Our 2019 seminars will provide both theoretical background as well as practical information that you can take back to your ministries. Enjoy learning and growing together … and hey, maybe even a little bit of fun, too!


Seminar titles, descriptions, and offerings are subject to change.  

As of June 19, 2019:

Choral | Children/Youth Choral | Choral for Youth/Young Adult AttendeesHandbells | Organ | InstrumentalDanceDramatic Reading in Worship | Visuals in Worship | WorshipYoga | Miscellaneous


Bon Appetit: Tasty Choral Techniques … and Things from Everyday Life – Pearl Shangkuan (2:30 Monday)
A session on group vocal techniques using foods and other things from everyday life to help singers of all ages understand quickly, remember better and produce more satisfying musical results.

Choral Reading Session – André Thomas (3:30 Monday)
This is a reading session of music both new releases and the “tried and true” music for the church choir.

Togetherness! Achieving an Excellent Unified Choral Sound – Damion Womack (3:30 Monday)
Many choral conductors primary goal is to achieve a unified sound within their ensemble. Students in elementary, secondary, and collegiate ensembles often times hear the word “blend” but are not able to relate this term in the everyday choral rehearsal. This presentation will offer an extremely concise look into the subject of how to develop a unified healthy and artistic vocal tone in any choral ensemble regardless of size, age, and skill level.

Why Do I Have to Move? – Damion Womack (4:30 Monday)
This session will focus on specific techniques to enhance the vocal and reading ability of your choral ensemble by experimenting with various seating arrangements and proper vocal placement. We will also discuss how different seating and vocal arrangements issues can be greatly improve pitch and intonation by making a few modifications in your rehearsal settings.

Chasing Beauty: A Technical Masterclass for Conductors and Singers – Mary Huff (4:30 Monday, 2:30 Wednesday)
From useful warm-ups for elementary choirs through volunteer adults to learning techniques to achieve better
intonation and incorporating bel canto singing in your choir rehearsals, Mary Huff will address challenges she has encountered in conducting and singing in choirs of the smallest and tallest of singers, as well as working with amateur and professional singers, and everything in between. The last 10 minutes of each session will allow for questions or a demonstration with several Lake Junaluska Singers.

Music Ministry: Vocation or Avocation – Mark Miller (4:30 Monday, Tuesday)
Are you considering a music ministry as a vocation? What does that look like in the adult world? Come and sit with Mark for some encouraging conversation about saying “yes” with your life to a vocational (or avocational) call to music ministry.

Giving Our Best: An Offering of Choral Artistry – Pearl Shangkuan (2:30 Tuesday)
Looking at 7 elements in music making as we proclaim the Word of God through songs presented with artistic excellence and be a channel of God’s grace and message to the congregation.

Effective, Efficient and Enjoyable Choral Rehearsal Techniques  – Pearl Shangkuan (3:30 Tuesday)
A session on planning and leading rehearsals using techniques that are efficient, effective and also enjoyable to help singers of all ages understand quickly and remember better.

Way Over in Beulah Lan … Understanding and Performing the Negro Spiritual – André Thomas (4:30 Tuesday)
This session based on my book of the same title, is a historical look at the Negro Spiritual, as well as a discussion regarding performance practice.

Conducting Check-Up – André Thomas (2:30 Wednesday)
This session is for the beginning through the advanced conductor. In addition to developing the conductor’s gesture, rehearsal technique will be addressed.

From Madness to Musicality: Teaching First Time and/or Inexperienced Singers! – Damion Womack (3:30 Wednesday)
This session will highlight methods to have immediate success conducting new or inexperienced singers. In addition, attendees will participate in creative vocal exercises and techniques to use in any choral setting that will serve to improve tone, resonance, and tone color. The following vocal techniques I have used have come down through the years from conductor to conductor and the pedagogy I will talk about is consistent with the ideas of many other successful choral conductors.

