Songwriting Conference Summary and a New Free Song

We’ve got a new song up on the free song page!  Stream it, download it, play it with your worship team.  It’s one of our congregation’s favorite songs used for preparing our hearts for worship or prayer. It’s appropriately titled Lord, Prepare My Heart, and it was just named in the American Christian Songwriters Association‘s (ACSA) top 10!  Congratulations to Yvonne Utz!  It’s a calming, centering song that helps you get honest with your heart.

We just finished up a whirlwind weekend at ACSA’s annual conference in beautiful Arlington, Texas.  Songwriters from 27 cities gathered to learn from these world class industry experts on these subjects:

  • Cindy Wilt Colville (signed and developed songwriters Matthew West, Jason Ingram, Cindy Morgan, Clint Lagerberg, Jason Walker) – Development and growth of a songwriter.
  • Tony Wood (multiple Dove award winner, 22 #1 songs, songs recorded by Point Of Grace, Michael W. Smith, SELAH, 4-Him, Sandi Patty, Natalie Grant, Avalon, etc. etc.!) – Advanced songwriting techniques.
  • Michael Farren (originally with Pocket Full of Rocks, Dove award nominations including Worship Album of the year, songs recorded by Michael W Smith, Jackie Velazquez, Big Daddy Weave, Phillips Craig and Dean, etc) – Writing for congregational worship.
  • Michael Lederer (cofounder of TAXI Independent A&R company, and currently with New Hope Management) – Song pitching and industry feedback
  • Jason Loomis (Social Media Director with Ariel Publicity) – Mastering the social media tools.
  • Bob Parr (producer, arranger, engineer, touring and studio musician working with Shania Twain, Barry Manilow, Aqualung, Michael English, Nicole Smith, KC and the Sunshine Band, Gladys Knight, BJ Thomas,  Bryan Adams, Cher, Brian Setzer, and on and on…  Sheesh!) – Quality recording on a limited budget.

We started Friday night with an open mic at the Just Off Main Coffeehouse in Grapevine. Great hearing new songs and people joining in singing with the performers.

The workshop sessions on Saturday with these world class people were like trying to get a drink out of a fire hose!  All great information gushing out, just needed to filter for where you currently are in your development and for what your needs are.

Along with all this information I got out of this exactly what I was looking for: catching up with old and making new songwriting friends.  I still say that’s the best attribute of this conference.  Many of us stay in touch throughout the year.

After workshops the pro panel judged and critiqued the top 10 ASCA songs.  The top three were announced so we’ll never know where Yvonne’s song actually fell.  That’s really only a curiosity though, since we know the song has been a proven minister to the Bride of Christ and exactly why we’ve put it up for you to listen to and use.

Let us know how it prepares your heart!

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