Eli Wilson, Jr. to lead workshop on church music

Feb. 4, 2013
Contact: Mary Moates ’14, Communications Assistant
865.981.8207; communications@maryvillecollege.edu

Eli Wilson, Jr., an ordained minister of church music, will serve as the guest speaker and instructor at the annual Maryville College Voices of Praise (VOP) workshop, Feb. 7-9.

The workshop will consist of specialized sessions for choir members, music ministers, choir directors and instrumentalists, which will lead up to a concert scheduled for 2 p.m., Feb. 9 in the Clayton Center for the Arts’ Lambert Recital Hall.

“The workshop is designed to help music directors, musicians and instrumentalists, as well as choir members, improve on techniques and learn more about the biblical aspects of the ministry,” said Larry Ervin, Maryville College’s director of multicultural affairs and founder and director of VOP. “Ultimately, however, the workshop will help us to come together to give praises unto our Lord.”

During the sessions, Ervin said that Wilson would explore a variety of vocal techniques that will help to improve the tone, as well as the overall sound, of the choir members attending. In addition to this, the sessions will discuss choir decorum and etiquette, as well as what is required of a person to serve within the music ministry.

Choir sessions are scheduled for 6-9 p.m., Feb. 7, and 7-9 p.m., Feb. 8. A session for music ministers and choir directors is scheduled for 5:30-6:30 p.m., Feb. 8. Wilson will work with instrumentalists from 10 a.m. until noon on Feb. 9.

A native of New Orleans, La., Wilson is an ordained minister of church music, having received his doctorate from Virginia Seminary and College. A full-time church music leader for 30 years, he is the author of Equipping the Church Choir for Ministry, a resource for church music leaders and choir members.

Also an independent recording artist, Wilson has released numerous CDs, including “Pure and Simple” and “Conversations with God.” His published musical compositions include, “The African American Heritage Hymnbook” and “Zion Still Sings.” Trinity Church of Christ and Ben Hill Methodist Church are among several congregations that have recorded his compositions.

“We believe that with Wilson’s experience, training and gift, this will be a great opportunity for us all to praise and worship at a higher realm,” Ervin said.

The fee is $5 for individual choir members, and $10 for musicians. All funds will serve as proceeds to the VOP music scholarship that is currently being developed. Local schools and churches are invited to attend the workshop sessions.

Established by Ervin in 1991 and comprised of students, staff and community members, VOP is an ensemble that works to bring black gospel music to the forefront of worship on the College’s campus.

For more information or to participate in the workshop, contact Larry Ervin at 865.981.8222 or larry.ervin@maryvillecollege.edu.


Maryville College is ideally situated in Maryville, Tenn., between the Great Smoky Mountains National Park and Knoxville, the state's third largest city. Founded in 1819, it is the 12th oldest institution of higher learning in the South and maintains an affiliation with the Presbyterian Church (USA). Known for offering its students a rigorous and highly personal experience that includes an undergraduate research requirement, Maryville College is a nationally ranked institution of higher learning that successfully joins the liberal arts and professional preparation. Total enrollment for the fall 2014 semester is 1,213.