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Children and Youth Choral

With Hearts and Hands and Voices: Loving Your Children and Building Community – Amanda Craft (3:30 Monday)
In this session, we will explore a variety of ways to build relationships with our choir children and families. Some of these ways can be woven right into your rehearsals, such as getting to know you warm-ups and musical prayer time, and others are simple add-ons to your week that mean a lot and build community. As part of loving them well, this session will also address safety procedures and issues of protecting your children and volunteers during rehearsals and trips. We will be sure to leave time to hear ideas from participants too!

The What & How: Choosing High-Quality Repertoire for Children’s Choirs and Vocal Modeling – Amanda Craft (4:30 Monday)
In this session, we will discover what to look for in choosing high quality repertoire for young choirs, as well as practical adaptations for choirs of varying sizes, ages, and abilities. We will also have an opportunity to practice good vocal modeling for children’s voices.

Recruitment and Retention for Children’s Choirs – Malcolm Merriweather (3:30 Tuesday)
Merriweather shares his experience and tactics for recruitment and retention of choristers. Merriweather’s experience ranges from building and directing children’s choirs within the Methodist Church to the cathedral chorister program at St. John the Divine, New York City.

Making a Difference Through Your Music – Malcolm Merriweather (4:30 Tuesday)
Merriweather will talk about his experience curating programs that use repertoire that reflects on contemporary cultural and social topics.

Children’s Music Camp 101 – Amanda Craft (2:30 Wednesday)
This session is geared toward anyone interested in beginning a children’s summer music week experience at their church, or those wishing to breathe new life into theirs. I will share ideas from recent music camps, including content, schedules, and registration procedures, and will save time for idea sharing and questions. Let me help you get your camp going!

Before and After the Singing: Organization and Communication for Children’s Choirs – Malcolm Merriweather (3:30 Wednesday)
Merriweather will speak on topics that are non-musical: communication, scheduling, parent/guardians, etc. Included in the discussion will be methods and mechanisms of assessment for choirs.

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Choral for Youth/Young Adult Attendees

Young Adult Choir – Mark Miller (2:30 Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday)
This choir is open to young adults between 18 and 25 years of age. They will prepare music for the Thursday evening concert. Singers should participate in other choirs during morning rehearsals in addition to this group.

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Playing the Choirchimes – Danny Lyons (2:30 Monday)
Learn proper chime ringing technique, dos and don’ts, and special tricks.

Beginning Handbells – Diane Short (3:30 Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday)
This seminar is for those who want to learn handbells. No experience is necessary. We will start with the basics and explore new techniques each day. This seminar is perfect for new ringers and handbell directors and for those who want ideas on how to instruct beginning handbells. This seminar is not a stand-alone seminar; each day’s material builds on material covered in previous sessions. Ringers should plan to attend all three days.

Malleting and Other Short/Stopped Sounds – Carol Lynn Mizell (3:30 Monday)
Stopped sounds: What, when, where and why? Come and learn or get a refresher on these techniques.

Handbell Maintenance – Shawn Gingrich (3:30 Monday, 4:30 Tuesday)
A seminar to help you address the care and maintenance of your handbells — regardless of the make of bells.

Drills for Quick Bell Changes – Carol Lynn Mizell (2:30 Tuesday)
Come join the drill to become a “quick change artist” from slow motion to warp speed! Our goal is both speed and musicality.

Solo Ringing Exercises and Techniques – Danny Lyons (4:30 Tuesday)
A hands-on seminar of tools and skills used by the solo or ensemble ringer, including weaving, legato ringing and traveling 4-in-hand ringing.

Solving Challenging Ringing Passages – Carol Lynn Mizell (2:30 Wednesday)
Sometimes, you are a part of the melody. Sometimes you are a part of the accompaniment. Sometimes, you are asked to play different things with your two hands at the same time! It’s “hands on” in the middle of the handbell table! Explore ringing techniques and numerous ways of making challenging ringing passages possible.

