were nice enough to help me create this greeting for my three daughters, Catherine, Caroline, and Claire . . the girls that make my life complete.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

In my email this morning . . . . .

Dear Dr Philip L Copeland,

It is with great pleasure that I confirm that University of Alabama at Birmingham Concert Choir has been accepted for the Fleischmann International Trophy Competition to be held as part of the 54th Cork International Choral Festival taking place 30th April – 4th May 2008. We will contact you in the near future with further details of your participation and with any questions we may have regarding your repertoire and timing of your pieces. In the meantime, I would be grateful if you could confirm to me at your earliest convenience, no later than Wednesday 28th November 2007, in writing or by email to that your choir will be taking part.

I look forward to hearing from you as soon as possible.

With best wishes

Yours sincerely

John Fitzpatrick
Festival Director

PS: Please note that this email has also been sent to you by post.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Monday, November 12, 2007

Recording Session YES Tuesday Afternoon

Reminder . . . be at Bluff Park Methodist tomorrow for the recording session at 2:00 p.m.

Come early if possible.

No recording session Tuesday night

No recording session Tuesday night, November 13th.

A note to Chamber Singers

Chamber Singers . . . a note to you from William Carter:

Dear Phil,

Your singers sounded wonderful Saturday evening. They really brought the poems and music to life. We enjoyed it thoroughly. And your singers have such good accents and I didn't spot a single one of my students among them. You're doing a great job and please know how grateful we are and thank your students. If you or they ever need (apparently you don't!) coaching in French, I am happy to volunteer. Hope to see you soon.


My Response:

Thanks so much!

All the credit for the French goes to our outstanding new voice teacher, Kristine Hurst-Wajszczuk. I heard her help a student with his French diction in her job interview/audition and I started planning French repertoire then!

It's quite hard for me to do the French diction, so I rarely make the attempt. Working with Kris has been wonderful.

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Chamber Choir Tonight


Jeans, black shirt.
Choir room 6:15.

Look over your music today.

It's 12:42 in my world. Are you awake yet?

Friday, November 09, 2007

What a great night . . . .

The opera scenes recital was fabulous. All involved did a superb job and I was very proud of everyone.

So many highlights . . .

Hilarious moments with Kiyoshi/Howard, Marybeth, Sam/Meredith (megan).
Tender moments with Kiyoshi/Marybeth.

The bearded lady was too much (in a very funny way). Loved the color in Katie's voice . . . the duet with Meredith was wonderful.

Loved seeing Jonathan and Chris Reid up there leading the way and sounding so good. It was fun to see those Baptist boys in devious roles.

Crystal was wonderfully animated and brave. Sam was at her sassy best.

Brian was superb. So was Sean Fleischman. Three great tenors tonight!

Whitney sang better than I've ever heard her. So did Meredith.

I don't think I left out anyone . . . apologies if I did!

muiscians is smartr than othurs

NEWS - New Harris Poll Links Music Education to Advanced Studies and Higher Incomes - On November 12 at 10 a.m. Eastern Time in Washington, DC, MENC leadership will be on hand for the release and dissemination of results from a brand new Harris Poll on the impact of music education on our society. “Little Steven” Van Zandt (Bruce Springsteen band member and "The Sopranos" star) will lend his support to the poll release by making an appearance at the event. The release of this poll is timely, given MENC's recent efforts to improve music education's standing in the upcoming reauthorization of the No Child Left Behind Act currently being debated by Congress. Visit MENC after 11:00 a.m. on November 12 to read the press release and the Harris Poll results. The poll is expected to garner significant media attention, so watch for event coverage the evening of November 12.

Variety of Quartet Singing Opportunities Coming Soon

I've been approached by several people interested in hiring our students for quartet singing opportunities for Christmas.

I'll be directing these opportunities to Ireland singers, so if you are interested let me know.

One opportunity involves the Vestavia Hills Country Club.

One involves singing at the airport.

One involves singing in a Christmas Play at the Alys Stephens Center.

Thursday, November 08, 2007


This is really hilarious.

Responses from Choral Directors about RUNE

My original question to ChoralTalk:

Original Question:

I'm wondering why Alf Houkom's wonderful work "The Rune of Hospitality" is
listed in Dale Warland's Christmas Choral Series with Walton Music.

I love the piece, but I'd like to have the answer ready when someone says:
"How is this a Christmas piece?"

