2015: Emory University

The annual meeting of the Society for Christian Scholarship in Music will be held February 12-14, 2015, at Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia.

New location of the Pitts Theology Library , for completed in Summer 2014.

New location of the Pitts Theology Library, completed in summer of 2014.

In addition to individual papers on a wide variety of topics, the meeting will include a keynote address by Robin A. Leaver, editor of the Ashgate Research Companion to Johann Sebastian Bach and author of Luther’s Liturgical Music: Principles and Implications, a concert by the Emory University Concert Choir, and an Organ Lecture-Recital by Jens Korndoerfer. Please see below for full program.


Registration is now open! Please click here.

All registration fees will increase by $10 after January 12th. Please address any questions about registration to Theresa Wasinski at twasins@emory.edu.


We have held rooms at the University Inn at Emory, right across the street from campus. These rooms are $115.00 per night and will be held until January 12th. Please reference the Emory Lodging Guide to learn about other accommodation options in the greater Atlanta area. Many provide special rates and shuttle services for Emory guests!


Emory’s JazzFest will be taking place over the weekend in the Schwartz Performing Arts Center for members who might be interested. There is a ticketed concert on Friday night with Jazz Violinist Regina Carter and the Gary Motley Trio and a free Big Band concert on Saturday night. Click here for ticket information.

Area Restaurants

Looking for dining choices? A list of area restaurants is available through the Emory University website. Please see under “Emory Village” and “Emory Point” for closest options.

SCSM 2015 Program

(Please click here for a pdf version of the program booklet.)

Thursday, February 12, 2015

10:00-1:15                  Registration

1:15-1:45                   Welcome and opening remarks

1:45-3:30                   Session 1 (concurrent sessions)

A. Bach and Before

  1. Joyce L. Irwin, “Hebrew Temple or Apostolic Community as Model for Post-Reformation Church Music?”
  2. Eduardo Sola, “Fear and Hope: Contemplating the Parousia in J. S. Bach’s Church Cantatas”
  3. Markus Rathey, “Bach’s Dialogic Imagination: Polytextuality and Textual Polyphony in Johann Sebastian Bach’s Vocal Works”

B. American Hymnody

  1. Charles E. Brewer, “Mather Byles and the History of the Boston Appendix”
  2. Todd R. Jones, “Lowell Mason and the Ecclesiology of “Scientific” Music, 1822‒1859”
  3. Erica Watson, “The Old Time Way: Singing Dr. Watts Hymns in the African-American Church”

3:30-4:00                   Coffee break

4:00-5:15                   Keynote

Robin A. Leaver, “The Introduction of Congregational Song in Wittenberg: A New Look at an Old Source”

5:30-7:00                  Reception

7:00-9:00                  Executive Committee dinner meeting


Friday, February 13, 2014

8:00-8:45                  Continental breakfast

8:45-9:00                  Opening remarks

9:15-10:15                Session 2 (concurrent sessions)

A. Bo kyung Blenda Im (chair), “Calling and Discernment: Navigating the (Academic) Job Market” (Graduate Student Panel)

B. Jens Korndoerfer, “More than Mere Quotation: Gregorian Chant in Olivier Messiaen’s Organ Works” (Lecture-Recital)

10:15-10:45                   Coffee break

10:45-12:30                   Session 3 (concurrent sessions)

A. Constructing Catholic Communities

  1. Bennett Zon, “The Musical Body as ‘Part-icipation’”
  2. Emilie Coakley, “Musical Change amidst Liturgical Tradition: Congregational Song in Response to a Crisis in Catholic Churches”
  3. Cathy Ann Elias, “Liberation Theology: Affirmation and Homage in Three Brazilian Popular Masses”

B. Symphony and Psalms

  1. Megan Francisco, “More than a Compositional Exercise: An Exploration of Anton Bruckner’s Psalm 112
  2. Ellen Olson George, “Stravinsky’s Text-Setting in his Symphony of Psalms: A Neo-Classic Approach”
  3. Gabrielle Cornish, “Finding God in Los Angeles: Sacralization of the Secular in Arvo Pärt’s Fourth Symphony”

12:30-1:45                Lunch and business meeting

1:45-3:30                  Session 4 (concurrent sessions)

A. Humility, Ascent, and Transformation in Early Music

  1. Alexis VanZalen, ““That she might not set herself up in arrogance of mind”: A Study of Humility and True Knowledge in Hildegard’s Ordo virtutum
  2. Patricia A. Burt, “Ascent, Centering, and Self-Similarity: A Modern Conception of Spatial Design in the ‘Benedictus’ from Josquin’s Missa L’homme armé super voces musicales
  3. Aaron James, “There’s Something about Barbara: The Adaptation and Reuse of Marian Motets”

B. Forging Christian Identities

  1. Ruth Labeth, “Struggling to Be Creole : A Case Study of Musical Contextualization in French Caribbean Evangelical Churches”
  2. Katherine Morehouse, “Theology and Drumming: Negotiating the Local and Global in Christian, Muslim and Hindu Religious Festivals of Kerala, India”
  3. Bo kyung Blenda Im, “Amnesia and Anamnesis: Voicing an Alternative Modern Christian Subjectivity in South Korea”

3:30-3:45                  Coffee break

4:00-5:00                  “Singing Emory’s Special Collections” (Lecture-Concert Event with Emory Concert Choir)

5:30                          Conference Dinner


Saturday, February 14, 2014

8:15-9:00                   Continental breakfast

9:00-10:45                 Session 5 (concurrent sessions)

A. Sacred Harp

  1. Joanna Smolko, “Hymns of Joyful Praise: Sacred Harp Singing in Athens, Georgia”
  2. Jesse Pearlman Karlsberg, “Musical Conservatism and Material Modernity in Original Sacred Harp (1911)” (Lecture-Participatory Singing)

B. Telling Sacred Stories

  1. Helen Hoekema Van Wyck, “Mendelssohn, Saul, and Paul: The Use and Significance of Chorales in Paulus
  2. Laurel Myers Hurst, “Incarnation, Redemption and Resurrection in the Early Works of Halim Abdel Messieh El-Dabh”
  3. Kevin Laskey, “The Personal and the Political in Passion Settings by James MacMillan, David Lang, and Osvaldo Golijov”

10:45-11:15                  Coffee break

11:15-12:30                  Session 6 (concurrent sessions)

A. Sacred Song and South Africa

  1. Erin Johnson-Hill, “Musical Evangelists: Inspectors, Singing Schools, and the Tonic Sol-fa Movement in Colonial South Africa”
  2. Johann S. Buis, “The Black Atlantic AME Church: Musical Performance between Social Uplift and Indigenous Orality”

B. Contemporary Congregations

  1. Robert Sholl, Sarah Raybould, and Rich Hall, “Congregation Singing in London’s Evangelical Churches”
  2. Deborah Justice, “Why Live Music Still Drives Worship in the Digital Age”

12:30-1:00                   Final remarks