Alleluia Conference Brings Ministers From Across The Nation To Study and Celebrate Christian Music

July 15, 2010

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Church music ministers and choir directors from all over the country will come together at Baylor University Tuesday, July 20, through Friday, July 23, with one thing in common: their love for Christian music.

During the ninth annual Alleluia Conference, music ministers will refine their skills, fellowship and enjoy concerts. The conference includes sessions on organ music, praise teams, music fundamentals, youth choirs, conducting, piano, technology, hand bells, worship music, hymns and vocal technique.

Each session is led by a clinician. Clinicians at this year's conference include Branon Dempsey, founder and chief executive officer of Worship Team Training, and Marva Dawn, a world renowned theologian, author and educator.

"We look for the top people in the country who are doing church music," said Dr. Randall Bradley, professor of church music and director of the church music program and the Center for Christian Music Studies at Baylor, in an email. "Alleluia presenters represent some of the most important church composers, conductors, authors, songwriters, educators, thinkers and practitioners in the United States and abroad."

Music ministers come for a combination of the learning opportunities and the chance to fellowship with fellow music lovers, said Melinda Coats, conference coordinator and administrative assistant for the School of Music at Baylor.

A banquet is held at the conference each year to recognize a music graduate who has made a contribution to Christian music. This year, Mark Hayes, a composer, pianist and producer who has published more than 700 original compositions, will be honored and play a piano concert. Hayes earned his bachelor of music in piano performance from Baylor in 1975.

Evening concerts during the conference are free and open to the public. At 5:15 p.m., Tuesday, July 20, Rebecca Prater will conduct the Grace Covenant Presbyterian Youth Choir from Overland Park, Kan., in George W. Truett Theological Seminary's Paul W. Powell Chapel. Prater is the director of music ministries at Grace Covenant Presbyterian Church and a conference clinician. At 7 p.m., Wednesday, July 21, a congregational concert led by Mark Edwards will perform at Mary Gibbs Jones Concert Hall in the Glennis McCrary Music Building. Edwards has published a textbook on congregational singing and hymn settings for congregations, vocalists and choirs and is also a conference clinician.

More than 200 people have registered for the conference.

"I hope ministers leave the conference renewed for another year of service in the church. I hope that ministers are encouraged by spending four days with each other and that the supportive community that has developed during the last nine conferences serves as a tangible reminder of God's presence," Bradley said.

Conference events will take place in the Truett Theological Seminary, 1100 S. Third St., and in the Glennis McCrary Music Building, 110 Baylor Ave., both in Waco on the Baylor campus. The cost is $299 per person. A conference schedule, along with registration information, can be found at www.baylor.edu/alleluia. For more information contact the Alleluia Conference coordination office at (254) 710-2360.

by Diamond Richardson, student newswriter, (254) 710-6805

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