Can anyone help? I know that it appeared on Warland's
"December" CD and that this is the text:

I saw a stranger yestereen;
I put food in the eating place,
drink in the drinking place,
music in the listening place;
and in the sacred names of the Triune God
he blessed me and my house,
my cattle and my dear ones,
and the lark said in her song:
Often, Often, Often,
goes the Christ in a stranger's guise.

I'd appreciate any help.


Glory to Jesus Christ!

There is nothing inherent in "The Rune of Hospitality" that connects it with
Christmas. Given the fact that there is a tradition of "seeking shelter"
for the Holy Family (e.g., "Herbergsuchen" in Bavaria and Austria, and "Las
Posadas" in Spanish-speaking South America), the last two lines of the poem can
be interpreted in that way. But it is "eisigesis," not "exegisis"---and the
fact that it's a lovely setting, too

Prof. J. Michael Thompson
Byzantine Catholic Seminary
Pittsburgh, PA


Simple -- "it's miscategorized." :-)

The prayer is typical of Irish blessings and invocations, and, while it could certainly be used for Christmas, it could be used for any Christian holiday or event.

Sing on,
Cairril Adaire


Well, it's a bit of a stretch, but the narrative may be that of the
stable owner commenting on Christ's arrival as an infant. Hence, the
relevance to Christmas.

Just a thought,

Dean Estabrook


I suggest that it's largely due to the fact that Al Burt set this
text, and everyone associates his music with Christmas. Also
"December" can mean Christmas to some and Advent to others. And since
a good portion of Advent is meant to refer to Christ coming again (and
not as a baby), I think singing it in December is appropriate.
Chuck Peery


> Often, Often, Often,
> goes the Christ in a stranger's guise.

I'd say this is the fastener that holds the text to the Christmas

At its root, Christmas is a celebration of God among us, and we've
been conditioned to think of the baby Jesus at Bethlehem. This
text challenges the boundary that limits God to the cradle of
infancy, or even the person of Jesus.

You could build a thematic arc with this idea. For example, start
the arc with "When I needed a neighbor" by Sydney Carter, and continue
with Houkom plus an "Ubi caritas". If you like, close the set like
that, or put on a lively number about the coming of God.
Romain Kang
Disclaimer: I speak for myself alone, except when indicated otherwise.


Actually the full title is "December Stillness". I produced that CD for Dale and now I can't remember the rationale for including it. I saw a lot of responses for you on the list (I didn't realize that you were the original sender). Did you receive a satisfactory reply? If not, I could certainty ask Dale himself. I just saw him two days ago at the Minnesota State Fair (we both have a tradition of going to the Fair). I seem to recall getting an explanation at the time. It's a great piece, whatever the reason or season.


My take on the text is that the Christ
came to earth in a stranger's guise - God incarnate as man, particulary in
the guise of a baby. I have a take on this medieval text where the opening
of the home to a stanger symbolizes opening ones heart to the unfathumable
idea to a Christ, a Triune God, the mystery of the Trinity. Love to chat
with you about it and anxious to hear the other responses you receive.


Christmas is ABOUT hospitality, not only the hospitality you give to family
and friends, but the hospitality you give to complete strangers. Who was more
hospitable, the speaker or the stranger?

Matthew, Chapter 25

34 Then the king will say to those on his right, 'Come, you who are blessed
by my Father. Inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the
35 For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me
drink, a stranger and you welcomed me,
36 naked and you clothed me, ill and you cared for me, in prison and you
visited me.'
37 Then the righteous will answer him and say, 'Lord, when did we see you
hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you drink?
38 When did we see you a stranger and welcome you, or naked and clothe you?
39 When did we see you ill or in prison, and visit you?'
40 And the king will say to them in reply, 'Amen, I say to you, whatever you
did for one of these least brothers of mine, you did for me.'
41 Then he will say to those on his left, 'Depart from me, you accursed, into
the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels.
42 For I was hungry and you gave me no food, I was thirsty and you gave me no
43 a stranger and you gave me no welcome, naked and you gave me no clothing,
ill and in prison, and you did not care for me.'
44 Then they will answer and say, 'Lord, when did we see you hungry or
thirsty or a stranger or naked or ill or in prison, and not minister to your needs?'
45 He will answer them, 'Amen, I say to you, what you did not do for one of
these least ones, you did not do for me.'


I have used a different arrangement of this text in church in worship for a special Christmas music service. To me, it speaks to who Christ IS, why we celebrate Christmas in the first place. And, perhaps, how we all can best celebrate, eg., by serving the poor, etc. On a less religious note, perhaps, it is the season of giving... Anyway, i love the words, and believe they are totally appropriate. Linda Mc


My take on the text is that the Christ
came to earth in a stranger's guise - God incarnate as man, particulary in
the guise of a baby. I have a take on this medieval text where the opening
of the home to a stanger symbolizes opening ones heart to the unfathumable
idea to a Christ, a Triune God, the mystery of the Trinity. Love to chat
with you about it and anxious to hear the other responses you receive.


