There are three types of events listed on our calendar:

  • MMC Workshops planned collaboratively with hosts around the United States and Canada;
  • Local Practice Groups led by presenters and participants from the Music that Makes Community network, providing opportunities to hone our skills and support one another in song leading;
  • Community Events presented by organizations affiliated with MMC for the benefit of the wider musical community.

Upcoming Events


    Leadership Intensive at Rivendell Retreat Centre

  • Thursday, June 11, 2020 at 06:00 PM through June 14, 2020
    Rivendell Retreat Centre in Bowen Island, BC, Canada

    Join us for a three-day retreat on Bowen Island, British Columbia and develop your skills and confidence as a song leader! Share in a spacious time of learning, singing, and reflection with leaders from Music that Makes Community and fellow musicians, clergy, educators, and community leaders.

    The workshop will be facilitated by Conie Borchardt and Paul Vasile, joined by Caitlin Reilley Beck, Patti Powell, and Emilie Teresa Smith, leaders of the Vancouver Sacred Song Circle.

    • Learn leadership skills and strategies for sharing paperless (aural/oral tradition) songs;
    • Build a repertoire of songs that can be led with groups of varied ages and musical experiences;
    • Worship and reflect in community, deepening into spaces of listening and mutual support;
    • Compose paperless music to share with your community;
    • Develop your skills in small group sessions;
    • Connect with like-minded leaders and find resources for creative worship and liturgy;
    • Explore how the energy we create through singing affects what we do in worship as a whole, as well as other parts of our human lives;

    Rivendell Retreat Centre is located on 6 1/2 acres atop Cates Hill on Bowen Island, a short ferry ride from Horseshoe Bay and West Vancouver. It is hosted by a volunteer Christian community, rooted in the gospel values of Jesus and the practiced traditions of prayer, silence, simplicity and hospitality. 

    Check-in begins at 3:00 p.m. on Thursday and we'll officially begin with dinner at 6:00 p.m. We conclude our time together on Sunday morning, departing before noon. View the retreat schedule here.

    Registration:
    Fees are on a sliding scale, from CAD $450 to 700 CAD per person, including three nights of lodging at Rivendell, healthy, catered meals, and all workshop materials. We ask you to pay what is generous and affordable for you, with gratitude for the time and skill of our presenters.

    A few single rooms are available on a first-come, first-served basis. If you are comfortable sharing a room please indicate on the registration form and we would be happy to pair you with a compatible individual.

    REGISTER HERE!

    Many denominations have continuing education or professional development funds that may be used to cover costs. Scholarships also are available for students, seminarians, seniors, and congregations with limited financial resources. Please contact Paul Vasile at paul@musicthatmakescommunity.org or (929) 266-4662 if you have any questions or to inquire about financial support.

    Travel and Carpooling
    The only route to Bowen Island is via a short ferry ride from Horseshoe Bay. For details of ferry fares and schedules please refer to www.bcferries.com. For detailed directions to Rivendell, visit their website

    We are pleased to offer the option of carpooling with others and will hire a small van if additional space is needed. Please indicate if you can transport others or will need transportation on the registration page. 


    Music that Makes Community is a non-profit organization working with ecumenical communities and leaders to empower and liberate communities' spiritual life through singing. For over ten years we have developed and shared music leadership practices grounded in a theology of welcome and generosity for the benefit of musicians, clergy, and lay leaders throughout the United States and Canada. Our hope is that MtMC offerings supplement and enhance what congregations already do, offering repertoire and leadership skills that support vibrant, communal music making. Watch this short video to learn about the unique work we're doing around the United States and Canada.

  • One-Day Workshop at St. John's Lutheran Church

  • Saturday, July 11, 2020 at 09:30 AM


    Music that Makes Community is excited to return to Atlanta, sharing paperless music and leadership practices before the Annual Conference of The Hymn Society in the United States and Canada!

    We'll gather at St. John's Lutheran Church to explore the basics of paperless (oral/aural tradition) music-making, share songs to enrich and strengthen your community, and reflect on strategies for cultivating participatory singing and liturgy. Martha Burford, Donald Schell, and Paul Vasile will lead morning prayer, participatory learning sessions, and small group breakout sessions. Together we'll explore how the energy we create through singing affects what we do in worship as a whole, as well as other parts of our human lives. You can see the schedule for the day here

    MMC leaders will also share in worship leadership the next day, modeling how paperless music can be integrated into a liturgical context.  

    Music that Makes Community encourages and support practices of communal singing and learning. Watch this short video to learn about the unique work we're doing around the United States and Canada. 

    Individual Registration Fee: $85
    Duo Registration Fee: $150 (two individuals)

    Meals, refreshments, and workshop materials are included in the cost.

    Register HERE!

    Scholarships are available for students, seminarians, seniors, and congregations with limited financial resources. Contact Paul Vasile in the MMC office to learn more.

  • Singing in Community Workshop at Ghost Ranch

  • Sunday, July 12, 2020 at 05:00 PM through July 18, 2020
    Ghost Ranch in Abiquiu, NM

    Share a joyful week of worship, singing, composing, and learning in community with Conie Borchardt, Sylvia Miller-Mutia, David Poole, and Paul Vasile. Together we’ll explore the ancient and new practice of paperless (oral/aural tradition) music leadership, sharing songs as people did before music or words were written down.

