Musicians celebrate new NPM chapter with Nov. 22 concert

| November 17, 2010 | 0 Comments

Music notesChurch musicians and choir members from throughout the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis will perform hymns, chants and contemporary liturgical music on Monday, Nov. 22, at St. Olaf Church, 215 S. 8th St., in Minneapolis.

Members of the National Association of Pastoral Musicians will perform the free public concert and sing-along in celebration of a new Twin Cities chapter of the organization.

“The National Association of Pastoral Musicians is really the preeminent musicians organization for the Catholic world,” said Lynn Trapp, director of worship and music at St. Olaf.

“Here in the Twin Cities, we’re very blessed to have a big hub of church musicians, composers and well-known people in the field,” Trapp said.

Many musicians in the archdiocese have been NPM members for years, he added, but it wasn’t until Trapp and a handful of other musicians decided to start a local chapter earlier this year that it became a reality.

“Our goal as a chapter here is to gather and garner Catholic musicians no matter what their discipline is or their level of ability, to get people participating together, enjoying one another and learning,” said Trapp.

To date, about 100 people have joined the local chapter. “The door is wide open [to new members],” Trapp said. “It’s a way of connecting to other colleagues in the field, to stay updated with music repertoire and the church documents, and to enjoy the conventions, which are marvelous.”

Trapp, an organist, pianist and composer, has been an NPM member since high school. “Through the years as my career grew,” he said, “it was a wonderful laboratory for me to launch my art and talent.”

Connecting with colleagues

Rob Glover, director of music at St. Therese in Deephaven, worked with Trapp and others to form the local chapter. Glover has been a member of NPM since it began more than 30 years ago.

“To me, the thrill of being a liturgical musician in this archdiocese is having others to network with,” he said. “Sometimes you can feel isolated in your parish, and it’s just a simple phone call or a little drive away and you’re talking with somebody else who is dealing with the same problems.”
The local NPM chapter gives area musicians one more way to connect and collaborate, Glover said. “It’s just a great way of supporting each other.”

Kathy Borgen, assistant music director and organist at All Saints in Lakeville, has been a member of NPM for about seven years.

“As a part-time musician and as a person who does not have a degree in church music, . . . [NPM] has really helped me learn some of the ins and outs of liturgy,” she said. “It’s also put me in touch with other musicians, liturgists and clergy.”

Because the organization has been so helpful to her, Borgen joined the NPM Twin Cities chapter leadership committee. She believes musicians especially could benefit from NPM membership, but added that Catholics who are not involved in music ministry also are invited to attend the group’s meetings.

“If a congregation member were to come to one of the meetings, they might hear things that, in the past, they’ve just taken for granted,” Borgen said. “The music happens every week, and you show up at church and it’s there. It might be very pretty, it might be something you really like, but you never think about what goes on behind it. So you would have access to the thoughts that go into the planning of the music and how it really fits into the liturgy and how it’s not just music for music’s sake.”

For more information about the NPM Twin Cities chapter, go to

Category: Arts and Culture