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A Cappella Choir, 1950

CCML Scores

Central Conference Music Library (CCML)

The Central Conference Music Library (CCML) consist of more than 700 scores of choral music written by Covenant composers or sung by Covenant church choirs.

The CCML Lending Policy

The number of copies of each score ranges from one to forty. They are cataloged in the Brandel Library online catalog as an archival collection and housed in the F. M. Johnson Archives and Special Collections as part of the Covenant Archives and Historical Library.

Patrons are welcome to search the online catalog for titles belonging to the collection and we encourage choruses to request to borrow them. The scores of the CCML are available for loan to local Covenant Churches and other choruses. Contact the Archives by email or phone and include the name of your congregation or organization and the music you wish to borrow.

History of the CCML

From the 1930s through the 1950s the Edgewater Covenant Church at Glenwood and Bryn Mawr Avenues in Chicago had a well-known forty-voice choir under the direction of Bert Carlson. The music collected by the choir during that period came to be known as the Central Conference Music Library. It includes classic choral music and contemporary mid-twentieth century compositions.

The CCML remained in storage in the church far longer than the choir was active. In the mid 1980s, when a fire seriously damaged the building, the music collection remained unharmed, although the original congregation had dissolved and there was no longer a use for the music. A preservation effort led by Kendall Dahlstrom brought the collection to the Evangelical Covenant Church in South Bend, Indiana in 1990 to be overseen by church volunteer and librarian Betty Carlson. During her years caring for the collection, Betty designed catalog cards and, with the help of volunteers, recorded data on each anthem. They typed the data into a simple AppleWorks database. The catalog of music, including approximately 700 works, was eventually ready. Betty distributed printed copies of the catalog and request forms to representatives from local Covenant churches at a Central Conference Annual meeting hoping to encourage use of the music by conference church choirs. A few churches responded, but the collection remained under-used, except by the North Park Covenant Church and South Bend area churches.

The collection in its entirety was transferred to the Covenant Archives and Historical Library in the summer of 2010 and cataloged into Brandel Library’s online catalog. Local Covenant churches may borrow the music according to the process outlined above.