• IMG_1465_(2).jpgOver the coming year we'll regularly feature a composer who writes paperless music! While you may recognize a few names from our song collections and workshops, we're especially excited to share new compositional voices bringing breadth, depth, and richness to an evolving body of music sung without paper. Each composer has generously agreed to offer a free piece to the MMC community; others can be purchased from the composer directly or found in existing resources. We hope you'll enjoy the videos, audio clips and sample scores, and find many new songs to share with your community.

    About Barbara Cates:

    Barbara Cates has never thought of herself as a composer until now, but she usually has melodies rolling around in her head, and sometimes they attach themselves to words, or the right words rolling around call forth a melody. The inclusive, intuitive approach to composing at Music that Makes Community workshops have brought something forth from deep within or beyond; one song even came to her in a dream! 

    Barbara has had many musical influences: Foreign Service postings in Russia, Trinidad and Tobago, and Uzbekistan, living at The Taizé Community for a time in her youth, and exposure to a wide variety of paperless musical traditions, from Jubilee Gospel to Sephardic to Georgian polyphony, at Vocal Week at the Augusta Heritage Center in Elkins, WV.

    At home in Baltimore she is part of two faith communities: Memorial Episcopal Church, where the informal Faith@Eight and Taizé services give her a chance to experiment, and Brown Memorial Presbyterian Church, where she sings in a choir with a wonderfully inclusive repertoire. She and her husband Matthew Stremba sing to their cats, Bobur and Koshka. Barbara also convenes MMC’s new Baltimore Practice Group at the Cathedral of the Incarnation.



    Gather in a Circle

    This beautiful, modal prayer song could be used for times of worship, healing or intercessory prayer, or simply to gather a community in song. Movement could even be encouraged to create a gentle circle dance. 

    Enjoy the video of Barbara teaching the song at our Fall 2017 Retreat at The Barbara C. Harris Camp and Conference Center. You can also click here to find a recording on the MMC Soundcloud page. Barbara is happy to have you share the piece with your community!


    We Are the Body of Christ

    This short song reflects on Eucharist/Communion/Lord's Supper as a meal that nourishes us to nourish others. It can be taught during the distribution of the bread and wine and sung until all are served.

    Click here to find a recording on the MMC Soundcloud page. Barbara is happy to have you share the piece with your community!


    What Does the Lord Require of You?

    This vigorous, two-part round is based on the prophet Micah's charge to 'do justice, love mercy, and walk humbly with God.' The strong rhythm makes it perfect for singing at a protest or march, or it could be used as a sending song!

    Click here to find a recording on the MMC Soundcloud page. Barbara is happy to have you share the piece with your community!


    Keep Watch, O Lord

    Barbara composed this tune at her first Music That Makes Community workshop: a setting of a well-known prayer from the Compline service in the Episcopal Book of Common Prayer. She writes, "while a bit of a mouthful for most contexts, my Taizé Group has really taken to it."

    While longer than most paperless tunes in our repertoire, with careful teaching and repetition this tune could easily find its way into the voice of a praying community.

    Click here to find a recording on the MMC Soundcloud page. Barbara is happy to have you share the piece with your community!


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Music that Makes Community
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