Chance to improve music

By Bailey Starnes

Who better to get advice from than someone who is a professional?

Grammy award winning Christian composer Ken Medema will host learning sessions and critiques for participants of the Christian Songwriters Workshop Feb. 20 in Hughes Recital Hall.

This event will not only include sessions and performances from Medema,
but also UMHB’s One Voice. They will perform and receive critiques from Medema.

One Voice Director Matthew Crosby believes this will be a great learning experience for his students.

“When Dr. George Stansbury confirmed that Ken Medema would be
doing this workshop, we thought it’d be a great opportunity for One Voice to be involved and learn from this Christian composer,” he said.

Medema’s critiques and suggestions, however, will not be his only contribution to One Voice.

“He’s going to work with us on these pieces earlier that afternoon at 4 p.m. It will be great to work with someone that has contributed so much to Christian music, especially through hearing his ideas about his own work,” Crosby said.

Saran Chumley, senior church music major and member of One Voice, is eager to hear Medema’s guidance.

“I am most looking forward to seeing where Ken Medema takes this music that One Voice has been working on,” Chumley said. “When you rehearse a piece with the actual composer of that piece, it’s like getting a ‘behind-the-scenes’ look into what he had in mind when he wrote it.”

Coordinator of church music and overseer of the workshop George Stansbury is excited to offer this opportunity to other students as well.

“For any student that register, morning workshop sessions are at 9:30 and 10:45a.m. respectively and will be led by Ken on the topics of musical form and song content,” he said. “These are designed to equip the aspiring songwriter for quality creativity.”

Chumley said Medema’s presence at the workshop will be “of great significance” and that he “will share plenty of his insight.”

Aspiring musicians, according to Chumley, should be interested.

“I think this workshop will benefit not only me, but any other student who
is seeking a career in the field of music. There will be lectures that help better our understanding of the song-writing process,” Chumley said. “These are skills that any musician should have.”

Although it may seem basic to outsiders, songwriting can be complex.

“It takes a lot of hard work and creativity to write any song. Most people probably don’t realize all that it entails,” she said.

Chumley believes the workshop will act as an inspiration to aspiring songwriters and musicians.

She said, “This workshop will be a great jump-start for our careers as musicians, and it will give us a place to start our songwriting endeavors.”

Author: The Bells Staff

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