Beginning Change Ringing: American Style – Danny Lyons (3:30 Wednesday)
Change ringing is part of our heritage as handbell ringers. Learn and participate in the oldest form of handbell ringing using numerical patterns (changes) rather than music notation. Open to ringers and non-ringers. Everything you need to know will be taught in session.

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Creative Service Playing – Nathaniel Gumbs (2:30 Monday)
This seminar will explore creative ways of accompanying service music on the organ. We will discuss hymn introductions, modulations, and interludes. We will also discuss text depiction through registration, dynamics, and touch.

Contemporary Keyboard Skills – Nathaniel Gumbs (2:30 Tuesday)
This seminar will focus specifically on contemporary and gospel music keyboard improvisation. Many times we see a contemporary score or chart and not sure how to interpret or embellish it. We will discuss various ways oh how to make the music come alive and off the page.

African-American Hymnody – Nathaniel Gumbs (3:30 Tuesday)
This seminar will focus specifically on hymns by African-American composers. We will look at traditional to contemporary settings of congregational hymns, spirituals, and gospel selections. Music will be provided for examples to sing through during the seminar.

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Instrumental Ensemble – David & Molly Stanley (2:30 Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday)
The Instrumental Ensemble is made up of youth and adults this week. Ensemble performs a concert Thursday afternoon. Instrumental parts will be distributed on Sunday afternoon to those individuals who preregistered as an instrumentalist. If you did not preregister, please come to the first rehearsal and speak with the directors. Percussion instruments are provided for the week. (Youth and Adults welcome!)

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Ballet – Hycliff Soler (2:30 Monday)
In this class we will study barre work exercises to explore the alignment of the body and the execution of the technique thru movements developed in diagonal, center and repertory.

Ballroom Dancing: Salsa – Shari Huggett-Milton (2:30 Monday)
A seminar to learn basic patterns, lead, and follow skills of LA-style Salsa. Learn to shift body weight along with upper body control. Arms and shoulder movements are also incorporated. While having a partner is helpful, you do not need one to take this seminar. Wear comfortable clothes and smooth-bottom shoes.

Instruments of Praise: Flags – Stephanie Crockett (3:30 Monday)
The use of flags in worship and how they become instruments of praise will first be explored. Choreography will be explored and dancers will experience movement patterns to empower them in a worship setting.

Dancercise for Everyone – Linda Caldwell (3:30 Monday)
Come join in the fun and get a great workout at the same time. This session will offer an invigorating combination of dance and exercise. Participants of all ages will learn a “Dancercise” routine to an upbeat Christian Contemporary worship tune. Come one, come all! (You just never know when an opportunity for a dance “Flash Mob” might present itself.)

Dancing with Scarves – Linda Caldwell (4:30 Monday)
The use of fabric as a visual art along with movement can significantly enhance the worship experience for our
congregations. Participants of this session will experiment with long scarves coupled with movement and discover
innovative ways to incorporate liturgical colors as well as other colors into worship. Easy to learn, fun to do, and
beautiful to watch! (No dance experience necessary.)

Ministering Through Modern Dance – Stephanie Crockett (2:30 Tuesday)
Dancers will explore the use of modern dance technique to solidify their movement choices in ministry. The Horton Dance Technique will be explored to demonstrate improvisation to motivate authentic dance in the worship setting.

Tap Dancing – Ruth Singletary (2:30 Tuesday)
This seminar will explore how tap dancing is a unique way to praise Jesus. Taps are percussion instruments on your feet. Bring your tap shoes or if you do not have tap shoes, wear tennis shoes. For all ages and levels.

Modern Dance – Hycliff Soler (3:30 Tuesday)
During this class we will learn the basics vocabulary of the technique based in Jose Limón methodology with contractions, releases, Spirals, tables and triplets combinations. Also the class will show diagonal exercises and a repertory.

Ballroom Dancing: Waltz – Shari Huggett-Milton (2:30 Wednesday)
Learn the basic pattern, lead and follow skills of the ballroom waltz. Learn to glide effortlessly. This waltz is punctuated with lavish movements, turns, and spins. Having a partner is not necessary to take this seminar. Wear comfortable and smooth-bottom shoes.