If it were ME, I'd say "it goes along with the Christian's eye on the Birth
of Christ...." yatta, yatta, yatta. How deep I'd go after that would depend
a lot on who I was talking to and where I was standing at the time. (I'm a
public elementary school music teacher, so I have to be really careful what
I say.)


There is clearly an English tradition, well expressed in the following
quotation, which directly connects Christmas with hospitality, and with
caring for the needy:

Whosoever on the night of the nativity of the young Lord Jesus, in the great
snows, shall fare forth bearing a succulent bone for the lost and lamenting
hounds, a wisp of hay for the shivering horse, a cloak of warm raiment for
the stranded wayfarer, a bundle of fagots for the twittering crone, a flagon
of red wine for him whose marrow withers, a garland of bright red berries
for one who has worn chains, a dish of crumbs with a song of love for all
huddled birds who thought that song was dead, and divers lush sweetmeats for
such babes’ faces as peer from lonely windows, to him shall be proffered and
returned gifts of such an astonishment as will rival the hues of the peacock
and the harmonies of heaven, so that though he live to the great age when
man goes stooping and querulous because of the nothing that is left of him,
yet shall he walk upright and remembering, as one whose heart shines like a
great star in his breast.

From the Dictionary of Quotations

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Chamber Singers will be open soon

There is a little technical hangup with registering for Chamber Singers. Hope to have it fixed soon.

Rune of Hospitality

"How is this a Christmas text?"

I saw a stranger yestereen;
I put food in the eating place,
drink in the drinking place,
music in the listening place;
and in the sacred names of the Triune God
he blessed me and my house,
my cattle and my dear ones,
and the lark said in her song:
Often, Often, Often,
goes the Christ in a stranger's guise.

I heard the space shuttle

Interesting experience . . .

I was watching TV and they said something to the effect of "the shuttle is coming over Birmingham, Alabama right now . . . " so I ran outside and looked up. Five seconds later I heard two "booms" and I was concerned that something bad had happened.

I came back inside and learned that the shuttle was safe . . . but that when it passes over head it creates "twin sonic booms" that people on the ground can hear. One boom is from the nose, one from the tail.

Pretty strange . . . but I heard it.

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

check this out - from AUB

click here.

Get it in your heads: Recording Session next Tuesday

Don't forget . . . Recording session for Concert Choir and Women's Chorale on Tuesday, November 13th. Bluff Park Methodist. 8-10 p.m.

Pieces to record:

1. Hymn to God the Father (Men)
2. Salve Regina (Women's)
3. Regina Coeli
4. O Sacrum Convivium
5. Lord's Prayer
6. Others I can't think of right now
7. Nunc Dimittis if we have it ready

Monday, November 05, 2007

Woohoo! 147th among 40 year old men!

There you have it, ladies and gentlemen. Proof that sometimes fatboys enter races and don't always finish last!

Anyone want to join me this weekend for some "racing?"

UPDATE: In other race analysis, it appears that all 7 entries in the 70-74 age range beat my time. However, I would have come in second in the 75-79 age range and I completely smoked the 86 year old men by over two minutes. I feel pretty good about that, considering they've had plenty of years to train and I just started.

UPDATE #2: It appears that I came in #1761th overall. Next year, I'm shooting for making the top 1700.

Saturday, November 03, 2007

Goal accomplished: life continues

10k, originally uploaded by philipco.

Today I proved that fatboys still run races.

Thanks to Dr. Gainey, I ran the Vulcan 10k today with only a few steps walked around mile 3. Dr. Gainey, Misty Akins, and I got through the race together and it was a lot of fun.

Next up, the Jingle Bell Run, a 5k on December 1. Now that I know I can live through these things, I'm going to challenge the choir to join me!

Thursday, November 01, 2007

updated ireland brochure

correct dates!

Pride and Performance

I was incredibly proud of our performance today.

I thought we performed our pieces very well and we got great ideas for improvement from Dr. Holmes, our clinician. Doing a great job and then finding out how we can do something even better is a place I like to be.

Be proud of yourself today. Something special happened. You were fabulous.

Let me know what you think about what you heard or experienced today. Comment on this post with your thoughts . . .

