by Amanda Strombom, John Chmaj, and Jennifer Sumner
A group of more than twenty East Shore members met recently to “Dream BIG” for expanding and evolving the music programming at East Shore. The benefits of a vibrant music program are well established. Great music can inspire and empower members and visitors during church services. Fun and varied community music events can attract a wider audience of church goers and new members. Music can support and give voice to our social justice work as well as contribute to our broader spiritual and cultural understanding. A strong music program is foundational to East Shore’s identity and growth.
We explored the critical elements of the music program’s foundation. We’ve been blessed to have many performing artists in our church community who volunteer to share their music with us, and to have found such a talented and inspired part-time Interim Director of Music this year. A more careful look at our limited investments in music revealed that our program is currently under-funded. In order to support the programming we have come to expect, we need to make sure our Director of Music is fully compensated for the hours he is required to work. Better staging, lighting and sound equipment is needed to support high-quality performance. In addition, we need to be able to engage and compensate professional performers when appropriate. We must not take our blessings for granted – it’s clear that a few targeted investments could ensure that we continue to provide and develop excellent musical programming.
When it comes to dreaming big for the future, there’s an endless set of exciting possibilities in East Shore’s future. They could include:
- a wider, more inspiring variety of music and musicians participating in our services
- a rich menu of community music events in which anyone can participate and enjoy
- year-round musical programming for adults and youth of all levels of experience
- musical outreach that builds public awareness of East Shore through integration of music into our social action activities and offering external performances
- a robust concert calendar featuring groups of many cultures, diverse musical styles and talented guest performers
We will share more of the details of our visioning with you as we organize and solidify our ideas. We want to encourage YOU to ‘Dream BIG’ and share your ideas of what music you’d like to hear, play or see offered in the community. Let’s grow our souls, our community and our impact on the world through the music we share!