Planner Picks: Music to Set the Tone

It can be a daunting task to try and keep up with whose songs and which artists are popular in the ever-shifting music industry. Music is a vital part of creating the atmosphere of a conference, so we asked fellow planners what songs they're using right now to set the tone at their events.

“Church of God commissioned a new music project for International General Assembly this year called ONE. Our presiding bishop set forth the theme of our conference as ONE, and the music project perfectly complemented our sessions. Writers in Nashville wrote ONE, and we worked with our own church musicians to promote it throughout our denomination.” —Kevin Brooks, Church of God

“I’m a huge fan of Boney James. His music always sets the tone for my spirit when I sit down in my booth. I love the song East Bay off his ‘Sweet Thing’ album. When I need to get a spiritual lift, I listen to Earnest Pugh’s I Need Your Glory.’ That song always brings me to tears.” —Paul Brown, Seventh Episcopal District of the Christian Methodist Episcopal Church

“We open our conferences with For Your Gloryby Tasha Cobbs andFill Me Up by Casey J, which are awesome worship songs to set the tone of our sessions.” —Rebecca Davis, Davi Image and Resource Agency

“Timothy R. Smith will be our music leader for prayers and liturgies at our annual conference in May. His compositions blend traditional with contemporary, including the songs Tell It Out and Give Me Ears to Listen.’—Bryan Reising, National Conference for Catechetical Leadership

“Our national youth events are full of energy, and that is largely because of the rich music we choose. We love music by spoken word artists that fuse poetry and rock, like Rhema Soul and Climbing PoeTree (above). Our youth will rock out to John Mayer’s Waiting on the World to Change,’ reflect on Michael Jackson’s Earth Song and feel affirmed by Lady Gaga’s Born This Way.’ We also hope to inspire them with contemporary Christian selections such as Clint Brown’s You Are,’ anything by Kirk Franklin, I am Not Aloneby Kari Jobe and, my personal favorite, Hallelujahby Forever Jones.” —Waltrina Middleton, United Church of Christ National Office

“For the Real Refreshment Retreat, I have our theme song written and recorded every year. This is performed as well as sung together several times throughout our weekend, along with a variety of contemporary Christian songs and classic hymns such as Our God by Chris Tomlin and All Who are Thirsty’ by Brenton Brown and Glenn Robertson.” —Connie Albers, Apologia

Photo credit: Pablo Aguibar