For Bodiford

The email keeps bouncing back. This is for Matt. And others who need additional copies of the excuse for the college choral festival.

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Incremental Good News from Cork Festival

Received this today from the Cork Festival:

Good Afternoon Dr. Copeland,

We’re still in the process of fully correlating all the information which has reached us relating to applications, however I have just taken a quick look at our online banking and I can confirm that yes, the electronic transfer of the entry fee has been received to our account without any problems. It just cleared yesterday; notification from our bank will probably take a couple of days to reach us in the post but there is a lodgement appearing from UAB account which I take it to be your university.

Thank you for ensuring that all of your entry requirements are present and correct – I wish that all choirs were half so diligent!!

Best wishes, and we will be touch again shortly,

Collegiate Choral Festival Final Program



Water Night

Ola Gjeilo

Eric Whitacre

Concert Choir

University of Montevallo

Robert Wright, Director


Gloria from Mass in G

To Everything there is a Season

Goin’ to the Holy City

Franz Schubert

Rene Clausen

Joseph M. Martin

Shelton Singers

Shelton State Community College

Glinda Blackshear, Director

Dr. Mark Brown, Assistant Director

Susan Goode, Accompanist


Non più guerra, pietate

Amor, Io Sento L’Alma

Io Piango

Se per havervi, oime

Claudio Monteverdi

Morten Lauridsen

Morten Lauridsen

Morten Lauridsen

Concert Choir

Birmingham-Southern College

Lester Seigel, Director


This is the Day (Haec est dies)

i thank you God

Kol Nidre

Little David, Play on Y’ Harp

Jakob Handl

Eric Whitacre

Traditional; arr. Paul Christianson

Spiritual, arr. Timothy P. Banks

A Cappella Choir

Samford University

Timothy Paul Banks, Director


If Ye Love Me

Love Came Down


Thomas Tallis

Donald Grantham

Jeffery Ames

University of Montevallo

Chamber Singers

Gary Packwood, Director


Sing We and Chant It

Lux Aurumque

Elijah Rock

Thomas Morley

Eric Whitacre

arr. Moses Hogan

Concert Choir

Auburn University

William Powell, Director

11:30 – 12:40 Lunch Break


Ave Maria


Javier Busto

Stephen Hatfield

Collegiate Singers

University of North Alabama

Ian Loeppky, Director


Daemon Irrepit Callidus

I Am Not Yours

Ezekiel Saw de Wheel

Gyorgy Orban

Z. Randall Stroope

William Dawson

A Cappella Choir

Jacksonville State University

Patricia Corbin, Director



Lux Aurumque

Ave Maria

Felix Mendelssohn

Eric Whitacre

Rihards Dubra

Jefferson State Singers

Jefferson State Community College

Jessica Hall, Director


Come Unto Me

Jesus, My All, To Heaven is Gone

Mark Blankenship

John Cennick, arr. Budahl

Concert Choir

Wallace State Community College

Mike Sparks, Director


O magnum mysterium

In Remembrance

See dat Babe

Cesar Carillo

Jeffrey Ames

Stacey Gibbs

Concert Choir

Alabama A&M University

Horace Carney, Director

Mira Kruja, Accompanist



Arise My Love, My Fair One

In Flanders Fields

Robert Young

Z. Randall Stroope

Stephen Chatman

Faulkner Singers

Faulkner State Community College

David Ayers, Director


Regina Coeli

O Sacrum Convivium

Song of Triumph

Romuald Twardowski

Vytautas Miškinis

Dale Grotenhuis

Concert Choir

University of Alabama at Birmingham

Philip Copeland, Director

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Another great comment from those older than 22

John Cosby is a reader of this blog . . . a guy that was in Concert Singers with me in Ole Miss. I found out tonight that he was also a big fan of Holst's Nunc Dimittis. Here is his comment to you:

That was my favorite song of the Europe tour we did in Concert Singers. The final Amen rang in Notre Dame forever, it seemed - and the audience stayed perfectly still until it finally faded. I remember having tears in my eyes when we stepped down after that.

Y'all work hard on it - do it justice.

John loves the work as much as I do, I guess. We were lucky to have had the experience we had back in 1988 or 1989 . . . whichever year it was . . . we were singing that song when this year's freshmen were born. I've been waiting that long to conduct it with my own choir. PBTG, that year is finally here.

Cherith speaks to the UnderGraduates at UAB

Cherith is a Montevallo graduate and working on her Master's here at UAB. She has this message for the members of Concert Choir.

