Church Music Clinicians
Bruce Graham, a native of Boston, MA, has been singing in church since he was a young boy. During the school year, he was a member of the Choir of Men and Boys at St. Paul’s Cathedral in Boston, and in the summer, sang with the BrettonWoods Boy Singers of New Hampshire, the summer home of the Cathedral Choir. Bruce taught High School in Medford, MA and also in the town of Sandwich on Cape Cod. He was also the founding director for the Cape Cod Festival Chorus and Orchestra and the Cape Cod Chorale. His graduate degrees are in Choral Conducting and Sacred Music from the Boston Conservatory and Emory University respectively.
His call for full time music ministry began in the early 1990’s when Bruce accepted the position of Music Director at First Presbyterian Church in Marietta, GA. In 2002, Mr. Graham moved to Boulder, Colorado where he accepted the call to be Director of Music and Worship at First Presbyterian Church, where he increased the size of the church’s high school youth choir, Salt & Light, to over 130 members. Mr. Graham is currently the Director of Music Ministry at Roswell Presbyterian Church in Roswell, GA. A frequent guest conductor and speaker, Bruce has conducted numerous major works for both choir and orchestra and has led music mission tours to over 14 countries.
Bruce and his wife Linda reside in Woodstock, GA but are frequently on the road visiting their 8 children and 15 grandchildren.
Brian Childers is an accomplished composer, conductor, and clinician. His choral, instrumental, and handbell works are performed throughout the world. He has been a featured performer and clinician at numerous music conferences and workshops across the nation.
Brian received his bachelor of music degree in piano performance from Appalachian State University and the master of divinity degree in church music from the M. Christopher White School of Divinity at Gardner-Webb University. From 2012-2015, he served as Artistic Director of the Queen City Ringers, a Community Handbell Ensemble based in Charlotte, NC. He has served churches throughout North Carolina, building vibrant programs for choirs, handbells and instrumentalists at each. He currently serves as Director of Children and Youth Music at Myers Park United Methodist in Charlotte, NC where he oversees ministry to children and youth and conducts 6 handbell choirs.
Brian’s compositions and arrangements are available through a variety of publishers. Brian is married to Keely Childers, a professional counselor and has two adult children, Hannah and Spencer, both of whom served as drum majors in their respective college marching bands. Brian is an avid runner and a rabid fan of the San Antonio Spurs. You can learn more about Brian and his compositions at BrianChilders.org
Dr. Ron Davis
Dr. Ron Davis serves as Chair of the Department of Music at Presbyterian College in Clinton, SC. He has been heard as an organ recitalist throughout the US as well as Canada and the UK. He also currently serves as organist for First Baptist Church of Greenwood, SC. He is known for his service playing and creative hymn accompaniments for congregational singing and his hymn festivals consistently draw large audiences. He has served churches in AR, MO, KS, OK, TX, and SC. He has taught organ and service playing since 1987, beginning his career at Oklahoma Baptist University and moving to PC in 2004.
Additionally, he directs the PC Ringers (the college’s noted handbell ensemble) and Cantare! (PC’s men’s choir) along with coordinating studies in music theory at PC. His compositions have been performed throughout the southeast. He is a member of Handbell Musicians of America (formerly AGEHR) and the American Guild of Organists and has held statewide offices in both organizations.
He and his wife, Beverly, have one daughter.
Marianne Houff grew up in Bethel, PA, where she began singing and playing chimes and handbells as a young child at Palmyra Church of the Brethren. Marianne received a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Music from Bridgewater College. Her passion for music education and love for children’s voices led her to an Orff certification from Virginia Commonwealth University and Kodaly certification from James Madison University and the University of Indiana. As children’s music director at Bridgewater Church of the Brethren, Marianne directs two leveled children’s choirs and the “Yorffs”, the church youth Orff ensemble. Marianne currently serves as music specialist at John Wayland Elementary School in Rockingham County, Virginia.
She enjoys being a member of “The Valley 7,” a chamber ensemble that sings classical music in and around Harrisonburg. She is thrilled to have the opportunity to work with the young musicians of the Massanetta Church music Conference.
Dr. Steven Clarke
Dr. Steven Clarke is a lifelong musician. He is especially fond of group singing. He says, “There is hardly another activity that can unite people is such a way as singing together can.” He graduated from Warner University in Lake Wales, FL with degrees in Music Education and Business Administration. Masters and Doctorate degrees would follow from Ball State University in Muncie, IN. Post-graduate studies in the field of worship came from the Institute of Worship Studies in Jacksonville, FL.
His career has taken him along the paths of college teaching, high school and middle school teaching, and full-time church music. He has been a clinician and adjudicator for many singing contests, talent shows, choral festivals, and church music seminars.
Steve lives with his wife and six children in Hickory, NC. He presently is the choral director at Hickory High School and the Minister of Music at First Baptist Church in Hickory. His interests expand into the realm of theatre. He is the music director at Hickory Community Theatre and can also be found acting in stage productions.
Lelia Hall Lattimore
Lelia Hall Lattimore began playing the harp professionally when she was 25. A product of private lessons and summer camps at Brevard Music Center, she is now the principal harpist with the Asheville Symphony, the Hendersonville Symphony, the Brevard Philharmonic and the Johnson City Symphony. She also makes regular appearances with the Asheville Lyric Opera and the Asheville Choral Society. Lelia is the founding director of the Blue Ridge Harp Ensemble, which has been delighting audiences for 20 years. This freelance musician has shared the stage with the musical greats such as Ray Charles, John Denver, and Robert Goulet. She also provided music at the Fox and Hound Restaurant at the Grove Park Inn for several years.In addition to providing private and group lessons in studios in Asheville and the Shelby area, she participates in musical theater at the Peace Center, Southern Appalachian Regional Theater, Parkway Playhouse, Gardner-Webb University and Western Carolina University.
Liz Grimes Droessler
Liz Grimes Droessler has served the arts community since the early 1980s – first as a dance/theatre teacher, later as the Senior Administrator for Arts Education in the Wake County Schools, and several years as a leader in the Arts Ministry of her church. She developed and nurtured a dance and theatre ministry that was seeker-sensitive and well respected. Liz holds a B.S. in Dance, a Masters in Theatre, and a Doctorate in Higher Education Adult Learning. In retirement she teaches in the Education Department at Meredith College, volunteers for area arts organizations and consults as lighting designer/technical director for arts organizations such as Chuck Davis’ African American Dance Ensemble and Raleigh Little Theatre.