Annual Conference – Leadership Bios

We are proud that our Annual Conference always features a broad array of leaders that cover many denominations, fields of study, and lived experiences. Here you can learn more about the people who will lead us this year.

 

Hymn Festival Leaders

Benjamin Brody
Benjamin Brody serves as Chair of the Music Department, Professor of Music and Director of Church Music Studies at Whitworth University. A life member of The Hymn Society in the United States and Canada, Ben is currently serving as President, and convened the working group that produced Singing Welcome: Songs and Hymns for Refugees and Immigrants (2017). Ben’s tunes have been published in several collections, including Come, O Holy House, And Worship: Hymns and Songs of Benjamin Brody (GIA, 2017). In addition to his work at the university, Ben is Director of Music at Colbert Presbyterian Church, in Colbert, Washington.

 

Carlos Colón
Carlos Colón is Assistant Director for Worship and Chapel of the Office of Spiritual Life at Baylor University. He is a composer, liturgist, and cultural promoter, specializing in music that is both academically serious and ecclesiastically valuable. His recent projects lie at the intersection of social justice and religious change.

Carlos Colón was born in Chalchuapa, El Salvador. When he was 14, he was forced to leave El Salvador and took refuge in Guatemala City. A resident of the United States since 1986, he holds a B.M. from Belmont University and a M.M. from Baylor University. He became a U.S. citizen in 2001. His music has been performed in festivals in the United States and abroad. Recently, his music has been performed in Carnegie Hall, Venezuela National Radio, the Calvin Worship Symposium, and the Festival de Música Contemporánea of El Salvador. His music has also received acclaim in England, Cuba, and other countries.

Colón’s international heritage and personal experience of civil war inform his compositions’ calls to justice, peace, and beauty. Las Lamentaciones de Rufina Amaya, a requiem in memory of the victims of El Mozote (where the Salvadorian army massacred 800 peasants in 1981), was premiered at Baylor University’s Armstrong Browning Library in 2008. It has also been performed in Dallas by the Texas Voices; in El Salvador by the choir of the National Opera; and in Grand Rapids by the Choral Scholars. Obertura Para Un Mártir, a work commemorating slain Archbishop Oscar Romero, was commissioned by the President and First Lady of El Salvador and premiered there in 2010.

Colón and his family reside in Waco, TX.

 

Peter Kolar
Peter Kolar is the Editor for Spanish and Bilingual Resources at GIA Publications, Inc. A bilingual composer and classically-trained pianist, his works include the bilingual (English-Spanish) mass, “Misa Luna,” sung for the papal liturgy in Philadelphia and recipient of the distinguished mass setting award by the Association of Catholic Publishers, and a solo piano CD, “Variations.” Of Salvadoran and Polish heritage, Peter delights in the intersection of classical, folkloric and pop idioms. He holds a Masters degree in music composition from Northwestern University and resides in El Paso, TX, where he is the Director of the El Paso Diocesan Choir.

 

Pamela Ruiter-Feenstra
Pamela Ruiter-Feenstra is a Grammy-nominated performer who thrives as improvisation expert, international concert and recording artist, and award-winning composer, conductor, pedagogue, and author. She concertizes and teaches repertoire and improvisation on antique organs, carillons, harpsichords, and clavichords throughout North America and Europe, and strives to reveal the beautiful soul of each instrument. She has developed a new art form called Collaborative Investigative Composition (CIC), in which she partners with individuals (in person or online) who wish to tell a story via a music composition. Sometimes a story is censored, eclipsed by other events, forbidden, ignored, too difficult to be told in words alone, or can be told most effectively via the arts. Knowing that everyone’s story deserves to be told, Ruiter-Feenstra listens deeply, and individualizes an approach that optimizes each person’s voice. A passionate advocate for marginalized populations, Ruiter-Feenstra’s newest improvisations, compositions, musical plays, and poetry focus on social justice themes and collaborations.  Her Liturgy Live organ collection, commissioned by Wyatt Smith, features world music themes. She holds both MFA and DMA degrees in Organ Performance and Pedagogy from the University of Iowa.

 

Stanley Thurston
Stanley J. Thurston is well known as a pianist, composer, arranger, and conductor. He is Director of Music Ministries at Foundry United Methodist Church in Washington, D.C., Artistic Director of The Heritage Signature Chorale, Artistic Director Emeritus of Washington Performing Arts Choirs, Artist-in-Residence at Washington National Cathedral, and guest conductor with the National Symphony Orchestra, the Soulful Symphony, Choral Arts Society of Washington, and Cathedral Choral Society of Washington, among others. Mr. Thurston has conducted in concert venues including Carnegie Hall (NYC), The Kennedy Center, The Music Center at Strathmore, Joseph Meyerhoff Symphony Hall, the U. S. Capitol, and DAR Constitution Hall.

 

The Voices Together Team
Voices Together (2020) was compiled by a committee representing Mennonite Church USA and Mennonite Church Canada. It follows in the footsteps of Hymnal: A Worship Book, which was showcased at the Hymn Society conference in Washington, DC, 30 years ago. VT provides spoken and sung resources for hymnal using Mennonites in North America, and strives to represent the breadth of Anabaptist traditions worldwide.

 

 

Plenary Speakers

John Crothers
John Crothers is a Northern-Irish born organist and director of music, and a published composer and writer. Between 1992 and 2001 he chaired the Royal School of Church Music in Ireland and between 2011 and 2021 was Chair of RSCM France, where he now lives. He regularly serves on the Executive Committee of the Hymn Society of Great Britain and Ireland and is currently researching the work of the hymn writer, Timothy Dudley-Smith.

 

David Scott Hamnes
David Scott Hamnes (PhD) is Assistant Professor at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology’s Institute for Music in Trondheim, Norway, where he teaches hymnology, liturgical studies, and professional identity. He holds a doctoral degree in hymnology and musicology from the Australian Catholic University and has a wide range of research and performance interests, including the development of the hymn in the twenty-first century, ecumenical hymn studies, and Nordic liturgical practice and liturgical music understandings. David served as researcher and editor of Nytt norsk salmeleksikon from 2011-2018. He is currently the Vice-President of the Internationale Arbeitgemeinschaft für Hymnologie (IAH).

 

Martin Hoondert
Dr. Martin J.M. Hoondert (* 1967) studied musicology and theology and is specialized in music and rituals. Since 2007 he is (associate) professor of ‘Music, Religion & Ritual’ at the Department of Culture Studies of Tilburg University (the Netherlands). His research focuses on ‘music and death’ and ‘practices of memorialization’. Martin Hoondert is editor of the magazine Gregoriusblad (magazine for liturgical music) and editor of the Yearbook for Liturgical and Ritual Studies and the series Liturgia Condenda (Leuven: Peeters). He is married and the father of two sons.

