Are peacocks attracted to colorful objects? Apparently so! Members of the Presbyterian Committee on Congregational Song (PCOCS) giddily mustered around eight mock hymnals bound in colors proposed for the new collection. The books, bound in eco-friendly material, are being shown in focus groups for feedback on colors and textures.
While the new hymnal’s color remains an unanswered question, other publishing details advance. During the February 7-9 PCOCS meeting, David Dobson and other marketing representatives from the Presbyterian Publishing Corporation (PPC) presented a detailed marketing plan, promotional campaign, and timeline (2011-2014). As part of this plan, focus groups will provide feedback on not only hymnal color but also proposed titles and the frequency of using projection or printing words in the bulletin. As PPC develops various editions, the focus groups will offer insight into the need for web-based electronic hymnal edition, CD-ROM-based electronic hymnal edition, simplified piano edition, guitar edition, and instrumental parts. If you are interested in voicing your opinion on the hymnal color, title, etc., you may take the survey online. It is available at http://www.surveymonkey.com/s/LM53PSV.
Another significant aspect of the marketing and promotional plan is to strengthen and expand the Advocate Program. Advocates from around the country are already busy testing sample materials with congregations. Both PCOCS and PPC are receiving useful information regarding texts and tunes contained in the test batches. It is important to know how these texts “sing” in congregational settings.
Speaking of singing, the committee spent most of the February meeting singing materials that have passed through several levels of review. Over the three-day meeting, PCOCS considered 257 selections and tentatively approved 95. The tune and text sub-committees continue to work diligently on recommendations for textual versions, language, tunes, accompaniments, and harmonizations. The committee remains dedicated to producing a resource that will invigorate and shape Presbyterian congregational song now and into the next generation!