Southwestern A Cappella performs at Getty SING! Conference for second consecutive year
For the second year in a row, Southwestern A Cappella, a 17-member vocal ensemble comprised of graduate students at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, traveled from Fort Worth, Texas, to Nashville, Tennessee, to perform during SING!, a worship conference hosted by Keith and Kristyn Getty from September 4-6.
“I was so encouraged to watch the Lord use our students in so many special ways to point to Jesus, to declare the greatness of our holy God who beacons us to call Him Father, and to be a testimony of the exceptional ministry training opportunities that are here at Texas Baptist College and Southwestern Seminary,” said Charles Lewis, associate dean of the School of Church Music and Worship and professor of church music and worship. Lewis leads the ensemble, which is made up of students from all across the globe representing six different countries and seven states in the US.
Joseph Crider, dean of the SCMW, also traveled with the choir and introduced the ensemble to the crowd of more than 6,000 attendees.
During the trip, Southwestern A Cappella performed eight times as a choir at different locations, including Forest Hills Baptist Church in Nashville, and Covenant Baptist Church in Brentwood, Tennessee, on the Sunday before the conference began.
Outside of performing as a group, the members of the choir also participated in a 300-voice mass choir during the conference.
Southwestern A Cappella performed six times at the conference including singing “Yet Not I, But Through Christ in Me” by the group CityAlight with that very band at the end of their concert. The choir also performed “Only a Holy God” for the opening of the Wednesday plenary session.
During the conference, attendees heard different speakers address the topic of Great Commission application to worship, including John Piper, Keith and Kristyn Getty, Matt Papa, and Matt Boswell.
“The combination of preaching, teaching, and worship with a Great Commission focus was truly life-changing for all in attendance,” said Lewis.
Collin Elkins, a Master of Divinity student with a concentration in worship leadership from Belton, Texas who sings bass in the ensemble, described the conference as an “amazing” experience for him.
“This week has been amazing and encouraging to our group,” said Elkins. “We have loved getting to come together with thousands of other believers and learn about how worship fuels the Great Commission.”
Elkins said that one of the most special moments for him was when the choir performed with CityAlight as they had been working on the arrangement for the band.
Another special moment for Elkins was when the choir sang on the main stage for the entire crowd of conference attendees.
“Before we went onto the stage, we were reminded by Dr. Joe Crider of the beginning of Psalm 115 that says, ‘Not to us, Lord, not to us, but to Your name be the glory,’” said Elkins. “This was our prayer as we went onto the platform and I know that in our singing, God was glorified.”
Elkins added, “It was amazing to sing in front of the congregation and we will remember and treasure that memory forever.”
Another student and tenor in Southwestern A Cappella, Timothy Edmond, a Master of Music student with an emphasis in voice performance and pedagogy from Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, said that the time at SING! was “incredible” for him.
“My time at Sing was incredible,” said Edmond. “This is my first time attending with SWBTS A Cappella group and I enjoyed the many amazing experiences we had while there.”
Edmond added that the breakout sessions and plenary sessions offered during the conference were some of the highlights for him.
“We also had the opportunity to participate in the live recording of Matt Boswell and Matt Papa’s new album, said Edmond “One of the breakout sessions was with Dr. Crider and it was great to see others learn from him about how Scripture should guide our worship.”
As with Elkins, Edmond also said performing on the main stage was a fun aspect of the conference.
“Singing on the main stage was great,” said Edmond, “because you are able to look out and truly see the amount of people that have gathered together around the idea that the music in our gathered worship settings should be rooted in theological truths.”