 

Tanya Riches
Dr. Tanya Riches obtained her PhD at Fuller Theological Seminary in 2017 and now serves as Senior Lecturer and Masters Program Oversight for the Department of Theology and Religion at Hillsong College in Sydney, Australia. Her research examines real, vibrant Christian spiritualities lived in the contemporary world. She is a singer/songwriter, author of the song “Jesus What a Beautiful Name” published by Hillsong Church, and many other songs sung internationally. She speaks and teaches all over the world, and is married to the ever-funny youth expert Tim Sheerman.

 

Mikie Roberts
The Rev. Dr. Mikie Roberts is an ordained Moravian pastor who is currently serving as the Programme Executive of Spiritual Life and Faith and Order at the World Council of Churches in Geneva, Switzerland. He has been serving in the position since February 2019. Prior to his appointment at the WCC, for the past 25 years, he served in several capacities throughout the Moravian Church across the Eastern Caribbean. These included Provincial Director of Music, Minister of Music, Pastor and Associate Pastor. He was the general editor of the first Caribbean Moravian hymnal and liturgy book – Caribbean Moravian Praise and Liturgy Book. He has studied at the University of Birmingham (United Kingdom); the Westminster Choir College of Rider University (New Jersey, USA); and the University of the West Indies and United Theological College of the West Indies (Mona, Jamaica).

 

Cynthia Wilson
Rev. Dr. Cynthia A. Wilson is an ordained deacon serving as Executive Director of Worship Resources at The United Methodist Discipleship Ministries agency supervising and guiding staff in the process of developing resources and training events with a primary focus on music, liturgy, and preaching. Previously, Dr. Wilson served as Assistant Vice-President of Student Life and Dean of Students at Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary. There she launched the Center for Music and Worship in the Black Church Experience, an institute that provides training in the sacred music of the Black Church and beyond for musicians and worship leaders.

A talented vocalist, Dr. Wilson is a Grammy nominee, was noted the “Best Female Vocalist” at the Gospel Choice Awards held in Atlanta, GA (1998), has toured internationally, and, in 2000, served as the first female and first African American Director of Music at the General Conference of the United Methodist Church.

She holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in music education from Dillard University, a Master of Sacred Music degree from Perkins School of Theology/ SMU, and a Doctor of Philosophy in Liturgical Studies from Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary.

 

Miki Yamamoto
Dr. Miki Yamamoto is the professor of the Faculty of Education, Psychology and Human Studies at Aoyamagakuin University in Tokyo, Japan. She received her doctorate from Osaka University for her research on international music festivals. Her major works include “The International Music Festivals History after World War II”, as well as “The Methodist Hymns and Music” , and several works on the Japanese hymns of the modern times Japan. She specializes in musicology and music education, and is currently researching children’s Christian magazines and the hymns published in them since the 1900s.

 

 

Morning Prayers Leaders

Matthew Boutda
Matthew Boutda is a conductor, organist, and singer from Toronto, Canada. He holds a Bachelor of Music and a Master of Sacred Music degree from the University of Toronto. With a passion and desire for choral music, Matthew is delighted to be a part of the rich music program as Director of Music at Leaside United Church, in Toronto.

Matthew is also the co-founder of Uniting Voices Collective. This is a group of musicians that are dedicated to sustaining community through shared song during this pandemic. Uniting Voices Collective has provided and continues to provide interactive virtual sessions that inform and uplift choristers, directors and musicians.

 

Hilary Donaldson
Hilary is a church musician, researcher, and teacher specializing in enlivening the voice of the singing community. She is Worship Music & Arts Director for East End United Regional Ministry in Toronto, Canada. Hilary holds a Master of Sacred Music from Perkins School of Theology, and is a doctoral candidate in Musicology at the University of Toronto, where her research is focused on English musical modernism and the sacred music of Benjamin Britten. She shares resources on congregational song at www.breakintosong.ca.

Following a tragic mass shooting which occurred steps from her church in July of 2018, Hilary integrated community singing into a public vigil event which saw thousands of people assemble on Toronto’s Danforth Avenue, using music to hold space for grief, lament, and hope. The following year, she was also tasked with assembling a choir to sing at the City of Toronto’s commemorative service honoring the victims.

 

 

Featured Session Leaders

Patrick Alston
W. Patrick Alston, a native of Baltimore, Maryland, has performed throughout the United States and abroad as a solo artist, composer, and an accompanist in prestigious venues that include the White House, Carnegie Hall, the Mormon Tabernacle, and the Auditorium of Milan. He currently serves as the worship music consultant for New Shiloh Baptist Church in Baltimore and as a staff organist at the Sligo Seventh-day Adventist Church. In 2007 he founded Hands’n’Harmony Incorporated which hosts seminars and private lessons in keyboard techniques and sacred music. As a certified musical educator in the State of Maryland, he teaches keyboard and international baccalaureate music theory at Baltimore City College High School. He also serves as an adjunct professor at the Peabody Institute of the Johns Hopkins University, where he teaches the Gospel Music Tradition of Baltimore. He holds an MM from the Peabody Institute (2013) and received an honorary doctorate in sacred music from the Eastern Theological Seminary (2007).

 

Mikako Ehara
B.A. Tokyo Gakugei University Music Department (Voice Major), MM (Ministry of Music) Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary Department of Church Music. Choir of the Cathedral of Saint John the Divine (New York), Member New York Choral Society. Presently, Minister of Church Music Sagami Chuo Baptist Church (Japan) and Head of Church Music Japan Baptist Convention. Responsible for development, production and promotion of the New Life Hymnal (Shinsei Sanbika–Japan Baptist Convention). Instructor at Tokyo Baptist Seminary. Management Committee Member for Japan Hymn Society. Kanto Area Head for Japan Hymn Society. Executive Committee Member of Church Music Music Festival (Japan). Chapel concert singer and church music workshop leader throughout Japan.

 

C. Michael Hawn, FHS
C. Michael Hawn, FHS, is a retired Professor of Church Music and Director of the Master of Sacred Music Program at Perkins School of Theology, Southern Methodist University, Dallas, Texas. He joined the faculty in 1992 after teaching for fifteen years in two Southern Baptist seminaries and serving congregations as minister of music in Kentucky, Georgia, North Carolina, and Texas. Dr. Hawn has received numerous fellowships for the study of global hymnody and worship, and has conducted research and taught in forty countries. His publications include over 400 articles and books. Since 2004 he has written a weekly column entitled “History of Hymns” for the United Methodist Reporter. Hawn contributed over twenty entries to the Canterbury Dictionary of Hymnology (2013), primarily in the area of sub-Saharan African hymnody. In 2006, Michael Hawn was the music director for the Ninth Assembly of the World Council of Churches in Porto Alegre, Brazil.

