Posted on : Wednesday March 26, 2014

Oak Grove Banner-72By Shannon Baker, BCM/D National Correspondent

BEL AIR, Md.—Oak Grove Baptist Church and the Baptist Convention of Maryland/Delaware have teamed up to host a worship conference, equip, on May 24. This one-day event includes multiple tracks for various music and worship ministry leaders, taught by tested and proven leaders in their fields.

equip, which will take pace from 9am to 5pm for the worship training, followed by a 7pm Concert with Ben Kennedy, only costs $20 per person, which includes a Texas-style barbecue lunch.

Each learning track includes four training sessions. Participants may take all four sessions in one track or jump tracks and get a little of everything.

The following tracks are offered:

Children’s Choir Leadership Track  
Rachel Morgan serves as artistic director and mentor teacher for Lamplight Artists’ All About Kids Productions. She is also the lead music teacher at a public elementary school (K-5th grade general/vocal music) and works for the award-winning Children’s Chorus of Carroll County as a choral director (7th-12th grade advanced treble choir) and as a music theory instructor (4th-6th grade singers). Ms. Morgan holds a Masters of Music from the Peabody Institute of the Johns Hopkins University and a Bachelors of Music Education from the Conservatory of Music at Wheaton College. She volunteers on the worship team at her home church and has served as a performer/composer/clinician for events at local, state, and national levels.

Praise Band Track
Ben Kennedy’s sound can best be described as acoustic fusion: the union between evocative songwriting, pounding guitar textures, and passionate vocals. His wife Lori adds addictively angelic vocals of her own and the tribal groove of world-beat percussion. Their idiosyncratic style is displayed whether they are performing as a duo or as a full funk band with drums, horns, and a Hammond.

Both their house concert and larger venue shows are not only captivating and expressive, but also evoke a guttural emotion that longs to express and aches to feel, all at the same moment. Their worship sets are vertical and improvisational, leading people to an experiential God.
It’s their ability to create intricate instrumentation and beautiful harmonies simultaneously that makes their sound so addictive.  Ben’s hip-hop roots and relational faith continue to engage audiences with their infectious style and intriguing lyrics.

Vocal Technique Track
Nikki Lerner is a gifted singer, songwriter, and musician who has a passion for bringing people together through music and the artistic experience. For over ten years, Nikki has been performing for audiences both large and small and has shared the stage with artists as diverse as Michael W. Smith, The City Harmonic, Avalon, Vickie Winans and Ron Kenoly.

Previously, Nikki was a key member of the contemporary vocal group Unveiled, which toured the East Coast for several years. She is featured on the group’s three recordings as a singer/ songwriter. As Unveiled’s season of music drew to a close, Nikki continued to have the desire to write, sing, and record as a solo artist. As she began working in the studio on her self-titled solo project, more opportunities to perform as well as teach began to present themselves.

Since 2006, Nikki has served as the music ministry director at Bridgeway Community Church in Columbia, Md., which is one of the largest multicultural churches in the United States. She has the honor of leading a creative collective of over 100 vocal and instrumental artists and performs for a congregation of 3,000+ people every weekend both in the seats as well as a live broadcast online.

In addition to solo performance, Nikki is a working studio session singer and vocal arranger for both Indie artists and commercial interests. She continues to be invited all over the country to serve as an artist vocal coach and speaker on issues of multicultural music, cross-cultural communication, and team building.

Audio/Video Track
Art Reiger founded Solsound in 1988 as a “hobby business” providing production services for live events. Within a few short years installation services for venues came to be in as much demand as production services. By 1994 Solsound became a full time occupation. Since its inception they have provided production services and installation services for literally hundreds of projects in (and for customers from) Maryland, Virginia, Washington DC, New York, Pennsylvania, Delaware, New Jersey, North Carolina, South Carolina, Missouri, Georgia, Tennessee, Illinois, California, and Maine.

Drama Track
Steve Poole has been the worship pastor at Oak Grove Baptist Church for the past several years and is a published author. He has had more than 30 years experience in the music ministry and has led churches in Maryland, Florida, and Texas in drama ministries, clown ministries, pageantry and Broadway-style musicals. He has had more than 20 items published by LifeWay including dramas, hymns, and articles. He has written a full-length dramatical musical, three television commercials for a Texas cable company, a children’s book, and a new book to be published soon entitled Act Up: Drama and Musical Theater Ministry. His acting credits include numerous one-act plays and musicals in school and churches, dramatic narration for John 3:16 The Numbers of Hope musical with the BCM/D, and he has also been in several television commercials on a local cable channel in Texas as well as in a national Walmart commercial.

Each track includes four training sessions. Participants may take all four sessions in one track or jump tracks and get a little of everything.

Register here. To download a brochure for the event, click here.

Oak Grove Baptist Church is located at 2106 Churchville Road in Bel Air. For more information, visit online, or contact Steve Poole, Worship Pastor, Oak Grove Baptist Church, (443) 528-3958.