Hi, I’m Holly, a musician and a member of the LDS Church in California. With great anticipation I awaited the 2011 LDS Church handbook hoping for more detailed instruction regarding music in the Church. Well, the music section of the new handbook is quite similar to the old one leaving many LDS musicians wondering exactly what is required, expected, and appropriate in their callings. Years ago Church Music Workshops were held at BYU to train church musicians but eventually those were terminated leaving many without concrete resources. When my mother was called as the Stake Music Chairman she spent hours asking me all sorts of questions related to that calling and at one point said, “Why isn’t there a book out there that tells me all the stuff I need to know for this calling?” That’s when I decided to compile a bunch of ideas I’ve learned through organ and conducting classes at BYU, through my experience in church music callings, and through my career as a professional musician and teacher. I’ve also received input from LDS musicians throughout the United States.
Official music callings I’ve held (in 8 different wards throughout the country) include Primary Music Director, Relief Society Pianist, Ward Choir Director, Ward Choir Accompanist, Ward Music Chairman, Ward Organist, Stake Music Chairman and Stake Choir Director. I have been accompanying church choirs and soloists since I was a teenager, which you could say has been my constant unofficial calling. I currently serve as a Ward Organist, Primary Teacher, and a member of the Scout Committee. Professionally, I am a school choir director and independent piano teacher at a competitive level. I have also served in various positions on the boards of local and state music teacher associations.