I highlight her comments because they echo my own advice:

if you're on the's my 2 cents...when i was in college - we were all poor and we didn't go on the "big trip" - we always tried, but it always fell through because people backed out. You will never have "enough" money to go, you will always have to eat beanie-weenie's, but now is the time in your life to do it. Now, 11 years later, who cares if I had eaten Ramen noodles for an entire year, I'd be thinner and I'd have had that great trip! So, bite the bullet and GO!!!

Time to get deposits to Witte

Time to fish or cut bait, choir!

Ireland deposits are due Thursday. Now is the time to step out on faith and dare something great.
Application and details are here

Friday, October 26, 2007

All-State Prep Session


We're having an all-state prep session tomorrow at UAB. I've issued an open invitation to area high schools to help them work their all-state music.

The event is from 1-5:30.

1:00 SATB
2:30 SSA
4:00 TTBB

If you have "absence" or "tardy" issues, this is an ideal time to make up some deficiency's. Or meet some great kids.

Come if you want!

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Nunc on Itunes

nunc, originally uploaded by philipco.

Lot's of recordings of the Holst "Nunc Dimittis" that we are working on in Itunes. If I pick a favorite I'll let you know.

Great pic . . .

Consensus seems to be "No"

The blog tool works . . . enough of you have commented negatively about the proposed switch with opera that I'll withdraw it from discussion.

Thanks for the feedback!

Fall 2008


I am seriously considering switching our Tuesday/Thursday class time in Fall 2008 with opera.

On Tu/Th we would meet from 3:30-4:45 instead of 2:00 - 3:15. Our MWF class time of 2-2:50 would stay the same. (with some fridays traded for saturdays)

Please give me feedback in this manner:

1. YES - that really helps me with other parts of my schedule
2. NO - that would conflict with XXXX that I take every semester
3. Or perhaps you would have something else to contribute.

Let me know fast.

Application Arrived

corktrack, originally uploaded by philipco.

Our application has been delivered to the Cork Festival.

Recording Results II: Chamber Singers

Simple Gifts 1
Simple Gifts 2
Simple Gifts 3

Which is the best Simple Gifts?

Double Double

Debussy 1
Debussy 1a

The best Dieu?

Debussy 3

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Recording Results I: Concert Choir

Song of Triumph (Grotenhuis)
Justorum Animae (Stanford)
Regina Coeli (Twardowski)
Silence of Time (Meador)
O Sacrum (Miskinis)

Next Recording Session

I returned keys to Bluff Park Methodist Church today and checked their calendar for another recording session. Two dates looked good:

November 8 and November 13

I checked the music calendar and November 8 falls the day before Opera Scenes. I therefore propose the following date to you: November 13. Let me know any problems with the date now and we'll go from there.

Upcoming rehearsal clarification


Here are a few changes to the rehearsal schedule:

1. No choir rehearsal for ANY choir on Monday, October 29.
2. We DO have rehearsal this Thursday. I never said that we didn't.
3. We DO NOT have rehearsal this Friday for Concert Choir.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Saturday, October 20, 2007

The Quick Review

A few thoughts about tonight:

1. It was the strongest fall concert UAB has put on since I've been here, I think. Chamber Choir was extremely strong, and we can be better. I thought that was the best the Men's choir has sounded and the same is true for the Women's.

2. Easily the best performance the Women's Chorale has put forward. Thoughts:

Regina Coeli. Outstanding!! The last 12 measures or so is just incredible music. You made it exciting--even thrilling. I am considering converting.

Lost Rose: great.

Regretting: Funny! Leigh gave very high marks to Linc and Sam for whatever they did. I never saw it! The singing was hilarious and the audience really seemed to enjoy it.

3. Superb performances for Erin and Anthony.

4. Special recognition to Jake/Kevin for pulling off a band halftime performance and choir performance in one night.

5. Concert Choir did very well. Strongest fall concert but not as strong as we could have been, eh? Quick thoughts:

Regina Coeli: Fabulous. You even remembered the little nuance I gave you before the concert on the Alleluia. This piece will get stronger as we continue singing it.

O Sacrum: Lost pitch. Men still not solid on first chord. I don't know where we lost pitch yet.

Justorum: A great performance. I took it a bit faster at the end and I think that helped it end strong. Might have gotten a little to loud at "Malitie" or however you spell that word. Top of page 3, last measure.

Lay a Garland. Bad first chord, whatever part sings the 3rd of the chord in women. Rest of it went pretty well.

In the Silence of Time: Nice nuance. Lost pitch. Had some great moments.

