October 16, 2017
Center for Worship Arts students collaborate with guest producers on 11 original songs reflecting Christian music movement of the modern era
With 11 original songs reflecting the Christian music movement of the modern era, students from Grand Canyon University's Center for Worship Arts have released their second full album, Canyon Worship 2017, on iTunes.
The album is a collaboration between the university's students and guest producers Billy Smiley, formerly of Whiteheart and The Gaithers, and Geoff Hunker of Satellites and Sirens.
"The songs are an eclectic mix of musical styles - from southern rock to gospel, pop and smooth jazz - but each of them honors God and points the listener to Him," said Eric Johnson, recording studio manager in GCU's College of Theology.
Among the album's highlights is "Prodigal's Lullaby," recorded by GCU freshman Courtney Welker, who wrote the song when she was just 17 years old.
There's also "Keep Prayin'," "which sounds like something you would hear while traveling through a Southern Bayou along the Mississippi River," Johnson said. "And ‘Never Give Up' has a groovy disco vibe reminiscent of the resurgence of ‘80s funk."
The album also features several guest artists, including David Ellefson, bass player with the rock band Megadeth and now Mega Life Ministries; Jonathan Crone, producer, engineer and guitarist; and Joel Vaughn, a Nashville recording artist.
Johnson said the quality of the songs, which were recorded in GCU's state-of-the-art recording studio,
are a testament to the growth of the students who wrote them and the instructors in Worship Arts who are guiding their education.
"Through their music, our students have become the best examples of humility, grace, leadership, contribution to the community, and most of all, a messenger of God's love," he said.
GCU's Center for Worship Arts is distinct among performance-based programs, as it combines both ministry and performance. The curriculum includes 32 credit hours in the College of Theology, ensuring that students are grounded in Christ and prepared to become worship leaders in churches throughout the world.
"Our goal is to cultivate a creative, Christ-like community and to leave a lasting legacy for Jesus and the gospel in the church and the world," said Dr. Jason Hiles, dean of the College of Theology and GCU's Theological Seminary. "Our album is one way to do that while teaching students what it means to be a Christian leader in music, the church and their community."
For more information, visit http://pages.gcu.edu/cwa/canyonworship.php or gcu.edu/worshiparts. To download the album, visit iTunes.
About Grand Canyon University: Grand Canyon University was founded in 1949 and is Arizona's premier private Christian university. GCU is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission and offers more than 200 academic programs for both traditional undergraduate students and working professionals. The University's curriculum emphasizes interaction with classmates, both in-person and online, and individual attention from instructors while fusing academic rigor with Christian values to help students find their purpose and become skilled, caring professionals. For more information, visit gcu.edu.
- Bob Romantic
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