Wayland preparing to host MusiConference West

Wayland Baptist University will serve as host for the Baptist General Convention of Texas' MusiConference West slated for July 20-21.

The conference features seminars on every aspect of church music - from leading worship to teaching preschool choirs to instrumentals. Music leadership and teachers from all churches and denominations are invited to participate.

"This is an offshoot of the conference they hold at Baylor University every year. It's gone from about 100 participants to several hundred. We felt like it was time to do this in the West Texas area," explained Robert Black, Assistant Professor of Fine Arts at Wayland and Director of Church Music Studies. "Wayland was gracious to provide the facilities for this."

The Plainview conference marks the first time the BGCT has offered more than one MusiConference in a summer. According to Black, it also means more convenient and affordable instruction for music leaders.

"This is an opportunity for church musicians at any level to get first-class practical instruction," he said. "There's no way an individual church could provide any one or two of these (teachers), much less all of them."

Black said the faculty for the seminars is arranged through BGCT and is the same staff that will be leading the MusiConference in Waco later. Among the teachers, he said, is youth choir specialist Randy Edwards and Conchita Hansford, a former Plainview resident who specializes in children's choir.

Classes to be offered include instruction for choir leaders of preschool, young children, older children, children grades 1-6 and youth; children's choir coordinators; pianists and organists (varies by experience level); handbell directors; music ministers; bivocational music ministers and instrumental leaders.

Registration is available beginning at 10 a.m. July 20 in Room 126 of the Harral Music Center (adjacent to Harral Memorial Auditorium) located at 7th and Utica Streets. Classes begin at 1 p.m. and run through the afternoon. Various exhibits and a bookstore will be offered as well.

On Friday evening at 7:30 p.m., a concert by jazz and classical guitarist Rodrigo Rodriguez will be presented in Harral Auditorium. Classes resume Saturday morning and the conference adjourns at 4:30 p.m.

Fees for the conference are $50 per person for those from BGCT churches. The conference is $90 per person for others. Registration may be completed at the door or in advance. Some housing on the Wayland campus is available for conference attendees.

For more information or for a registration application, contact Wayland's Department of Music, 806.296.4741 or Robert Black at 291-5067 or 293-5669.