Visit VWU during Virginia Private College Week July 22-27 and Receive a $1,000 Visit Grant! Learn More

Worship & Music Conference

Summer 2019:   Sacred Music Summer Conference – A Worship & Arts Event
Conference Dates: July 22-27, 2019

Steeped in the Wesley tradition of "training minds and warming hearts," Virginia Wesleyan University's non-denominational Worship & Music Conference offers continuing education opportunities for church musicians, worship leaders, music teachers, and all who are interested in the sacred arts. (Academic credit is available)

To be added to the mailing list, or for further details:

*Available for your enjoyment, for Continuing Education Units (1 ceu per day), or Academic Credit.  Different rates and requirements apply.


Full-conference: $355
Per day: $95
Directing Church Choirs: $195
Composers’ Symposium: $60


Monday, July 22, 2019

3:00 - 5:00 p.m.
"Directing Church Choirs" mini-course first session

6:45 p.m.
“Welcome Reception” – Monumental Chapel Plaza

7:30 p.m.
“A Service of Christian Prayer using the Music of Taizé and Iona” / Monumental Chapel

Tuesday, July 23, 2019

Heather Sorenson (composer)

  • Hot Off the Press (reading session)
  • Anthems for Occasions (reading session)
  • Scripture Anthems (reading session)
  • Favorites & Best-Sellers (reading session)
Heather Sorenson

Tom Trenney (motivation & organist/director)

  • And May God Give Us Faith to Sing Always
  • In the Mind of the Composer (reading session)
  • Then Sings My Soul
  • Abracadabra: ‘Magic’ of Musical Improvisations
Tom Trenney

Lucy Lind Hogan (preaching)

  • Stirring Our Imaginations: Preaching the Stories of Luke
  • Stop, Look, and Listen: Don’t Just DO, Sit There!
  • Pulpit, Podcast, Periscope
  • Keep Awake: Watching for the Unexpected
Lucy Lind Hogan

Jeff Smith (drama)

  • Telling the Old, Old Story in New, New Ways
  • Pop-Up Narratives
  • Scripture as Script:  Word Heard!
  • The God Rods
Jeff Smith


4:00 p.m. Bonus:  “Rehearsal Management for Successful Choirs”  (Billye Brown Youmans)

Wednesday, July 24, 2019

Mark Patterson (volunteer adult choirs)

  • Seven Steps to Better Sound
  • Habits of Excellence
  • Meeting Our Realities
  • Repertoire Solutions
Mark Patterson

Roy Belfield (organ)

  • Hymn-Service Playing
  • Organ Literature for Church Organists
  • Conducting from the Console
  • Registrations for the Worship Service
Roy Belfield

Marcia McFee  (worship planning)

  • The Advent Season: What’s Yearning to be Born?
  • Discerning a Deeply Spiritual Journey for Advent
  • Design Elements for an Unforgettable Advent
  • Have Your Own Advent Season without Running Ragged
Marcia McFee

Abby Baird (Orff instruments)

  • Sing and Play the Orff Way for Younger Ones
  • Musical Motivation for the Middle Grades
Abby Baird

Phil Guilfoyle (glass-fused art)

  • Kiln-Fused Glass Ornaments & Objects
Phil Guilfoyle


4pm Bonus:  Expand Your Church’s View with World Hymnody (Chi Yi Chen)

Thursday, July 25, 2019

Joseph Martin (composer)

  • Choral Anthem Reading Session
Joseph Martin

Heather Williams Potter  (children’s music)

  • A Year of Beautiful Singing (reading session)
  • Psalms, Hymns, and Spiritual Songs
  • Love Tangibly
  • Singing in Parts: Moving Singers Along the Path to Vocal Independence
Heather Potter

Marcia McFee  (worship planning)

  • The Lent Season: Laying it All on the Table
  • Discerning a Deeply Spiritual Journey for Lent
  • Design Elements for an Unforgettable Lent
  • Have Your Own Lent without Running Ragged
Marcia McFee

Hyosang Park (handbells)

  • Ringing Articulation
  • Handbells in Worship
  • Handbell Music Reading Session
  • Starting a Handbell/Chime Choir with Children
Hyosang Park

Phil Guilfoyle (glass-fused art)

  • Kiln-Fused Glass Ornaments & Objects
Phil Guilfoyle


4pm Bonus:  The Norfolk Street Choir: Tips on Developing Your Community’s Homeless Choir (Robert Shoup & Marla Robinson)

Friday, July 26, 2019

Philip Stopford (composer)

  • The Christmas Music of Philip Stopford
  • The Sacred Anthems of Philip Stopford
Philip Stopford

Lisa Billingham (choral artistry)

  • Get Moving! Vocal Health for the Church Choir
  • Laban Rehearsal Strategies
Lisa Billingham

Amy Gray  (art & ideas)

  • Worshiping with the Big Screen
  • The Eternal and the Temporary: Creating for Worship
Amy Gray

Lois Reese (drumming)

  • Rhythms of Latin America
  • Songs of Peace
Lois Reese

Composers’ Symposium with Joseph Martin

Songwriters of every talent will learn and grow in a fun, interactive environment.  All will receive training to improve songwriting and refresh skills, and will study the craft of composition.  If time and attendance allows, you can bring a piece to be critiqued.   ($60 in addition to conference fee)

Joseph Martin