O’Neel said was an ideal opportunity for students in the Cedarville Worship program, which is a multidisciplinary degree that involves classes in music, worship, Bible and other fields related to worship ministry.
“The experience was very beneficial to the students for many reasons. They were able to observe the planning and execution needed to pull off a major awards ceremony which was nationally televised. They were able to interface and learn from the professionals who were leading the organization of the event. They were also able to meet and host musicians, actors, and celebrities who were presenting, performing or receiving awards,” Dr. Roger O’Neel.
O’Neel said that many of Cedarville’s worship students have the goal of becoming worship leaders in churches and that planning and leading worship services on a weekly basis involves some of the same type of planning and administration involved in the Dove Awards, just on a much smaller scale.
Worship student Cole Tague said that he thought that his experience volunteering at the awards was the applicable experience he needed in order to step fully into his calling. “Worship is so much more than just playing and singing the right notes. If you are successfully “leading” worship, you are empowering all of those around you, whether they are musicians or not, to be worship leaders in their own way. This is what “interning” has helped me realize,” said Tague.
Other Cedarville Worship students such as Laura Skaggs said that they are leaning more toward a career in music rather than church work. “I really benefited from the Dove Awards, as I got a glimpse into the Christian music industry. This is an industry I’d actually love to be a part of, so seeing the people who are a part of it and what they do up close was really interesting to me.”
More than that students said it was a memorable experience that they will not soon forget.
“I got the opportunity to meet so many big names in the Christian music industry, and it’s an opportunity that I’d love to have again, but will look back on and cherish for a long time,” said Worship student, Megan Newsted. Newsted said that during her time at the Dove Awards she was personal assistant to artists, Lauren Daigle, Jordan Feliz, Matt Maher and Malcolm Hawker.
Dr. O’Neel said that he hopes that Cedarville will continue its relationship with the GMA Academy in the future. “This particular event was just a two-day event. However, we hope that relationship between the GMA and our students developed at this event will result in future opportunities for our students.
Contact this contributing writer at EricaHarrah@woh.rr.com.