Black is the Color. Best job we've done on this. Didn't lose pitch! Why not? It should have!

Great and Marvelous. Exciting and powerful. Choir didn't remember to pull this part back: You AAAAALone are Holy. Everything else great.

Lord's Prayer. Quite good.

If I Got My Ticket. Great job. Not the best closer. My fault.

Ireland is UAB Approved

The paperwork came through on Friday. We are UAB Administration Approved to take our trip to Ireland during exams.

If you know businesses that might give us funds, let me know.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Words from Scott Robertson (Trinity Methodist)

UAB Concert Choir and Dr. Philip Copeland,

It was a pleasure and an honor to have you with us at Trinity in worship this past Sunday, October 14th. You added so much to the worship services and represented UAB in a wonderful way. The musical presentations were pristine and demanded everyone's full attention. I noticed that even the toddlers were drawn to the magnificent sounds that inhabited their space. I believe that God gives us a perfect musical gift. It is up to us as musicians to find it. There is no doubt that last Sunday you found that gift and it was perfect!

Please know also that each singer that I had the opportunity to speak with was very cordial and personable. They made me feel welcome in my own church! The kindness they displayed is what will bring in additional great musicians to the UAB Department of Music.

You all have something to be very proud of. I wish you all the very best in your future musical ventures.


R. Scott Robertson
Director of Music
Trinity United Methodist Church
Birmingham, Alabama

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Fire Alarm, Conan, and Choir Rehearsals

Does this remind you of last Friday's choir rehearsal?

Bluff Park: Tomorrow Night!

A reminder to Concert Choir:
We have a recording session Thursday evening.

Chamber Choir: 7:00 p.m.
Concert Choir: 8:00 p.m.

Location: Bluff Park Methodist Church
  • Take I-65 to the Exit 254 (Alford Avenue)

  • Go West on Alford Avenue for 2 miles to the end of the road

  • At the stop sign, turn right, then turn left at the end of that road

  • Bluff Park United Methodist Church is on the left.
Link to Google Map.

Church website

Directions to church

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Fall Concert 2007

PDF of concert and roster here. Symbols mystery finally explained.

Chamber Singers

Simple Gifts

Arr. René Clausen b. 1953

Trois Chansons

Claude Debussy 1862-1918

Dieu qu'l la fait bon regarder!

Yver, vous n'estes qu'un villain

Four Shakespeare Songs Jaakko Mäntyjärvi b. 1963

3. Double, Double Toil and Trouble

Men’s Choir

In omnem terram

Giovanni Francesco Anerio 1567-1630

Gaudeamus igitur

Johannes Brahms 1833-1897

A Hymn To God the Father

John Ness Beck 1930-1987

Women’s Chorale

Salve Regina

Miklós Kocsár b. 1933

Rose Trilogy

Eleanor Daley b. 1955

3. The Lost Rose

Regretting What I Said . . .

arr. M. George, R. Allen

Kristine Hurst, soprano

Denise Gainey, clarinet

Dale Reynolds, piano

Der Hirt auf dem Felsen (Shepherd on the Rock)


Concert Choir

Regina Coeli

Romuald Twardowski b. 1930

O sacrum convivium

Vytautas Miškinis b. 1954

Justorum Animae

Charles Villiers Stanford 1852-1924

Lay a Garland

Robert Pearsall 1795 – 1856

Silence of Time

Arr. Darmon Meader b. 1953

Black Is The Color

arr. René Clausen b. 1953

Song of Triumph

Dale Grotenhuis b. 1931

The Lord’s Prayer

arr. Jerry Jordan b. 1946

If I Got My Ticket

arr. Robert Shaw 1916-1999

Debussy Quartet

Here 'tis:

Samantha Pace, soprano
Whitney Cummins, mezzo soprano
Brian Denton, tenor
Jason Leger, baritone

Sophomore, Freshmen, and Assistant Conductors

A few things most of you didn't know:

1. Sophomore has an "O: after the "H". SophOmore
2. Freshmen is typically spelled with two E's. frEshmEn.
3. Erin will conduct the Women's Chorale on the Rose song.
4. Anthony will conduct the Brahms piece with the men.
5. I'm calling Anthony and Erin the "assistant conductors" for the year.

Great work on "Regina Coeli" today. Tomorrow we focus on "Black is the Color" (which also sounded good) and the same sex pieces.

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Trinity Praise


Great job today. I thought everything went very well today:
  • Most everyone getting there on time was fantastic.
  • Great job in 1st service, even better in 2nd service
  • You looked good, you sounded good
  • We sang five works today and did them well. Great watching, great confidence. We'll be gaining in confidence and ability every day this coming week.
Feel good about today. And take a nap.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007


I always miss my blogging anniversaries.

