I can't believe I haven't blogged about this yet!
So, a few months ago, Gerald and I met with NSAI's workshop director and membership coordinator to discuss ways we might be able to partner with them in Ontario. Toronto actually has a very active and well respected chapter, and we were members of that group before we even moved to Nashville. But we wanted to bring a few more ideas to the table...
In the States, there are a few Christian songwriting chapters, so we pitched the idea of starting a new Christian chapter in Toronto. Christian songwriters have specific needs that aren't always met in a regular songwriting group. We need to be able to discuss matters of theology, and songs like hymns and praise and worship have different structures than traditional pop or country songs.
Last week, we sent in our application packages, and within hours, we received approval! We're about to start a new NSAI Christian songwriting chapter in Toronto!!! Whoo-hoo!
I'm crazy excited about this! There are so many Christian musicians in Toronto - writing songs for choirs, artists, congregations, or their own ministry - but there are few ways to connect these writers. I'm envisioning a group that will encompass all genres and all denominations. Not only will we not be in conflict with the other Toronto chapter, but I definitely see ways that we might be able to work together. And here's the other thing: we could easily start a songwriting group in our living room, but by partnering with NSAI, we can provide our members with all the benefits of NSAI, including webcasts, online critiques, and a direct line to the Nashville industry.
Yes, I'm also a little nervous. This is a volunteer position for us, and it's going to take a lot of work, but I'm so excited about the chance to build a community of songwriters writing great songs for the church!
We have a coordinator training day in September. As only God's timing would have it, that day is during the trip we'd already planned to Nashville. I'll be sharing lots more details about the group over the next few months! And if you know any Christian songwriters in Southern Ontario, send them my way...