    • Learn leadership skills and strategies for sharing paperless songs in your community;
    • Build a repertoire of songs that can be led with groups of varied ages and musical experiences;
    • Worship and reflect in community, deepening into spaces of listening and mutual support;
    • Compose paperless music to share with your community;
    • Develop your skills through small groups and one-on-one coaching;
    • Connect with like-minded leaders and find resources for creative worship and liturgy;
    • Explore how the energy we create through singing affects what we do in worship as a whole, as well as other parts of our human lives;

    The first and last dates of the workshop are considered travel days.Check-in begins at 3:00 p.m. on Sunday with dinner at 5:30 p.m., followed by a Ghost Ranch orientation. The workshop begins Monday morning and ends Friday evening. Check-out time is 10:00 a.m. on Saturday.

    The workshop will follow a general pattern of morning workshop time (9:00 a.m. to noon) with afternoons free or with optional afternoon open studio and then additional course time in the evenings (7:00–8:30 p.m.).

    Registration Fees: 
    Ghost Ranch offers rustic lodging accommodations that are reflective of its origins as a working ranch. Our rooms are basic – no frills – which allows you to focus on the natural beauty of the land and to delve fully into your workshop subject matter. While basic, our rooms are clean and comfortable and offer breathtaking views of the colorful vistas, sandstone cliffs, cottonwoods and distant mountains. At this time, daily maid service is not available. Click here to view lodging descriptions.

    All Inclusive, Double Occupancy: Communal Bath: $1,195
    All Inclusive, Double Occupancy: Shared Bath: $1,465.00
    All Inclusive, Double Occupancy: Private Bath: $1,540.00

    Camping - No Meals: $785.00
    Camping - Meals: $990.00
    Camping w/Electricity & RV - No Meals: $850
    Camping w/Electricity & RV - Meals: $1,055.00

    Commuter: $775.00

    Register HERE!

    Air Travel and Shuttle 
    Ghost Ranch approximately 1.5 hours from Santa Fe Regional Airport (SAF). 

    Transportation is offered from Santa Fe to Ghost Ranch for guests who are registered for a Ghost Ranch workshop or retreat. Shuttle service is provided only on the day of arrival, the first afternoon of the program week and on the day of departure, the last day of the program. Getting to Santa Fe from Albuquerque by shuttle.


    Music that Makes Community is a non-profit organization working with ecumenical communities and leaders to empower and liberate communities' spiritual life through singing. For over ten years we have developed and shared music leadership practices grounded in a theology of welcome and generosity for the benefit of musicians, clergy, and lay leaders throughout the United States and Canada. Our hope is that MtMC offerings supplement and enhance what congregations already do, offering repertoire and leadership skills that support vibrant, communal music making. Watch this short video to learn about the unique work we're doing around the United States and Canada.

  • Seminar at Ring Lake Ranch: Before Words and Beyond Words

  • Sunday, August 09, 2020 at 06:00 PM through August 15, 2020
    Ring Lake Ranch in Dubois, WY

    MMC founder Donald Schell will lead a seminar at Ring Lake Ranch this summer, joined by Paul Vasile. You're welcome to join them in this special place of refreshment and recreation set high in the Wind River Mountains of Wyoming.

    Find individual and family registration rates as well as information about Ring Lake Ranch on their website

    When anyone asked jazz trumpeter Clark Terry how he made jazz, he’d respond – “Simple – you imitate, assimilate, then innovate.” So it all begins, and so we began – shared attention, communication in listening, and imitation – not just music-making, but all the improvisations of our emergent humanity. This seminar’s playful practice of improvisational song, wordless storytelling, and shared experience-and-reflection noticing and wondering will point us toward rediscovery of ourselves as persons-in-community, shared conscious mind, the image of God that Gregory of Nyssa insists belongs to all of us together in our one humanity.

    Learn more and register here!

  • Music That Makes Community at Cross Roads Camp and Retreat Center

  • Monday, October 12, 2020 at 10:00 AM through October 14, 2020
    Cross Roads Camp and Retreat Center

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    We're excited to gather at Cross Roads for our annual three-day retreat focused on congregational song leading skills! MMC presenters will lead worship, workshops, and conversation to help you add the valuable tool of paperless song leading to your community’s singing practice. Learn practical skills and diverse repertoire, and explore how paperless music can enrich and expand your congregation's repertoire of sung prayer and praise.

    Take a look at photos from last year's gathering!

    The three-day workshop begins at 10 am on Monday, October 12 and ends with lunch on Wednesday, October 14. Attendees will have the option at registration to check in early on Sunday, October 11. Otherwise check in begins at 9 a.m. on Monday.

    Standard Double Occupancy: $360
    Hotel-style accommodations with linens provided. Toiletries are not provided.
    Upgrade to Single Occupancy +$40
    Early Check In (Sunday at 4 p.m.) +$30

    Dormitory-Style Lodging: $310
    Bunk beds and a shared bathroom. Linens and toiletries are not provided.
    Early Check In (Sunday at 4 p.m.) +$10

    Commuter/Off-Site: $260
    Individuals staying off site and commuting to the event. 

    Registration will be live soon. Stay tuned!

    Cross Roads is a welcoming, ecumenical retreat center and camp of the Episcopal Diocese of Newark and the NJ Synod of the ELCA. They are accredited with the American Camp Association. It is most convenient to Newark International Airport (EWR), a one hour drive away. Participants are responsible for securing transportation from the airport to the retreat center. For those commuting by car, there is convenient parking on the Cross Roads property.

    The costs of the event are partially subsidized by a generous grant from the ACTS/VIM Fund of the Episcopal Diocese of Newark.

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Music that Makes Community
paul@musicthatmakescommunity.org
(929) 266-4662
131 Odell Clark Place, Apt. 3A
New York, NY 10030