This is the 1008th post. Can you believe it?

A trip through memory lane:

Post #1 September 3, 2004
A celebration of the first 1 year anniversary.
On September 3, 2006 I had made 672 posts and had 46,982 visits.
I made a great post on September 4, 2007 - the one about the All-Bran cereal commercial. That video still cracks me up.

So, here we are on Year 4 of the Choir Blog. On this day, I average about 84 hits a day and have had 85,676 visits.

Long live the blog!

Sunday at Trinity Methodist

Here are the details for Sunday.

We will arrive dressed, alert, fed, and ready to sing at 7:45 a.m. You may need this.

Two services: 8:45 am and 11:00 am.
Donuts between services.

Music I submitted:
  • O sacrum convivium - Vytautas Miškinis b. 1954
  • Justorum Animae, Op. 38, No. 1 - Charles Villiers Stanford 1852-1924
  • Song of Triumph - Dale Grotenhuis b. 1931
  • The Lord's Prayer - Arr. Jerry Jordan b. 1946
  • If I Got My Ticket - Arr. Robert Shaw 1916-1999
Many Directions.

Directions to the church are available here and at the bottom of this post.

Here's a Google Map.

Directions From Highway 31

Traveling South from Birmingham, you will begin to see traffic lights as you enter Homewood. At the intersection with Piggly Wiggly and Shades Cahaba Elementary, turn right (west) on Oxmoor Road. You will pass Our Lady of Sorrows Catholic Church and Homewood Park on your right. When you get to the intersection (light) of East Hawthorne and Seminole Rd, you will see Trinity UMC on your right. Go to the next light and turn right into our large parking lot. You will find visitor parking spots there.

Directions From I-65

Traveling North towards Birmingham take the Oxmoor Road/Homewood Exit. Merge right onto Oxmoor Road. Cross Green Springs Highway. Oxmoor Road becomes Palisades Blvd. You will see Palisades shopping center on your left. At the Palisades Church of Christ, veer right where you will continue on Oxmoor Rd. Travel on Oxmoor Road through Edgewood, where there is a shopping area. You will pass Dawson Baptist on your left. At the Clermont Rd intersection (light) turn left into our large parking lot. You will find visitor parking spots there.

A blurry view of the sanctuary.

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Upcoming College Choral Festival

It looks like these schools will be attending the college choral festival this year. It looks like a great group of schools . . . and notice once again who isn't in attendance

Schools attending:

Alabama A&M
Auburn University
Birmingham Southern (FIRST YEAR!)
Faulkner State (First Year!)
Jacksonville State University
Jeff State Community College (Apologies for leaving it off the first time)
Northeast Alabama Community College
Shelton State Community College
University of Alabama at Birmingham
University of Montevallo
University of North Alabama
Wallace State

Monday, October 08, 2007

Trip update

These people became NO's:

Elizabeth Banister
Matt Bodiford
Chase Dowdy
Patrick Edwards
Howard Hall
Danielle Hardy
Nancy Lewis
Erica Parrish
Kiyoshi Scissum

These are the Yes's that have paid the $20:

Sami Ashley
Lori Ayler
Brian Bastow
Ron Baxter
Justin Beatty
Matt Cantor
Anthony Concepcion
Jeremy Concepcion
Whitney Cummins
Michael Dees
Brian Denton
Emily Fledderman
Rachel Fleischman
Meredith Foster
Aislinn Glennon
Jenny Harmon
Madison Holler
Chris Josof
Mark Kunkel
Steven Lane
Jason Leger
Lindsey Lingerfelt
Micah Loggins
Sadie Mason-Smith
Katie Movelle
Roxy Nelson
Lauren Nolen
Erin Pair
Dana Palmore
Lincoln Parrott
Maegan Reid
Rhea Reuter
Jonathan Riddle
Matt Russell
Martin Schulz
Jenny Smith
Jennifer Thorp
Crystal Whatley
Caitlin Wittkop

I still need payment or a NO from:
Ashley Davis
Alex Fecanin
Katie Harris
Jonathan Hood
Bobbie Kirby
Harry Miree
Samantha Pace
Jake Richey

I have these guests from the choir members going that have paid:
Mother Palmore
Boyfriend Palmore
Father Wittkop
Wife Copeland
Dale Reynolds
Philip Copeland
Sister Reid

Found: Roxy's blog

My blog search tools are letting me down . . . it took over two weeks to find Roxy's blog.

