The World Sings: Part II

During the coming year, we are sponsoring a webinar series entitled “The World Sings, Part II” featuring expert voices on congregational singing around the globe.

All the presentations will be broadcast live on Tuesdays at 1:00 p.m. ET and will be available as recordings for registrants to view for an extended period. Here is the schedule of programs:

  • October 11: Jonathan Tan, “In Our Own Voices: Asian and Asian American Catholic Liturgical Song”
  • November 8: Brandon Waddles, “…And They Sang…A Hymn: Thomas Whitfield and the Contemporary Hymn Setting”
  • December 13: Janet Wootton, “Jesus Christ Is Raging: Congregational Song and the Legacy of Colonialism”
  • February 14: Jo-Ann Richards, “Revival, Reggae & Nyabinghi: Congregational Music for the Jamaican Soul”
  • March 14: Gerardo Oberman, “Out of the Closet: Latin America Seeking Its Own Identity”
  • April 25: Matthew Boutda and Panel, “What Are the Songs We Need to Be Writing?”

Registration for a single webinar is $25 for members, $35 for non-members, $15 for students. Registration for the full series of six webinars is $125 for members, $175 for non-members, and $75 for students.

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October 11: Jonathan Tan, "In Our Own Voices: Asian and Asian American Catholic Liturgical Song"

Jonathan Y. Tan is Archbishop Paul J. Hallinan Professor of Catholic Studies in the Department of Religious Studies and affiliated faculty in the Chinese, Ethnic Studies, Asian Studies, and International Studies programs at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, Ohio (USA).

Jonathan holds a Ph.D. from The Catholic University of America (Washington, DC), a M.A. from the Graduate Theological Union (Berkeley, California), and a LL.B. (Honours) from the National University of Singapore Law School. Previously, he taught at Australian Catholic University (Sydney, Australia) Xavier University (Cincinnati, Ohio) and The Catholic University of America.

Jonathan is the author of Introducing Asian American Theologies (Orbis Books, 2008), which was funded by the Louisville Institute’s First Book Grant for Scholars of Color, 2005 and remains the principal one-volume survey of Asian American Christian theologies. His second book, Christian Mission among the Peoples of Asia (Orbis Books, 2014) has been named by the International Bulletin of Missionary Research as one of 15 outstanding books of 2014 for mission studies. His most recent book The Federation of Asian Bishops’ Conferences (FABC): Bearing Witness to the Gospel and the Reign of God in Asia (Fortress Press, 2021) is a definitive study of the contributions of the Federation of Asian Bishops’ Conferences (FABC) to an emerging contemporary Asian Catholic way of being church and doing theology.

Jonathan is also the lead editor of World Christianity: Perspectives and Insights (Orbis Books, 2016), which has been named by the International Bulletin of Mission Research as one of the 10 outstanding books of 2016 for mission studies, and co-editor of Theological Reflections on the Hong Kong Umbrella Movement (Palgrave Macmillan, 2016). He is also one the editors, together with Elaine Wei Fun Goh, Kah-Jin Jeffrey Kuan, and Amos Yong of From Malaysia to the Ends of the Earth: Southeast Asian and Diasporic Contributions to Biblical and Theological Studies (Claremont, CA: Claremont Press, 2021).

Together with Rubén Rosario Rodriguez, he curated the Political Theology Network’s Symposium — Making Sense of Minority Christian Voting Trends: Complicating the Liberal/Conservative Binary (June – July 2021), which seeks to make sense of the rise in conservative Christian minority voters for Trump in the November 2020 election.

For a complete listing of Jonathan’s scholarship, please visit his Publications page.


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November 8: Brandon Waddles, “...And They Sang...A Hymn: Thomas Whitfield and the Contemporary Hymn Setting”

Brandon’s choral compositions and arrangements have been published and performed by choral ensembles around the world. In 2019, he was awarded as the inaugural recipient of the ACDA Diverse Voices Collaborative Grant. In addition, he has worked as a transcriber of Black gospel music for numerous choral octavos, hymnals and hymnal supplements published by GIA, including his work as a contributing editor for the One Lord, One Faith, One Baptism hymnal. Brandon’s release of Just In Case You’ve Forgotten is the first selected compendium of works by the late Thomas Whitfield, the subject of his dissertation. Dr. Waddles’ scholarship on Black sacred music has been experienced in the halls of Harvard, Yale, Morehouse and Hampton, and most recently on American Black Journal as seen on PBS.

Recently serving as Music Director for Grammy award-winning recording artist Ledisi, Brandon has collaborated with the celebrated singer on multiple occasions, including her Nina & Me concert series, the LEDISI: THE LEGEND OF LITTLE GIRL BLUE show-run at the Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts, and Ledisi Live: A Tribute to Nina Simone as seen on PBS.

Dr. Waddles persists in his commitment to community as National Music Director for NAACP ACT-SO, Artist in Residence at Midland Centre for the Arts, as well as Assistant Director of Music at Christ Church Cranbrook.


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December 13: Janet Wootton, “Jesus Christ Is Raging: Congregational Song and the Legacy of Colonialism”

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.



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February 14: Jo-Ann Richards, “Revival, Reggae & Nyabinghi: Congregational Music for the Jamaican Soul”

Jo-Ann Richards Goffe is a Christian Cultural Advocate who is an author, speaker, singer/songwriter and ethnodoxologist. She is the founding Director of CREW 40:4, a non-profit organization whose mission is to spread the message of the Kingdom of God through culturally relevant expressions of worship.