 

Marcell Silva Steuernagel
Marcell Silva Steuernagel, Ph.D., is Assistant Professor of Church Music and Director of the Master of Sacred Music Program at Southern Methodist University’s Perkins School of Theology. Marcell writes at the intersection of church music, theology, musicology, and performance theory. He served as Minister of Worship, Arts and Communication at Redeemer Lutheran Church in Curitiba, Brazil, for more than a decade and is an internationally active composer and performer. His most recent monograph is Church Music Through the Lens of Performance, published on Routledge’s Congregational Music Studies series.

 

Organ Recitalist

Eileen Guenther
Eileen Guenther is professor of church music at Wesley Theological Seminary. She teaches music and worship courses, directs the chapel choir, co-directs the chapel services. Dr. Guenther has served as visiting lecturer at Africa University in Zimbabwe. As part of the Global Praise team, she has taught music and worship in Uganda for representatives from the five countries that make up the East Africa Conference of The United Methodist Church and in Cote d’Ivoire.

Eileen is a national and international organ recitalist and has performed in recordings with Etherea Records, the US Air Force Orchestra, Vista Records (London) and Foundry Records. Her book, Rivals or a Team: Clergy-Musician Relationships in the Twenty-First Century was published by MorningStar Music in 2012 and she is currently writing a book on The Power of Spirituals. Dr. Guenther has just concluded three terms as president of the American Guild of Organists. In June 2007, Dr. Guenther concluded a distinguished career at Foundry United Methodist Church, where she had served as minister of music and liturgy for many years.

 

Sectional Leaders

James Abbington, FHS
Dr. Abbington’s, FHS, research interests include music and worship in the Christian church, African American sacred folk music, organ, choral music, and ethnomusicology. Dr. Abbington serves as executive editor of the African American Church Music Series by GIA Publications (Chicago). He served as co-director of music for the Hampton University Ministers’ and Musicians’ Conference. In 2010, Hampton’s Choir Directors’-Organists’ Guild honored Abbington by naming their Church Music Academy after him. He has also served as the national director of music for both the Progressive National Baptist Convention and the NAACP.

 

Tony Alonso
Tony Alonso is a Latin Grammy-nominated composer of sacred music and a scholar whose work responds to the diverse realities of contemporary culture. Tony is Assistant Professor of Theology and Culture at Candler School of Theology at Emory University where he also serves as the inaugural Director of Catholic Studies.

 

John Ambrose, FHS
John is a retired minister of the United Church of Canada, former pastor, song leader, teacher in liturgical studies, founder of GATHERING (quarterly worship resource for congregations), editor of the UC hymnal Voices United, past President of the Hymn Society, long-time enabler of community choirs and music theatre. He holds degrees from Carleton University (Ottawa), Emmanuel College (Toronto), University of Notre Dame (South Bend, Indiana). He lives with his wife, Catherine, in Mississauga, Ontario.

 

Matthew Amuro
Revd Matthew Voke Emojefe Amuro hails from Ehwerhe Agbarho of Delta State, Nigeria, and is currently a lecturer at the Baptist Theological Seminary, Eku and a PhD student at the Nigerian Baptist Theological Seminary, Ogbomoso. Revd Amuro speaks and facilitates Church Music and Christian worship conferences, seminars and workshops in churches or institutions and has work experience as a church pastor, minister of music and worship. He co-founded with his wife the Worship Renewal Ministry, and he is the author of Church Music, Worship and Evangelism: Perspectives for the 21st Century African Church. He is married to Pastor Gloria O. A. Amuro, and they are blessed with five children.

 

Makihiko Arase
Makihiko Arase is an ordained minister of the Cumberland Presbyterian Church. He pastors Asahi Church in Yokohama and teaches liturgics, preaching and church music at Japan Biblical Theological Seminary in Tokyo. As a hymn writer, he belongs to Sambika Kobo (Hymn Creation Studio) and Koremo Sambika (a network of unique hymn writers and singers). Twenty-four of his works are included in the recently published Sambika Kobo Hymnal II.

 

Ayobami Ayanyinka
Rev’d Mrs. Ayobami A. Ayanyinka is a lecturer in the department of Composition, Musicology, and Worship, Faculty of Church Music at the Nigerian Baptist Theological Seminary, Ogbomoso, Oyo State, Nigeria. She is the author of From Waste to Wealth: An Advocacy for Preserving African Church Music Values for Contemporary Christian Worship, Magic or Miracle?: A Christian Apologetic Response to Current Prophetic Claims in African Congregations, Balm of the Voice: The Place of Songs in Ministering Care, and several other books. She is a Fellow (IAF) at International Council for Evangelical Theological Education ICETE. She has served in various capacities within the local Baptist church such as Music minister, Church Secretary, Acting Pastor, etc. She is currently the Music Minister of New Heritage Baptist Church, Ogbomoso. Her current research interest for her Ph.D. dissertation is “A Theo-Musicological Analysis of Music Used in Contemporary Christian Worship.” She is married to a loving and caring husband Mr. Akinade Isaac Ayanyinka and the union is blessed with three godly sons, Adeyemi, Adefemi, and Adetayo.

 

Stephanie Budwey
Stephanie A. Budwey is the Luce Dean’s Faculty Fellow Assistant Professor of the History and Practice of Christian Worship and the Arts at Vanderbilt Divinity School in Nashville, TN, where she also serves as Director of the Religion in the Arts and Contemporary Culture Program. Her teaching and research focus on the relationships between social justice issues, liturgy, and the arts. Stephanie is an active member of The Hymn Society and currently serves as the Director of Research. She has presented lectures and papers throughout North America and Europe, and she has publications on such topics as intersex and theology (including Religion and Intersex: Perspectives from Science, Law, Culture, and Theology from Routledge, 2022), Marian congregational song (including Sing of Mary: Giving Voice to Marian Theology and Devotion from Liturgical Press, 2014), and queer hymnody (including Queering Congregational Song: Past Celebrations, Current Resources, and Hopes for the Future in the forthcoming collection Queering Christian Worship, Reconstructing Liturgical Theology). She currently serves as Organist/Parish Musician at St. David’s Episcopal Church in Nashville.

