East, West Coast Musicians Selected as Music Directors of 2008 General Conference

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United Methodist Communications
Stephen Drachler, Executive Director of Public Information
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June 5, 2006

Contact: Stephen Drachler
(615) 742-5411 office
(615) 456-4710 cell

East, West Coast Musicians Selected as Music Directors of 2008 General Conference

NASHVILLE Two prominent United Methodist musicians, Marcia McFee of Truckee, Calif., and Mark Miller of Plainfield, N.J., have been named co-music directors for the denomination's 2008 General Conference in Fort Worth, Texas.

The 2008 General Conference will meet April 23 through May 2, 2008. The General Conference is United Methodism's top legislative body. The 1,000-member international body meets every four years to decide issues of church law and polity.

The co-music directors were selected by the denomination's Commission on the General Conference. "They have an exciting, creative, spirit-filled plan for worship and music at General Conference," said Lane Cotton Winn of Atlanta, a commission member and vice chair of the interview selection team.

The Rev. Dr. Gail Murphy-Geiss, chair of the commission, said there is precedent for naming co-directors. The 1996 General Conference in Denver had co-directors of music. Murphy-Geiss said McFee and Miller originally made separate applications for the position, but after conversations with each other, they submitted a plan for co-directors.

McFee is the principal of Peace by Peace Productions, where she serves as a consultant on worship, arts, and preaching. She has preached, taught, and led worship at numerous United Methodist gatherings in the U.S., Europe, and Asia.

In addition to consulting on worship, music and dance, McFee has been a guest lecturer on worship at six United Methodist seminaries and is the author of a book for worship teams, "The Worship Workshop: Creative Ways to Design Worship Together," published by Abingdon Press. She earned a Ph.D. in liturgical studies from the Graduate Theological Union at the University of California, Berkley; a master's in theological studies from St. Paul School of Theology, Kansas City, Mo., and a bachelor's degree in dance education from New York University. She is a recipient of the Hoyt Hickman Award for scholarship in the study of liturgy and effective worship leadership.

Miller is well-known throughout The United Methodist Church as a worship leader, teacher and performer of sacred music. He is director of music and instructor of church music at the Drew Theological School at Drew University in Madison, N.J. He also serves as the director of contemporary worship at Marble Collegiate Church in New York City, and is a lecturer at the Institute of Sacred Music at Yale University, New Haven, Conn. He has directed music for numerous United Methodist annual conferences and youth events. He has composed a number of hymns, including a collection "Amazing Abundance, Hymns for a Growing Church," published by Abingdon Press.

He received a master's of music in organ performance from the Juilliard School in New York, and a bachelor's degree in music from Yale University.

The music directors will work with the Council of Bishops and staff from the General Board of Discipleship to plan worship services at the General Conference, lead hymn singing, coordinate additional music performances and venues, and audition and select vocal and instrumental musicians for the conference.

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