For the past fifty years, church musicians have been dependent upon a relatively limited number of large, competitive music publishers – both traditional and evangelical. These publishers and their product lines determined the success and failure of many a church music program. From time to time, an new upstart publisher would emerge. Sometimes the upstart succeeded (Brentwood Music). And sometimes it burned bright for a season, only to fade away (GoodLife Publications). But they all operated on the same mass-market, physical products, calendar-year business model.
Not so much any more.
Thanks to the Internet, the rules have changed. Pioneering, talented musicians are getting their products directly to the public. And those products don’t get delivered to the customer the same way as they did a decade ago.
Two such new and visionary enterprises happen to be run by friends of mine. Blue Jack Music is the musical home of my old buddy, Sheldon Curry. And EasyChoirMusic.com is the brainchild of my (relatively) new buddy, John Parker. Both aim to fill a unique need in an ever-changing, on-demand church music universe.
Sheldon Curry created Blue Jack Music to be a home for music that doesn’t quite fit the the standardized “slots” of the big music publishers. Considering that Sheldon himself has always defied conventional labels (Trust me. I know. Really.), it makes sense he would create a line of music that falls outside the mainstream. As if to prove this true, he even calls one of his choral series “Music for Outlier Choirs.” At Blue Jack Music, you will find new anthems, service music, hymn arrangements, new psalms and more. Some of it is even free. (I kid you not.) You’ll also find Sheldon’s blog at the site, which you will really want to follow. He’s always been a thoughtful writer, and now that he is certifiably old and wise, he’s even more worth reading.
Easychoirmusic.com is the new on-line choral music source from lyricist extraordinaire, John Parker. If you’ve ever sung any of John’s choral music, you know he’s a creative guy. If you read my “Conversation with John Parker” here at this very blog, you know him to be witty and thoughtful. But John is also a long-time church musician, who understands the problems facing today’s church choirs. In particular: limited time and limited resources. And he has come up with a way to get high-quality choral anthems to the church (and schools, too) at very affordable prices. He has gathered some very talented new writers and some seasoned pros to launch a catalog of music worth checking out.
These two websites share a couple of common traits:
1) They both offer music instantly as a download. No waiting for shipping. No delays for out-of-stock products. And the music comes to the customer for a single, affordable price.
2) They are run by seriously talented guys, who love the Lord and who understand quality choral music.
I don’t wanna make a habit out of encouraging my readers to go to any website but this one. Still, I think you should check out Blue Jack Music (and Sheldon’s blog) at sheldoncurry.com and John Parker’s new product line at easychoirmusic.com.
Tell them I sent you – and see if that doesn’t get you banned for life from their websites.