 

Marty Wheeler Burnett
Marty Wheeler Burnett, D.Min., is the Associate Professor of Church Music and Director of Chapel Music at Virginia Theological Seminary. Prior to her faculty appointment in 2020, she led and coordinated the music ministry at Trinity Episcopal Cathedral in Omaha, Nebraska. As Canon Precentor, she conducted several choirs and served as the founding director of the children’s and youth choir program, Cantate Choral Academy. An award-winning educator, Burnett previously served as Director of Fine Arts and Associate Professor of Music at College of Saint Mary in Omaha. Under her leadership, the college choirs performed twice at Carnegie Hall and toured Ireland and Italy, singing for Mass at St. Peter’s Basilica. She holds Bachelor of Music and Master of Music degrees in organ performance from the Shepherd School of Music at Rice University and a Doctor of Ministry degree with a focus in liturgical music from The University of the South. Her publications, presentations, and research focus on liturgical music, particularly hymns and service music by women. Burnett is the Past President of the Association of Anglican Musicians. Her compositions are published by Church Publishing, Randall M. Egan, and St. James Music Press.

 

Chi Yi Chen Wolbrink
Chi Yi Chen Wolbrink was born in Tainan, Taiwan. She has degrees from Tainan Theological Seminary and College and Westminster Choir College (M.M., Choral Conducting). Chi Yi served as choral associate at Princeton Theological Seminary, directing choirs for twelve years, and was a member of the committee responsible for the 2013 Glory to God hymnal. Chi Yi has presented workshops on global church music for the Presbyterian Association of Musicians, The Hymn Society, the Joel Engle Institute in Preaching, the Virginia Wesleyan Sacred Music Conference, the National Taiwanese Presbyterian Church, and the Béla Bartók Institute in Hungary. Under her direction, the New York City Formosa Choir presented a concert at Lincoln Center. She is featured on multiple recordings. Chi Yi is director of music ministry at Bayside Presbyterian Church, Virginia Beach, Virginia.

 

Emmanuella Chesirri
Mrs. Talla Nee Chesirri Mouma Emmanuella is a Music and Worship Minister. She serves as the Media/Techincal Coordinator of Victory Baptist Church Isale General, Ogbomoso, Nigeria. She is passionate about preaching the gospel through music, teaching, and raising leadership toward sound biblical worship. She received her undergraduate degree from the University of Yoaunde II Soa in Cameroon, a Master of Divinity and a Master of Church Music from the Nigerian Baptist Theological Seminary Ogbomoso in Nigeria. She is a lecturer in the Faculty of Church Music, Nigerian Baptist Theological Seminary, Ogbomoso in Nigeria and the founder of Worship Today International.

 

Martin V. Clarke
Martin Clarke is a musicologist specializing in the intersections between music and religion. He became a Lecturer in Music at The Open University in 2014, having been an Associate Lecturer since 2008 and a Research Affiliate in Music since 2012. He holds BA (Hons) and PhD degrees in Music from Durham University. Martin holds the Fellowship Diploma of the Royal College of Organists (FRCO) and is a Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy (SFHEA). Martin Clarke’s primary research interests lie in the relationships between music and theology, and especially their articulation in the music and religious practice of eighteenth- and nineteenth-century Britain, and the Methodist movement more widely. He has published on these topics and regularly presents research papers at musicological and theological conferences. He is the author of British Methodist Hymnody: Theology, Heritage, and Experience (2017).

 

Scot Crandal
Scot Crandal is Director of Music at the Episcopal Parish of St. John the Baptist in Portland, Oregon—he has also worked at OCP for several years, both as a music editor and music development coordinator, in charge of submissions and arranging. He earned his music degree from Whitworth College in Spokane, Washington, and was a music teacher in public schools for several years. In addition to writing songs for the liturgy, Scot composes and performs jazz, classical and popular music. He plays guitar and piano, and has showcased his strong tenor voice in several Portland Opera productions.

Scot’s annual psalter, The Living Church Acclaims, offers contemporary responsorial psalms and Gospel acclamations for the entire 2019 liturgical year. His most recent collection, Down to the River to Pray, brings together eight liturgical songs and choral anthems that are wonderfully unique and equally well-written and arranged.

Scot lives in Oregon with his wife, Karen, and their two children.

 

Laura Irene D’Angiola
1964 – Nacida en Argentina, docente, directora del nivel secundario de una escuela bilingüe, miembro fundadora de la Red Crearte (2004), coordinadora del Comité de Liturgia de la Iglesia Evangélica Metodista Argentina, liturgista.  Casada con dos hijos y una hija.

 

Carl P. Daw, Jr., FHS
Carl Daw served as the Executive Director of The Hymn Society from 1996 to 2009 while it was headquartered at Boston University School of Theology, where he continued to teach hymnology and other courses until 2019. He remains there as Curator of Hymnological Collections. He also taught hymnology at Yale Divinity School/Institute of Sacred Music for two years (2018-19). His hymn writing began while he was a consultant member of the Text Committee for The Hymnal 1982, and his texts now appear in most English-language hymnals. More than 70 anthem settings of his texts are currently in print as well as five text collections. Other publications include Breaking the Word: Essays on the Liturgical Dimensions of Preaching, A HymnTune Psalter, Liturgical Music for the Revised Common Lectionary, Years A, B, C and Glory to God: A Companion. Carl was made a Fellow of The Hymn Society in 2007 and a Fellow of the Royal School of Church Music (U.K.) in 2011; he has received honorary Doctor of Divinity degrees from Virginia Theological Seminary (2009) and the University of the South (2012). As an Episcopal priest he has served parishes in Virginia, Connecticut, and Pennsylvania, and he taught in the English Department of the College of William and Mary before entering seminary.

 

Andrew Donaldson, FHS
Andrew Donaldson is a lyricist/composer, conductor, and enlivener of congregational song. He was co-editor of The Book of Praise for the Presbyterian Church in Canada. He has worked as music director in several Toronto-area churches, and in Geneva as Worship Consultant to the World Council of Churches, for which he compiled and edited the songbook Hosanna! Ecumenical Songs for Justice and Peace, which contains many of his translations.

