Choirs, such as the Our Lady of Sorrows Ecumenical Choir pictured here, may now have an easier time finding sheet music with the launch of the Novalis and LicenSing Online music catalogue. Photo by Allison Hunwicks

New site opens up possibilities for music ministry

  • November 16, 2013

TORONTO - A whole new world of musical opportunity has opened up for parishes and schools with the release of an online church music catalogue through a partnership between Novalis Publishing and LicenSing Online.

The comprehensive site will allow music directors and volunteers instant access to 30,000 accompaniments and recordings outside of the standard Catholic Book of Worship III and Gather hymnals so often found in church pews.

“Essentially, music directors or people involved in music liturgy can get a subscription or they can also create an account and get music by pay-per-use.

What it offers is the chance to get the scores for keyboard, choir and also for the congregational parts,” said Don Beyers, marketing manager at Novalis.

The site can function with any computer system through its online platform, and also features mp3 recordings of the music that can be downloaded.

This may prove to be a valuable resource for individuals who don’t read music, which in turn opens up involvement for a variety of congregations and volunteers that have varying levels of musical ability.

“It’s an incredible resource for people to not only get the music, but to put it into their worship aids, or put it up on a screen… and now to have an mp3 you can also hear,” said Beyers.

“It really is a way to help parishes, and schools and worshipping communities, and gives them an opportunity to have easy access to this music.”

LicenSing provides a massive collection of music from many different publishers and continues to add more music all the time. It’s developing into one of the largest collections of hymns and worship music online.

The site will also assist with copyright issues associated with photocopying often-expensive sheet music for large congregations and choirs.

“One of the challenges, I think, that sometimes places face, is that they want to use music but may not have access to it. And how do you do it in a way that’s just? In a way that really respects the musicians that wrote the music and also the companies that provide these resources to us?” said Beyers, who has worked in music ministry in the past.

Another benefit of the site is its affordability. LicenSing Online provides staggered pricing for a parish depending on its size and number of registered families.

“One of the things that we’ve heard, is say a parish of 50 families may not have the same financial resources of a parish of 1,000 families, and nor really should they have to pay the same flat fee when they’re maybe perhaps not using music as often or not for as many people,” said Beyers.

For more information or to start an account, visit

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