We sat down with Ben Hughes, the music director at Summit, and asked him for the latest in music news from Summit and what we can expect in the coming year.
So Ben, what’s new with music at Summit?
Man, there is lots going on! As our music program continues to mature (i.e. I’m getting old), we have been expanding ways to give students live production and worship-leading experiences outside of our walls. This spring, we participated in a worship event at Yale University, and in a few weeks we will take the Summit worship team to Prince Edward Island, Canada (my hometown!) to host a youth event there. We also have more churches and ministries interested in hiring live production techs and we are in the process of making major changes to equipment in the chapel, both for FOH and broadcast to prep our students accordingly. We are excited to continue our music relationship with TSC (one of our recent graduates will be joining the TSC worship team in NYC this summer) and we have an expanding list of ministries looking to hire Summit musicians and worship leaders.
What excites you most about the student musicians/singers you work with?
We have a fantastic group of students returning this fall. They are an eclectic mix of singers and musicians all passionate about glorifying the Lord with music. These folks will organize a praise and worship evening on their own, from setting up the PA system to leading in song. It’s pretty incredible. Also, it’s great to see the growth in our students both spiritually and as musicians. Recently I’ve had a number of former students releasing music on their own and/or helping their local congregation out as sound technicians. They’ve taken Summit’s class in live production and are able to immediately use those skills after graduation. It’s encouraging to get those phone calls or receive dm’s from former students excited about what they are doing in ministry.
Any plans for new recording projects?
Yes! There are some great songwriters around here, right now we are developing a few songs written by students and alumni. We’ve also set aside time for songwriting this fall. We have been inspired by the messages preached at TSC recently and we want to continue creating original worship centered on the Word.
What are you most excited for this coming school year?
Mostly I’m excited to meet the incoming freshman class! You never know from year to year who will come through our doors. The flavor of our program is really influenced by our students. They are what makes the music experience here great. God has been faithful to bring in those willing to learn, serve, and have fun.