 

Sarah Eyerly
Sarah Eyerly is Associate Professor of Musicology, Curtis Mayes Orpheus Professor of Musicology, Director of the Early Music Program, and Coordinator of Musicology at Florida State University. She holds the MA/PhD in musicology and criticism from the University of California, Davis, and the MM in historical performance practices from the Mannes College of Music. As a Fulbright Fellow to the Netherlands, she studied historical performance practices at the Royal Conservatory, The Hague. Prior to joining the faculty at FSU, she taught at UCLA, the University of Southern California, and Butler University, and was appointed as a visiting scholar with UCLA’s Center for Seventeenth- and Eighteenth-Century Studies. Her research interests are broad, and include sound studies, performance practice and applied musicology, music and religion, and the geo-humanities. Her book and sound mapping project, Moravian Soundscapes (Series: Music, Nature, Place; Indiana University Press, 2020), is a sonic history of Moravian mission communities during the period of the Seven Year’s War and the American Revolution. She is also currently involved in an interdisciplinary research project on the history and transmission of Moravian hymns in the Mohican language. Other research projects include adaptations of Mozart’s music by Inuit musicians in coastal Labrador as well as a biography and documentary film on the life of the eighteenth-century Mohican musician, Joshua.

 

Elisabeth Fillmann
Elisabeth Fillmann is a hymnologist whose work focuses primarily on aspects of literature in hymns and on the publishing and bibliography of hymnbooks. She served on the research project team for the online database Gesangbuchbibliographie. She is currently a member of the committee to develop a new Protestant German hymnal and a board member of the Internationale Arbeitgemeinschaft für Hymnologie (IAH). She holds a PhD in literature from the Johannes Gutenberg University and holds positions in academic organizational development at the Trier University of Applied Sciences and Hildesheim University.

 

Valeria Foster
Valeria Foster is a graduate of Morgan State University and The John Leland Center for Theological Studies. A composer, arranger, and associate editor of the African American Heritage Hymnal (GIA Publications), Valeria has served as state chair of Music in Worship for the Maryland/DC Chapter of the American Choral Directors Association; a board member of the DC Chapter of the American Guild of Organists; director of the University of Maryland (College Park) Gospel Choir (15 years); and a lecturer at the World Council of Churches’ Ecumenical Institute (Switzerland). She conducted a master class on early gospel hymns for the Smithsonian Institution’s African American Sacred Music Institute, one of the events held in conjunction with the Wade in the Water exhibit at the National Museum of American History. She arranged “We Are One in the Spirit” for mezzo-soprano Denyce Graves and the 250-voice Papal Mass Choir and the 175-voice Children’s Choir for the Mass celebrated by Pope Benedict XVI at Nationals Park. Most recently, Valeria served as gospel choir director (19 years) and interim minister of music (three years) at National City Christian Church (Washington, DC).

 

Charles Freeman
Rev. Freeman is pastor of Grace Presbyterian Church in Gainesville, Florida, and a hymn writer. Prior to entering the ministry he worked as an academic musicologist, with a Ph.D. from Florida State University and teaching experience at FSU, Texas Tech University, Palm Beach Atlantic University, and the University of Kansas.

 

Sandee Gamet
Sandee Gamet is a volunteer minister with Community of Christ’s “World Service Corps” program, and has spent the last 6 years working on missional projects that include training and support of refugee communities in Belgium, Germany, Spain, and the Netherlands, developing child safeguarding procedures for the different nations in Europe, and serving as project manager for Gemeenschap van Christus Zingt (Community of Christ Sings). This new Dutch songbook and hymnal brings translations of more than 250 hymns from Community of Christ Sings to the Dutch-speaking world, many of which the original authors and composers are well-known members of the Hymn Society. Sandee’s 25 years of experience as a music teacher, coupled with 20+ years serving at the Community of Christ International Headquarters in the role of Peacebuilding Specialist, has given her an incredible skill set to articulate a world that God envisions for us all through words and song.

 

Kevin Grove
Born and raised in Montana, Kevin Grove was ordained a Holy Cross priest at Notre Dame in 2010. After doctoral studies at the University of Cambridge and before joining the faculty at Notre Dame, Grove was a post-doctoral researcher at L’Institut Catholique in Paris, France, and a fellow at the Notre Dame Institute for Advanced Study. In addition to his research and teaching, Grove serves pastorally at Notre Dame as an assistant faculty chaplain, chaplain to the Master of Divinity program, and as a pastoral resident for undergraduates in Dunne Hall.

 

David Scott Hamnes
See bio under Plenary Leaders

 

Esther Handschin
Born in Frankfurt, Germany, and raised in Switzerland, Esther H. Handschin has served for more than twenty years in Austria as Pastor of the United Methodist Church (UMC), currently in Vienna. She did her theological studies in Zürich, Switzerland and Heidelberg, Germany. She was a member of the Committee for the Germanspeaking Methodist Hymnbook, 2002 (for the UMC in Germany, Austria and Switzerland). She is involved in the Working Group for Liturgy of the United Methodist Central Conference of Middle and Southern Europe. For the last five years she has served on the Board of the Ecumenical Council of Churches in Austria.

 

Sarah Hart

Sarah Hart is one of the leading figures in contemporary Catholic music today. Her songs of faith, spirit of joy, and love for teaching and leading workshops have touched the lives of thousands. Many of Sarah’s songs are part of the common worship experience of Catholics in the U.S. She has recorded 12 full-length collections with a signature blend of folk, pop and rock which delight listeners of every age. Sarah’s most recent collection, Love As Never Before, includes four new titles, a psalm and the well-loved Mass of St. Mary Magdalene. In October of 2013, Sarah had the deep honor of performing for Pope Francis and a crowd of 150,000 in St. Peter’s Square.

 

Marilyn Haskel
Marilyn Haskel is a career church musician holding degrees in music education, choral conducting, and religious studies. She has served parishes in Connecticut, Massachusetts, Texas, California, and New York primarily in the Episcopal Church. She was music editor at Church Publishing, Inc. in New York where she acquired, edited, and produced books, music, and recordings. Now retired, she conducts two choruses and is organist at the Collington Life Care Community in Bowie, Maryland.

 

C. Michael Hawn, FHS
See bio under Featured Session Leaders

 

Jonathan Hehn
Jonathan Hehn, OSL, is a musician and liturgist currently serving the University of Notre Dame in Notre Dame, Indiana. He is a brother in the Order of Saint Luke, a religious order committed to sacramental renewal and liturgical scholarship, and holds degrees in music from the Florida State University (B.M., D.M.), and theology from the University of Notre Dame (M.S.M., M.A.). A passionate practitioner, writer, teacher, and thinker, you can find him on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram @JonathanHehn.