Instruments of Praise: Streamers – Stephanie Crockett (3:30 Wednesday)
Dancers will be using these instruments of praise to usher in the Holy Spirit through movement that expands beyond their arms and to the streamers. Choreography will also be taught with the use of the streamers.

Kickin’ It for Christ – Ruth Singletary (3:30 Wednesday)
We will explore different styles of line dancing including country, Latin, Charleston and more! No experience necessary.

Dancing My Testimony – Hycliff Soler (4:30 Wednesday)
This is a creative movement class where the students will be challenged to express feelings and stories regarding in some assigned theme, provided with tools of improvisations, work space and dance levels. At the end of the class the student will share with the class a small variation of a testimony they had experienced in their life and minister to the class.

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Dramatic Reading in Worship

Preparation for Worship – Catherine Nance (2:30 Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday)
A seminar designed for any youth and adults who would like to help lead in morning worship this week through the presentation of scripture and readings.

Carrying God’s Word – Catherine Nance (3:30 Tuesday)
How do we turn Scripture into a delivery of God’s word, rather than merely reading it? Come explore ways to make God’s story and God’s word come alive for your congregation. All are welcome.

Roundtable Discussion: Scripture Delivery, Skits, and Dramatic Reading in Worship – Catherine Nance (3:30 Wednesday)
Come and participate in an open discussion about multigenerational opportunities for participation in worship. Bring your best ideas and share them with others.

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Visuals in Worship

Exploring Art in Worship: Devotion – Mary Button (3:30 Monday)
In this class, participants will explore various aspects of devotional art-making. Together we will look at icons, do some meditative doodling, and prayerful painting. The goal of this seminar is to give participants lots of ideas for how to grow their prayer life through different forms of artistic expression. The focus will be on individual devotion and meditation. We’ll experiment with different mindfulness techniques using paint, clay, and more!

Exploring Art in Worship: Imagination – Mary Button (3:30 Tuesday)
How can art help us to imagine God in new and challenging ways? In this session, participants will explore visual art from many different Christian traditions, as well as use collage techniques to create their own image of God. We’ll work together to explore the ways church communities can foster imagination and empathy through art-making.

Exploring Art in Worship: Joy – Mary Button (3:30 Wednesday)
Whether it’s bubbles on Easter or kites on Pentecost, communal art-making is a profound way of cultivating and practicing joy in worship. In this class, we’ll explore easy ways to bring joy and whimsy into our life together. Participants will leave with lots of ideas for how to bring play into the life of the church in ways that connect across generations.

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How I Got Over: Songleading in the Black Church Tradition – DeAndre Johnson (2:30 Monday)
This interactive workshop will engage participants in practical ways for effectively leading congregational song in the black church tradition.

Percussion in Worship – Brian Hehn (2:30 Monday, 3:30 Tuesday, 2:30 Wednesday)
Designed for beginner to intermediate drummers, this seminar will focus on building skills on various percussion instruments, exploring ideas for incorporating percussion into worship, and learning how to accompany congregational singing with percussion. By the end of the week, you’ll be empowered to think creatively about percussion in worship and equipped to accompany your choir and congregation when they sing music from communities around the world that utilize percussion instruments. Come prepared to participate with hands and voice!

Selecting Congregational Songs for Modern Worship: Range, Variety, and Other Challenges! – Jackson Henry (4:30 Monday)
One of the primary jobs of the church musician is to serve as the curator of the people’s song within a community. Numerous challenges can make planning difficult in any music or worship style, but they don’t have to stand in the way of great singing. We will discuss how to handle difficulties related to range, rhythm, stylistic variety, and other challenges — specifically within a modern worship context.

