On Saturday, August 8, 2015, the TUNE UP worship band gathering was held. Over 100 worship musicians, pastors, sound techs, and video techs assembled on the campus of Westbury United Methodist Church in Houston, TX for a multi-denominational training event. Hosting over 100 participants for the third year in a row, the event was organized by the Worship Excellence Team of the TX-LA Gulf Coast Synod (ELCA) to improve the quality of band-led worship in smaller churches.
The assembled musicians and techs represented over 20 congregations including Lutheran, Nazarene, Baptist, United Methodist, and Non-Denominational churches. Churches from all over Texas including San Antonio, Austin, and the Houston vicinity were represented.
The gathering began with opening worship and a panel discussion about the issues facing church musicians today. Then everyone divided into instrumental/vocal/tech tracks, and conceptual tracks. The instrumental tracks were divided by specific area (worship leader, acoustic guitar, electric guitar, bass guitar, keyboard, drums, Latin percussion, vocals, sound tech, and video tech). Conceptual track offerings included sessions on hospitality in worship, multicultural worship, creative worship planning, and loops and multi-tracks in worship. During the “Coaching for Bands” session a volunteer church band received feedback and help with their music from a panel of track leaders. Then an “Instant Band” was formed from volunteer participants that had never played together. They were able to learn and arrange a song on the fly. An optional post-event included a tour of the worship technology at Houston’s First Baptist Church.
One attendee commented, “Great clinic! Thank you very much! My band mates and I returned home fired up for the future of our band!” Watch the website for details on upcoming events: TuneUpGathering.org.