 

Joseph Herl
Joseph Herl is professor of music at Concordia University, Nebraska, where he received the Outstanding Teacher Award in 2018. His first book, Worship Wars in Early Lutheranism (Oxford University Press, 2004), was awarded the Roland Bainton Prize of the Sixteenth Century Society and Conference. More recently he, Peter C. Reske, and Jon D. Vieker edited Lutheran Service Book: Companion to the Hymns (Concordia Publishing House, 2019), the first hymnal companion in English for which the earliest sources were consulted for every hymn. He also holds a joint appointment as research professor in the University of Illinois School of Music, where he was appointed director of the Hymn Tune Index in 2020, succeeding Nicholas Temperley. He lives in Seward, Nebraska with his wife Jenny and two daughters.

 

Alan Hommerding
Alan Hommerding, Liturgical Publications Editor at the WLP division of GIA Publications, has been an editor with World Library Publications (WLP) since 1991. He is the general editor of the WLP Organ Library series, in addition to editing various book projects for GIA. He holds graduate degrees in theology, liturgy, and music from St. Mary’s Seminary and University (Baltimore) and the University of Notre Dame.

His hymn text collections are Song of the Spirit (1997) and Breath of Christ (2019). Other books are the collections of prayers Blessed Are the Music-Makers and Proclaim the Gospel in Song. Additional books include Words That Work for Worship, Everyday Psalms: 150 Meditations for Learning and Living the Lord’s Song, Following Jesus Every Day: Gospel Meditations for Daily Living, and the book of poems St. Cecilia’s Orchestra (with illustrations by Br. Michael O’Neill McGrath), winner of a prestigious Moonbeam Children’s Book Award in 2010.

 

Beverly A. Howard
Beverly A. Howard, retired professor of music and church organist, has contributed to the work of The Hymn Society as a presenter at annual conferences, member of the editorial advisory board for The Hymn (1998-2001), and service as editor of The Hymn for two terms (2003-2008). In addition to authoring articles on hymnology, appearing in The Hymn and other publications, Howard was a member of the Presbyterian Committee on Congregational Song, which developed Glory to God: The Presbyterian Hymnal (2013) and Celebrating Grace: Hymnal for Baptist Worship (2010). Currently she is a contributor to the third edition of the hymnology text Sing with Understanding: An Introduction to Christian Hymnology with C. Michael Hawn, Martin V. Clarke, and Geoffrey C. Moore. She currently resides in Fort Worth, TX, where she maintains an active schedule as a church musician.

 

Ken Hull
Professor Emeritus of Music, Conrad Grebel University College, Waterloo, ON.
Editor, Sing A New Creation, the supplement to Common Praise (Anglican Church of Canada)
Frequent Hymn Society presenter

 

Monique Ingalls
Dr. Monique Ingalls is a researcher, teacher, network builder, and church musician. She serves as Associate Professor of Music and Church Music Graduate Program Director at Baylor University in Waco, Texas, USA. She is the author of Singing the Congregation: How Contemporary Worship Music Shapes Evangelical Community (2018) and coeditor of four books that set forth new interdisciplinary approaches to studying congregational music-making. She is also cofounder of the biennial international conference “Christian Congregational Music: Local and Global.” She is the keyboard player and choir director at Holy Spirit Episcopal Church in Waco, Texas, USA.

 

Bradley Kauffman
Bradley Kauffman is a conductor, composer, writer, and teacher. He was the project director and general editor for
Voices Together (2020), a new hymnal for congregations in Mennonite Church USA and Mennonite Church Canada. Community singing has been an animating force throughout Bradley’s life. 

Bradley holds degrees from Goshen College (Ind.) and the University of Iowa. He teaches vocal music at Bethany Christian Schools (3–12) in Goshen, Indiana. Bradley is married to Renee Kanagy, an ordained pastor and hospice chaplain. They have two children, Lucca and Rowan.

Lloyd Larson
For over 35 years, Lloyd Larson has been an active composer and arranger for several major publishing companies of church, school, and community choral and instrumental music. His compositions and arrangements number well over 1,500 published works – including choral anthems, numerous extended Christmas and Easter works, keyboard collections, vocal solo and duet collections, instrumental solo and ensemble publications, orchestrations, and handbell settings.

Lloyd holds a B.A. in music from Anderson University (IN) and a Master’s degree in church music and composition from The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary (KY). He has done subsequent graduate work at Southern Baptist Seminary, Ohio State University, and Northern Baptist Theological Seminary (IL). He is married to his college sweetheart, Marci. They have three married children and six grandchildren. He makes his home in the Minneapolis, Minnesota area.

 

Chin-Hsing Lee
Rev. Chin-Hsing Lee, a graduate of Tainan Theological College and Seminary (M Div) and Chang-Jong Christian University (MTh in Hymnology), is an ordained pastor of the Presbyterian Church in Taiwan (PCT). Being a lyrical soprano (BA in Voice), she has been a choir director, music minister, and currently a pastor in Hsin-Kang-Tong Church. As an executive editor, she has been writing with I-to Loh the forthcoming Hymnal Companion to the PCT Seng-si 2009 during the last decade.

 

Debbie Lou Ludolph
As Dean of Chapel for over a decade at Martin Luther University College, Debbie Lou Ludolph facilitates worship teams and crafts worship in a multi-faith, multi-cultural context. Recently completing a doctorate that explores the “in-between spaces” singing together can offer, Debbie Lou’s experience includes nurturing the learning edges of Inshallah, the singing community at Luther. For a decade, she served as Director of Worship Ministries of the Eastern Synod and currently teaches courses in Practical Theology and Leading Congregational Song at Luther. Besides the Hymn Society local chapters and conferences, Debbie Lou has led workshops with Music that Makes Community and national/synodical events of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada.

 

Patrick Michaels
Patrick Michaels is a hymn writer and composer whose texts and tunes are fund in denominational hymnals, various supplements, and single-author collections in the U.S., Canada, and Australia. Wayne Leupold Editions, Inc., published his first single-composer collection of hymns, From Depths of Love: The Hymns of Patrick Michaels, in 2015. He has been Minister of Music at St. James Episcopal Church, Cambridge since 1983 and served as Chapel Musician at the Episcopal Divinity School from 2004-2012.

 

Mark Miller
Mark Miller is Professor of Church Music, Director of Chapel, and Composer In Residence at Drew University in Madison, New Jersey, and is the Minister of Music of Christ Church (UCC & American Baptist) in Summit, New Jersey. He is also a Lecturer in Sacred Music at Yale’s Institute of Sacred Music and Divinity School where he co-teaches an organ course and directs the Gospel Choir.

Mark is a graduate of Julliard (M.Mus. in Organ Performance) and Yale University (B.A. Music) and was Assistant Organist and Music Associate at The Riverside Church from 1999-2001 and Director of Contemporary Worship at Marble Collegiate Church from 2002-2007, both in the city of New York.

