NPM Develops, Faces Challenges

The National Association of Pastoral Musicians saw many positive developments in the past year, and faced some challenges as well.

The 2018 annual report, which was recently shared with the membership, notes significant staff reduction, a costly annual convention, and an 11% reduction in membership.

At the same time, convention programming was improved, there were advances in fundraising and technology, and outreach increased to underrepresented cultural groups in the West and Southwest.

The sharp membership drop needs to be put in context. Membership in 2018 dropped from 5,308 to 4,721, but the previous year it increased from 5,045. Thus, the current NPM membership is a bit over 6% lower than it was two years ago.

The convention in Baltimore had 1,725 people – that’s a lot of participants! But revenue was lower than expected, and expenses higher.

The new Essentials of Catholic Liturgy (ECL) institutes in partnership with Liturgy Training Publications had 125 participants. The new “One Call Institution” for young pastoral musicians at St. John’s in Collegeville had 61 youth and 28 adults – and numbers are way up for the second installment next month. 89 participated in the Guitar & Ensemble Institute, 81 in the January colloquium for music directors (which was in Vegas for the first time).

NPM offers certification in organ, piano, basic cantor, and intermediate cantor. The larges contingent was basic cantor with 90, followed by 15 intermediate cantor. Organ and piano saw 4 and 7 respectively.

NPM ended the year with nearly $30,000 of red ink, after a surplus of nearly $60,000 the previous year. Taken cumulatively, the past four years have seen a net profit of nearly $14,000.

As the membership knows, the journal Pastoral Music was entirely revamped under the able editorship of new editor Kathy Felong, with a fresh approach and new look. Meanwhile, Matt Reichert directs the new Monday Ministry weekly podcast, and Zack Stachowski continues to enhance the revamped website. Amanda Bruce is heading up social media developments.

President Steve Petrunak began his term two years ago in May, 2017. His predecessor, Msgr. Richard Hilgartner, has stayed on as Director of Ecclesial Mission and Identity. Board members are Jeremy Helmes, chair, Sr. Kathleen Harmon SNDdeN, vice chair, and Meg Matuska, Mary Prete, and Dan Wyatt.

One comment

  1. I just rejoined and will be in Raleigh for the convention this summer. Looking forward to it! Does PrayTell do a get-together at the convention?

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