Academic journal article The Hymn

2010 Conference Report

Academic journal article The Hymn

2010 Conference Report

Article excerpt

Birmingham, Alabama, was the perfect choice for The Hymn Society's 2010 conference theme, "Sing of Justice, Sing of Peace," July 11-15. And what a gracious, beautiful site was Samford University, the center of our activities for the five-day event. A total of 250 registrants attended: 237 from 36 states, 12 from two provinces, and one from Brazil.

Being in such a historic part of our nation, and the South, was an unforgettable experience. As you will see from the daily reports that follow, our conference theme was carried out in many of the festivals, plenaries, and sectionals, as well as our Tuesday afternoon tours.

Special thanks and praise go to Deborah Garitón Loftis, our executive director, for her first summer conference as the planner and leader of the event. Grace, poise, humor, and ace troubleshooting were only a few of the many gifts and skills Deb displayed. We will not soon forget the saga of the pillows, nor the heroic efforts by a number of our attendees to lower bed frames in the dorms. Overall, the event ran beautifully. Deb, her staff, the executive committee, and all volunteers deserve our abundant thanks.

Charlotte Elia, Hymn Society administrative assistant, and David Cashwell, the bookstore assistant, were the conference staff. Paul Richardson served tirelessly as a one-man local arrangements committee, with significant help from two of his students, Josh Coble and Peter Haley. We also thank Milburn Price, who led the Botanical Gardens tour, and Dan i^awnon, wno led the church and organ tour, for their leadership on the Tuesday excursions. A special word of thanks goes to Joe Smith who worked tirelessly all week, helping wherever he was needed. Of course, there were many more who pitched in cheerfully for various tasks during the week - blessings and thanks to them!

A highlight of any summer conference is the presence of the Lovelace Scholars. Our 2010 group of eight spirited young scholarship recipients were:

* Stephanie Anne Budwey, ThD student in liturgical studies and church music at Boston University School of Theology

* Kelly Tennille Grooms, DMin student in worship and music, Baptist Theological Seminary at Richmond

* Kristen Lynn Hanna, student in the Master of Sacred Music degree program, Perkins School of Theology, SMU

* Ying Wai (Yvette) Lau, May 2010 graduate, MA in worship, Calvin Theological Seminary

* Eric L. Mathis, PhD student in theology with major in Christian worship, Fuller Theological Seminary

* Lance Jonathan Peeler, May 2010 graduate, PhD in liturgical studies, Drew University

* Henry Schrock Waters, student in the Master of Sacred Music degree program, Perkins School of Theology, SMU

* Richard Matthew Watts, student in the MDiv/ MM degree program in church music, Truett Theological Seminary and Baylor University

Thank you to the members of THE HYMN'S Editorial Advisory Board, who always serve as daily reporters for the conference, so that those who were present can recall their week in Birmingham, and those who could not join us can keep up to date with the life of the Society.

Sunday, July 11

Sunday morning, a few of the early arrivals had the opportunity to worship at the Church of the Highlands in Birmingham. As we were looking for the church, we noticed a traffic jam and thought that there had been an accident. We discovered that it was all the cars of those who were arriving to worship at this megachurch, where more than 12,000 people attend each week.

We are all thankful for the caring hospitality of Executive Director Deborah Loftis and The Hymn Society's executive committee, who looked after so many details to make us comfortable. They were there to greet us when registration opened at 2:00 PM; it's always an interesting opportunity to see old friends and to welcome those attending for the first time.

Our 2010 organ recitalist, Faythe Freese, associate professor of organ at the University of Alabama School of Music, holds degrees in organ performance and church music from Indiana University. …

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