His hymns and anthems are sung by communities of faith throughout the world. His songbook Roll Down Justice! Sacred Songs & Social Justice was published in 2014 by Choristers Guild, and his most recent congregational songs are available through GIA Publications. His album, Imagine the People of God, is available on iTunes.

 

Hikari Miyazaki
Paul Hikari Miyazaki is the Chaplain at Rikkyo University in Tokyo, and currently serves as the vice president of the Hymn Society of Japan. From 2000-2006, he chaired the text committee for the Anglican Hymnal revision work. His text and translations are published in several denominational hymnals.

 

Riyuichi Mizuno
Ryuichi Mizuno is the Professor of the Hebrew Bible at the School of Theology, Kwansei Gakuin University and serves as the editor-in-chief of the academic bulletin of the Hymn Society in Japan. He is active also as the chairperson of the standing Hymnal Committee of the United Church of Christ in Japan. He composes paraphrases of Hebrew poetry in Japanese, as part of his Hebrew Bible scholarship and promotion of hymn singing.

 

Gerardo Carlos Cristian Oberman
1965 – Nacido en Kampen (Holanda), pastor y actual presidente de las Iglesias Reformadas en Argentina, coordinador de la Red Crearte de música y arte litúrgico desde su creación en el año 2004. Miembros del Comité de Liturgia de la Comunión Mundial de Iglesias Reformadas, integrante del Comité de Vida Espiritual del Consejo Mundial de Iglesias.
Poeta, escritor de textos litúrgicos, compositor. Casado con una hija y un hijo.

 

Roger Peach
Roger Peach is the Editorial Co-ordinator for Jubilate, a UK-based agency of hymn- and song-writers. He is responsible for the collating and assessing of new church music, overseeing the publication of new texts and tunes via the website www.jubilate.co.uk, as well as organizing national training workshops and recordings for the organization. He has composed and arranged a variety of pieces for congregation, choir and orchestra, including two musicals.

Roger is also the Musical Director at St Andrew’s Church in Oxford, overseeing several choirs and bands across the age spectrum. In addition he is Chairman of Trustees for Music and Worship Foundation, (MWF) a UK Christian interdenominational music charity that encourages a rich variety of styles in worship, especially through the ministry of Engageworship (see www.engageworship.org ).

 

Paul Robinson
Paul Robinson currently serves as the Director of Worship Arts at Saint Paul United Methodist Church in Lincoln, NE, where he employs his skills as a vocalist, conductor, composer, organist, and jazz pianist to bring a creative and wide-ranging approach to church music. Prior to his time in Lincoln, Paul served First Presbyterian Church in Rapid City, SD, where he was actively involved in the local musical theater scene; sometimes directing a pit orchestra, sometimes playing a lead role. Led by a passion for congregational song and hymnody, Paul has composed and arranged dozens of hymn tunes and has led a number of workshops on hymn-writing and jazz hymnody. Paul is a graduate of the Manhattan School of Music (vocal performance) and is doing graduate work in choral conducting at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. He is married to Martha, a cellist and Suzuki teacher, and together they have two daughters – Emsley and Astoria.

 

Eric Sarwar
Rev.Dr. Eric Sarwar (Ph.D.Intercultural Studies, Fuller Theological Seminary) called to serve as a musician, minister, and missiologist in a global context. Dr. Sarwar is a founding president of Tehillim School of Church Music & Worship-Pakistan and currently serving as Lead Pastor at Artesia Indo-Pak Church in Southern California. His weekly online program “Zabur Zone: Psalms in Punjabi Context” is a well-received resource by Indian Subcontinent’s worship community.

 

David Schaap
David Schaap (pronounced skaap [rhymes with top]) is president and founder of Selah Publishing Co. His undergraduate studies were at Calvin College in Grand Rapids, Michigan, with a double major in music (composition and arranging) and art (sculpture). Schaap has led workshops, hymn festivals, and reading sessions for national meetings of The Hymn Society, the American Guild of Organists, the Association of Anglican Musicians, the Association of Lutheran Church Musicians, the Presbyterian Association of Musicians, and National Association of Pastoral Musicians, as well as for many regional events. He is also currently organist/choirmaster at Trinity Episcopal Cathedral in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvnia, and was formerly Minister of Music at St. James Episcopal Church in Hyde Park, New York.

 

Tommy Shapard
Dr. Tommy Shapard is Minister of Music and Worship at Hendricks Avenue Baptist Church in Jacksonville, Florida, and Director of Choral and Vocal Activities at Florida State College, Jacksonville. He recently earned the Doctor of Pastoral Music degree (SMU), completing a doctoral thesis in May 2021, entitled, “I Can’t Breathe”: Toward a Pneumatology of Singing and Missional Musicking for Racial Justice in Jacksonville, Florida.

 

Chris Shelton
Chris Shelton is the pastor of Broadway Presbyterian Church in New York City, and author of the recent collection, Sing No Empty Alleluias: 50 Hymn Texts (GIA Publications). Chris grew up in Fort Worth, Texas, and was greatly influenced by the hymns and music of the Baptist church of his youth. When Chris stopped taking piano lessons in eighth grade in order to dive deep into his high school theatre and choir programs, his mother nudged him (constantly, but lovingly) to keep playing hymns at the piano. Chris carried those old Baptist hymns with him while studying Drama and Music at Texas Woman’s University. He joined the choir of a local PCUSA congregation, and through that community he caught a glimpse of God weaving many threads of his life together—theology, the arts, the language of imagination, and a commitment to justice. After college, Chris made the unexpected leap from Texas to New York, earning his M.Div. from Union Theological Seminary in 2003. Chris was ordained in 2004, and has served communities in New Jersey and New York. Chris’ hymns have been included in Voices Together; the Hymn Society collection, Songs for the Holy Other; and Call to Worship.

