• David Winkler

The one drawback to being a faithful church member, music ministry volunteer, or leader is that you rarely get the opportunity to see what folks in other churches are doing.  It seems that almost everyone has Sunday morning services and Wednesday evening rehearsals, so in being faithful to one's own commitment, that doesn't allow time to visit and observe other ministries.

That's one reason why I enjoy attending music conferences.  In meeting together with musicians from other churches, one can greatly benefit from the sharing of ideas and experiences that such meetings afford. 

Conferences for instrumental church musicians are rather rare and far between, but here are a couple I would recommend:

TEXAS BAPTIST "INSTRUMENTAL CONVERGENCE" — this one-day clinic is put on each Spring by the music department of the Baptist General Convention of Texas.  The event provides an opportunity for church orchestra players to join together in a large reading session event, playing lots of great music as led by a featured clinician.  I've taken members of the church orchestra that I direct to the Convergence for the last three years, and it's proven to be an enjoyable time.  Clinicians have included Kenn Hughes, Richard Kingsmore, and Robert Sterling.

NORTH CAROLINA "RENEWING WORSHIP" EXPO — I will be the guest clinician for the "Orchestra Retreat" part of this event next month (Saturday, August 3) in Winston-Salem.  We'll spend the morning and afternoon playing through lots of great music.  Along the way, I'll be sharing tips on how to improve one's musicianship and be a better church orchestra member.  It's not too late to register if you would like to come!

I've also been the guest conductor in the past for similar events hosted by individual churches.  If you'd be interested in having me come to work with your orchestra, please contact me and I'd be glad to chat with you about it!

One final tip: if you are a director, you should know about the Metro Instrumental Directors Conference.  This group meets for a week each May, and also hosts an email group which is a very helpful source of information.  Please contact me for more information.

  • David Winkler

A section of my website I want to call attention to this month is called Articles About Instrumental Music. Here you'll find a collection of various articles I've written over the years, giving practical advice on many subjects of interest to directors and instrumentalists.  I hope that you will find something helpful on this page.

Are you familiar with The Instrumentalist magazine?  Though written for music educators (band and orchestra directors), the topics covered can be beneficial to those involved in church ministry as well. Highly recommended.

An excellent book published by Lifeway a few years back is titled The Instrumental Resource for Church and School.  The book is now out of print, but do a search on Amazon or other sites and you should be able to locate a copy.

A couple of older books I have in my library are: Instrumental Handbook, by Harold Pottenger, and

Orchestral Concepts in Today's Church, edited by Jere Adams and Gerald Armstrong.  Again, do a Google search and you should be able to find these.

What are some of your favorite resources for information and inspiration for your music ministry?  Write me and let me know!

  • David Winkler

Updated: Aug 9, 2019

Here in Austin, the orchestra I direct is preparing a patriotic concert which we'll be presenting towards the end of June. It's an opportunity not only to celebrate the blessings of living in America, but also to encourage prayer for our country and our leaders.

There are several selections from our website listings that I want to call your attention to, in case you may also have a need for patriotic music: God Bless America – A new arrangement of the chorus only of this "second national anthem," arranged for several options ... a cappella choir, instrumental ensemble only (or band or orchestra), or vocals with instrumental accompaniment (ideal for congregational singing). God of Our Fathers (with Faith of Our Fathers) – Scored for church orchestra. Marine's Hymn (with Semper Fidelis) – Duet for clarinet and cello (opt. bassoon or bass clarinet), with optional piano accompaniment. A Noble Calling – March for concert band/orchestra (based on a composition by my great-great grandfather, Christopher Philip Winkler!). Prelude: 49th Parallel – Originally from a World War II era film, this beautiful chorale-like piece by Ralph Vaughan Williams has been arranged for concert band, with optional strings.

Are you planning any special patriotic music presentations? I'd love to hear about it.

Write me at

#patrioticmusic #GodBlessAmerica #faith