Friday, October 05, 2007

Betty Sue Shepherd Memorial Scholarship Fund

The Betty Sue Shepherd Memorial Scholarship Fund
Vestavia Hills Baptist Church

For the remainder of the 2007-2008 academic year, awards will be made in the amount of $1500.


The Betty Sue Shepherd Memorial Scholarship Fund has been established for the following purposes:

* To provide a nurturing church home for student musicians who attend the colleges in the Birmingham area;
* To provide a musical environment for these students in which they can be growing musicians;
* To provide scholarship assistance for these students.


The Betty Sue Shepherd Memorial Scholarship Fund Committee will seek to name a group of “Shepherd Scholars” for each academic year. The criteria for selection will be:

* a student must be a professing Christian;
* a student must be a competent choral singer, as judged by audition with the Minister of Music;
* a student must fit into the profile of current needs of the Sanctuary Choir, i.e. a need for singers of a certain voice part, as opposed to a surplus of singers in another voice part.
* a student must present a letter of recommendation from a significant mentor, i.e. a professor, a student minister, a pastor;
* a student must demonstrate the ability to be responsible and punctual; (This can be addressed in the letter of recommendation, or through the presentation of material such as a transcript of outstanding grades, or a statement from an employer.)
* a student must demonstrate through an oral interview a desire to be a participant in the church family of Vestavia Hills Baptist Church. It is the hope of the Scholarship Committee that students will have a positive experience at Vestavia Hills Baptist Church which leads them to desire to be affiliated with the church through membership or joint membership with their home church. Since church membership is a choice that should be made based upon a variety of experiences and factors, it is not considered to be a qualification for the scholarship award.


The amount and number of scholarship awards will be determined each academic year by the scholarship committee. They will result from the amount of the proceeds at the annual Betty Sue Shepherd Memorial Concert, conducted each spring by the Music Ministry, in addition to any additional funds made available through donation or interest accrual.

Awards will be dispersed after each semester of participation in the Sanctuary Choir. The award will be dispersed directly to the student’s account at the college. In the case of graduating seniors, arrangements will be made on an individual basis to be certain the award reaches the student.

Scholarship awards are understood to be offered for one year. While it is the desire of the committee to develop long-lasting relationships with the Shepherd Scholars, awards must be determined by the amount of funds available and the personnel needs of the choir. Each recipient must re-apply for subsequent years, however positive experience as a Shepherd Scholar will be considered when new awards are being determined.

Expectations of the Students

Shepherd Scholars will be viewed as musical leaders within Vestavia Hills Baptist Church. They will be expected to fulfill that role in their activity and behavior. They will also represent the name and legacy of Dr. Betty Sue Shepherd, and seek to exemplify the ideals presented in her musical and spiritual life: musical and intellectual excellence, spiritual commitment, and generous stewardship of her musical gifts.

It will be understood that Shepherd Scholars will act as responsible members of the Sanctuary Choir. While an excellent attendance record at rehearsals and services is expected, it is also expected that these students will occasionally go home on weekends and school breaks, participate in tours of their college ensembles, or have conflicts on Wednesdays. They should let the Minister of Music know of their absences in advance as much as is possible. There will be certain times during which special concerts and events take place. These will be announced far in advance, and Shepherd Scholars should understand that their attendance is required. Participation is expected during the two semesters of the regular school year. While students would be welcomed during the summer term, no scholarship funds will be awarded for participation during the summer.

As musical leaders, each Shepherd Scholar should look for other ways of contributing musically, i.e. solo singing, adult ensemble, helping in children’s or youth choirs, ringing in the handbell choir.

It is also understood that these students are participating in the broader congregation. They should look for other means of participation, i.e. Sunday School, student fellowships or Bible studies.

Expectations of the Church

Students should expect to participate in a church environment that is rewarding spiritually, intellectually, musically and socially.

Students should expect the church to act as a “home away from home,” nurturing them and demonstrating concern for them.

Amount of Award

For the remainder of the 2007-2008 academic year, awards will be made in the amount of $1500. They will be dispersed in two equal amounts at the end of the fall semester and at the end of the spring semester.


Students who are interested in applying for the Betty Sue Shepherd Memorial Scholarship should assemble their letter of recommendation and any accompanying material, and make an appointment for an interview and audition by contacting:

Terre Johnson, Ph.D.
Minister of Music
Vestavia Hills Baptist Church
2600 Vestavia Drive
Birmingham, AL 35216