 

Marcell Silva Steuernagel
See bio under Featured Session Leaders

 

Suna Chung Smith
Suna Chung Smith has participated in festivals world-wide, including the International Musicians’ Seminar at Prussia Cove in the UK; the long-term residency program at the Banff Centre for the Arts in Banff; the Tafelmusik Baroque Summer Institute in Toronto; the American Conservatory Summer Festival in Fontainebleau, France; the Franz-Schubert-Institut Master Lieder Course in Baden-bei-Wien, Austria; the Oxford Lieder Master Course in Oxford, England; the Wiener Meisterkurse in Vienna, Austria; and the Stimmen Festival in Freistadt, Austria. She has appeared in public masterclasses with Richard Goode, Leon Fleischer, Julius Drake, Elly Ameling, Marc Durand, Wolfram Rieger, Graham Johnson, and Roger Vignoles; and in concert at the 92nd Street Y, Palais de Fontainebleau in France, Zankel and Weill Halls at Carnegie Hall, in Berlin under the auspices of Deutsch-Kanadische Gesellschaft, Haus der Kunst in Austria, the Holywell Music Room in Oxford, England, and the Royal Swedish Opera’s Summer Concert series in Stockholm, Sweden, and the Islington Proms, in England. Suna is the creator and curator of New York Poetry and Song, which marries art song, chamber music, and solo piano music, to present an intimate and cohesive recital experience.
http://newyorkpoetryandsong.org/

Tom Strickland
Tom Strickland is Hymnals and Worship Resources editor for the WLP division of GIA Publications, Inc.

 

Noël Tredinnick
Noël Tredinnick, BEM, FRSCM, is a British composer, organist, orchestrator and conductor, and is generally regarded as one of the UK’s foremost church musicians. He is notable for his many contributions to several hymnals, his regular appearances on the BBC’s Songs of Praise, his weekly radio program All Souls in Praise, and daily radio program All Souls In Praise Bitesize which broadcasts on Premier Christian Radio.

He was Musical Director of All Souls Music for nearly fifty years, and the founder of All Souls Orchestra which performs annually at the Royal Albert Hall and throughout the UK under the banner of  “Prom Praise” and “Prom Praise for Schools.”

He is currently a Professor of conducting, orchestration and academic studies at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama and has recently been awarded the title of Emeritus Conductor of the All Souls Orchestra, in recognition of his pioneering legacy in directing Christian musical worship around the world.

Noël has been involved with Jubilate for many years (more recently under the umbrella of the charity Song & Hymnwriters Foundation), which publishes new musical resources for congregations, and promotes a contemporary approach to hymnody. He is now Patron of the organization.”

 

Paul Vasile
Paul Vasile is a church musician, consultant, composer, and teacher who finds his greatest joy in collaborative and community-centered ministry. Committed to modeling expansive, imaginative, and hospitable experiences of music making wherever he goes, Paul’s leadership builds trust, invites spaces of creativity, vulnerability, and play, and supports practices of reflection and holistic learning.

As the Executive Director of Music that Makes Community, Paul is passionate about modeling and sharing leadership practices that sustain the musical and spiritual life of communities. He mentors and supports an ecumenical network of song leaders across North America who are committed to oral tradition (“paperless”) song leadership practices.

 

Horacio Ruben Vivares
1965 – Nacido en Argentina, profesor de música, director de Orquesta Sinfónica, miembro fundador de la Red Crearte (2004), integrante del Comité de Liturgia de la Iglesia Evangélica Metodista Argentina, miembro co-optado para la dirección musical de la próxima Asamblea del Consejo Mundial de Iglesias. Compositor, arreglista, multi instrumentista. Casado, con 2 hijos y dos hijas.

 

Eponine Wei-Nung Wang
Ms Eponine Wei-Nung Wang is a graduate of Tainan Theological College and Seminary (MACM in Conducting), currently enroll in the PhD program at the National Taipei University of the Arts. She has been a Choir Director for the United Methodist Church in Taipei and a lecturer of the course “Choir and Worship” for the Taipei Methodist Graduate School of TheologyHer interest is in developing and promoting contextual as well as global hymns in local churches.

 

Gillian Warson
Gillian trained as a viola player and then worked as a church musician and teacher in Germany. Since completing her PhD, she has worked as a freelance academic and writer. Her interest in hymn singing from a local perspective led her to write four books about North Oxfordshire. In 2006, her biography of Fred Kaan was published by Stainer & Bell Ltd. Her recent book, Using Vintage Hymns in Worship, was published in 2020 by Sacristy Press.

As a lecturer, tutor and choral director, she has directed a number of courses for universities and other musical establishments. She has given conference papers in many parts of the world, including Nigeria, where she is involved in an ongoing project to raise awareness of hymn singing in this vibrant country.

As a musician she performs with a local semi-professional orchestra, and plays in several folk groups and a West Gallery choirband. She is a private teacher of piano and upper strings.

 

Roger Wesby
Roger Wesby has studied at the Eastman School of Music, Westminster Choir College and Indiana University. He has taught and performed music in El Salvador, Costa Rica, and at the University of Kentucky, Augustana College, and Wagner College. Currently he conducts the Concord Choral Consortium and Stretto. Roger has created hundreds of compositions and arrangement for choirs, bands, chamber ensembles and the vocal ensemble, Stretto.

 

Becca Whitla
Becca Whitla is the professor of pastoral studies at St. Andrew’s College in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan where she teaches worship and liturgy, preaching, and religious education. Her book Liberation, (De)Coloniality, and Liturgical Practices: Flipping the Song Bird was released in December, 2020 (Palgrave McMillan). From her White Euro-Canadian settler perspective, she examines ways to decolonize liturgical practices, especially community singing. She worked in Toronto for many years as a music director in both Anglican and United Churches (Church of the Holy Trinity, and Trinity St Paul’s United Church). She also co-directed Echo, a 70 voice women’s choir, and worked in the trade union movement developing leadership through choral singing.

 

Joey Williams
Joey Williams currently works for Community of Christ, and organizes activities for the denomination in Europe. He was a committee member for Community of Christ Sings, a hymnal showcased at the Hymn Society’s 2014 Conference. His specific role on that project was the development of a Core Repertoire, a collection of 100+ songs from around the world that are sung throughout the denomination containing 29 languages sung throughout the church. Joey traveled the world putting together demonstration tracks so everyone using the book could sing along in the various languages presented in the book. Joey’s love of languages helps him lead congregational singing in multiple languages throughout the world. Joey is passionate about justice and peace, and believes music and the arts are at the heart of how we begin to explore the vision that God has for us and our world.

 

Janet Wootton
Janet Wootton, Executive President of the Hymn Society of Great Britain and Ireland.

Janet Wootton, MA, PhD, served as a Congregational Minister in rural and city churches, before becoming Director of Studies for the Congregational Federation. She edits Feminist Theology Journal and was editor of Worship Live for many years. Her recent books include a celebration Constance Coltman (URC, 2021), a pioneer of women’s ordained ministry; and Women in Christianity in the Age of Empire, (Routledge, 2022) part of a series on critical cultural history. In retirement, she is actively involved in anti-racism projects, and in the exploration of Dissenting Christianity, focusing on hymnody as a significant cultural shaper and reflector.