WARNING: Spirit Wander Zone … – Suzi Byrd (2:30 Tuesday)
The following class might cause discomfort! Liturgy is considered to be the work of the people and yet sometimes we barely allow the people to participate in worship. Have you ever wondered what worship could be like if the entire worshiping body created the liturgy as we worship together? The gift of improvisation empowers us to wander away from pre-designed worship services and invites each worshiper to be part of the creating process. Please join the Rev. Suzi Byrd in this interactive learning and worship experience.

New United Methodist Hymnal Project (2:30 Tuesday, 4:30 Tuesday, 4:30 Wednesday)
The hymnal has been a vital tool in carrying the theology of The United Methodist Church for generations. That function remains important for a new, relevant, and widely used version of The United Methodist Hymnal for primary use in the United States. This new hymnal is under development and you can both see and influence the broad, new vision of this exciting resource. Please come to one of our listening sessions and let your voice be part of the church’s song.

Worship Design: Collaboration Approach – Magrey deVega & Michael Dougherty (3:30 Tuesday)
Worship planning need not be a dreary undertaking by a solo staff member. When done cooperatively and creatively, and with the help of collaborative communication software, worship design can be an energizing, fluid process. Join Magrey deVega (Senior Pastor) and Michael Dougherty (Worship Team Leader) as they explore the approach used at Hyde Park UMC in Tampa.

Embodying Musical Hospitality in Modern Worship – Jackson Henry (4:30 Tuesday)
One of the most prevalent criticisms of modern worship is that it is not engaging, and the issues range from technology, style, range, volume, “tepid theology,” or leadership. However, it doesn’t have to be this way! We will discuss how the way we “do” modern worship must be an embodiment of gracious hospitality in which worship is open to people of all ages, nations, races, and walks of life!

Spiral Dynamics: A Model for Understanding Our Complex World – Magrey deVega (2:30 Wednesday)
We live in a richly complex world, reflected in the diversity of perspectives and worldviews in our local congregations. How can people in the same church, worshipping the same God, have such vastly different theological, biblical, and ideological viewpoints? Spiral Dynamics is a model for explaining the foundations of these differences, to create possibilities for empathy, understanding, and healthy dialogue over divisive issues.

W(o)andering Off the Page – Suzi Byrd & DeAndre Johnson (3:30 Wednesday)
This is a workshop in the Master Class format engaging participants in enlivening congregational singing without written music. 3-5 students (first come, first serve) will have the opportunity to teach the class a new song without using music utilizing Methodist repertoire from The United Methodist Hymnal, The Faith We Sing and Worship & Song. All are invited, all are equipped!

Embracing the Uncertain – Magrey deVega (4:30 Wednesday)
Engage the post-Transfiguration, pre-Easter stories in all four gospels to create a biblically-rooted Lenten worship series. This workshop will explore “Embracing the Uncertain” by Magrey deVega, which offers both a six-week small group study and a 40-day devotional.

Evaluating Modern Worship: What to Consider in Your Context – Jackson Henry (4:30 Wednesday)
This seminar will serve as a roundtable to help participants think through questions to ask when evaluating modern worship in the local church. This is one of the most difficult parts of worship planning — looking backwards and asking questions about worship practices that can inform how we plan and work into the future. We will work to develop questions that probe more deeply than “did the people like what we did?” Come and challenge yourself!

A Good Friday Experience – Rhonda Smith (4:30 Wednesday)
Integrating a dramatic, multi-sensory, intergenerational, spiritual reenactment of the last day of Jesus’ life. This presentation highlights the five main areas of this unforgettable event: food, tickets, decorations, program, and table hosts — equipping your community of faith to produce this powerful worship experience. Outlines, strategies and handouts are available.

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Yoga / Self-Care

Yoga for Youth – Beth Pierce (2:30 Monday, 3:30 Wednesday)
Come enjoy the company of other youth as you learn traditional yoga poses. Experience strength and calmness after you participate in this fun, yet challenging seminar. Dress comfortably and be prepared to move! (Extra credit if you bring your own mat!)