Jo-Ann served with Wycliffe Bible Translators in West Africa and The Americas for seven years, affirming people in their cultural identity and guiding them in writing new songs for worship using their own languages and music genres. Over the years her work has taken her to over 30 countries on five continents.

In Jamaica Jo-Ann is becoming increasingly popular for reading from the Jamaican New Testament (aka di Patwa Bible) and singing her original worship songs in the Jamaican language and music genres. She also recently served as head of the Music and Media Department at the Jamaica Theological Seminary where she still serves as part-time lecturer.

Jo-Ann is a member of the Global Ethnodoxology Network and has been certified by them as an Arts Training Specialist. She also represents the international Lausanne Movement as Arts Catalyst Coordinator for the Caribbean and currently serves on the board of the Global Consultation on the Arts & Music in Mission.

Jo-Ann’s publications include the albums Kom Mek Wi Worship and Kom Mek Wi Worship 2: Di Revilieshan, and the books Godincidences: Adventuring with an Awesomely Sovereign, Sovereignly Awesome God and Auntie Jo-Jo Goes Vegan: A Jamaican Story with Tips & Recipes for a Healthier You.

Jo-Ann is married to visual artist Marcel Goffe and they currently reside in Kingston, Jamaica.

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March 14: Gerardo Oberman, “Out of the Closet: Latin America Seeking Its Own Identity"

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.

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April 25: Matthew Boutda and Panel, “What Are the Songs We Need to Be Writing?”

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.

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Part I: “The World Sings: Music Moving Movements” - Kim Harris

Dr. Kim R. Harris was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and currently resides in Upstate New York. She is a Liturgical Consultant for the Office of Black Ministry in the Archdiocese of New York. With her husband Reggie, Kim records and travels the nation, performing concerts, lecturing on the music of African American freedom traditions, and leading music in a variety of liturgical settings. Kim and Reggie specialize in singing Spirituals and freedom songs and present arts integration workshops, offered to educators, through The Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, DC.

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Part I: “The World Sings: Japanese Congregational Song” - Yasuhiko Yokosaka & Makihiko Arase

Dr. Yokosaka’s career has consisted of hymnal preparation and hymn research and university teaching. He joined the Hymn Committee and the Hymnal Revision Committee of the United Church of Christ in Japan (UCCJ), producing The Hymnal 21 (1997). He joined the faculty of Niigata University in Niigata where he teaches musicology and arts management. In this capacity he has produced many concerts with artists sponsored by the Agency for Cultural Affairs of Japan. These world-renowned artists include Midori, Julliard String Quartet, Ludwig Chamber Players, New York Philharmonic’s Teaching Artists. With five others, ‘Yoko’ compiled a collection of 32 hymns from the Iona Community (1999) and 25 hymns by Carl P. Daw, Jr. (2002), both in Japanese translation. He became a founding member of the Hymn Society in Japan in 2001. In addition to his work as a hymnal editor, he has contributed 25 books on hymnody and Christian music. The focus of his research has been on the renewal of traditional Western hymnody in Japan, hymn writers of the Hymn Explosion of the 1960s–1980s, and recent Asian hymn repertoire. In March 2021 he was elected Professor Emeritus and a Fellow in the Division of Humanities and Social Sciences at Niigata University.


Makihiko (Mack) Arase is a Japanese hymn writer and an ordained minister of Cumberland Presbyterian Church. He pastors Asahi Cumberland Presbyterian Church in Yokohama and teaches liturgics, preaching practicum and church music at Japan Biblical Theological Seminary in Tokyo. He has been on the executive committee of the Hymn Society in Japan since its foundation and also serves on the editorial board of “Worship and Music”, a quarterly magazine published by the board of publications of the United Church of Christ in Japan. He is an active member of “Sambika Kobo” (Hymn Creation Workshop). Twenty-four of his texts are included in the recently published “Sambika Kobo Hymnal Vol.2”. He graduated from Sophia University (B.L.) and Tokyo Union Theological Seminary (M.Div.). When he studied at Memphis Theological Seminary in 1991-92, singing from “Presbyterian Hymnal” (1990) became a strong inspiration that oriented him to the world of hymnody.  As he frequently visited the U.S. as a member of the denominational board of missions until 2015, he always tried to expose himself to various liturgical traditions and musical styles of the country.

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Part I: “The World Sings: Decolonizing Congregational Song” - 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.

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Part I: “The World Sings: Praise and Worship” - Adam Perez

Dr. Adam Perez holds a doctor of theology degree from Duke University Divinity School. He researches the history and theology of contemporary praise and worship musics. He is a worship leader and a member of the CRCNA denomination where he also serves as an endorsed worship coach. He currently holds the position of postdoctoral associate in worship at Duke University Divinity School where he teaches, writes, and assists with chapel.

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Part I: “The World Sings: Latin American Song” - María Cornou

María Eugenia Cornou is Associate Director and Program Manager for International and Intercultural Learning for the Calvin Institute of Christian Worship. Born and raised in Buenos Aires, Argentina, María holds a PhD from the Free University of Amsterdam as well as degrees in public accounting and theology. She is the co-managing editor of the bilingual (English-Spanish) hymnal Santo, Santo, Santo / Holy, Holy, Holy (GIA Publications, 2019).

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