Slow Flow Yoga for Adults – Beth Pierce (4:30 Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday)
Yoga is for bringing your mind, body and spirit back into connection. Breathing and meditation will be emphasized as well as traditional yoga poses presented in a flowing, moving format. Dress comfortably, as you may sweat! The class is open to all adults. Please bring your own yoga mat if possible.

Adult Self-Care for Stress and Tired Muscles – Elizabeth Loughran (2:30 Tuesday)
Come for an hour of soothing, meditative self-care. While we relax our minds and bodies with self-massage, breathing techniques, and gentle stretches, we will meditate on God’s Word. This class is created especially for adults whose bodies are worn out from lots of activity and/or are caregiving. The class will begin with a meditation on the wonder-ful creations God made us to be. Then, we will practice mindful breathing, followed by self-massage of the feet, legs, glutes, back, arms, shoulders, and neck. Lastly, we will gently stretch our muscles. The instructor will facilitate stretching and head massage. This seminar can be done on the floor or in a chair. Dress comfortably.

Youth Self-Care for Stress and Tired Muscles – Elizabeth Loughran (2:30 Wednesday)
Come for an hour of soothing, meditative self-care. While we relax, we will meditate on God’s Word and practice self-massage, several self-calming techniques, and gentle stretches. This class is created especially for youth who spend a lot of time in their heads thinking or worrying or for youth whose bodies are just tired and need some TLC. The class will begin with a meditation on the wonder-ful creations God made us to be. Then we will learn a breathing technique designed to calm and create feelings of safety, as well try some acupressure points to decrease anxiety. Lastly, we will massage our feet, legs, arms, shoulders and heads before ending with a gentle stretch. This class can be done in a chair or on the floor. Dress comfortably.

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The Wonder of Friendship: Macramé Bracelets – Mary Beth Hunter & Melissa Bethune (2:30, 4:30 Monday)
Using a selection of differing cords and knots, learn how to make friendship bracelets to share with your friends. All materials are provided. Great for youth and adults!

Smart Photos with Smartphones – Daniel Craig (3:30 Monday, 4:30 Tuesday)
Do you love taking pictures with your smartphone? Take a walk with photographer Daniel Craig and discover great ideas for making your best smartphone photos at the lake or anywhere. We will cover some basic photography techniques that will make your photos look like the pros while capturing the beauty of Lake Junaluska.

The Wonder of Light: Mason Jar Luminaries – Mary Beth Hunter & Melissa Bethune (2:30, 3:30 Tuesday)
Using tissue paper or decorated napkins and provided glass jars, you can create a luminary that will shine its light in your life. With just a little mod podge and time, anyone can change a simple jar into a source of beauty! All are welcome — youth and adults.

Are You a United Methodist? Do You Know Why? (for Youth) – Lindsey Buckner (2:30, 3:30, 4:30 Tuesday)
Find out in a fun and exciting visit to the World Methodist Museum and discover the history of our church. Enjoy a very short film before you explore the exhibits, including the death mask of John Wesley! What’s that? Come to the museum to find out — you will be surprised. Enjoy the challenge of a scavenger hunt before you leave.

The Christian Faith Comes Alive (for Youth) – Lindsey Buckner (2:30, 3:30 Wednesday)
Visit the World Methodist Museum where the history of our church comes alive as you learn from the past and look forward to the future. More than 80 denominations in 130* countries make up The Methodist Church and are reflected in the flags seen on the front of the museum. During this time, look for a knife from the time of Abraham, small lamps from the time of Jesus, a Bible from the 1500s and much more as you learn about the world-wide Methodist Church.

The Wonder of the Cross: Mosaic Hand Crosses – Mary Beth Hunter & Melissa Bethune (2:30, 3:30 Wednesday)
Choose what items you would like to use to decorate your own wooden hand cross. Buttons, beads, or glass in a variety of colors can be used to create a cross you can hold while you pray. Take some time to be creative by the lake! Youth and adults welcome.

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