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June 29, 2011


World-Class Training Coming for Your Musicians and Technical Teams

by Kenny Lamm

North Carolina churches of all sizes and worship styles have a wonderful world-class training opportunity coming up in our state. Church musicians, as well as audio, lighting and media technicians seeking some of the finest in-depth training available in their areas of ministry are invited to attend the Worship Arts Technology Summit (WATS). This special event will take place on September 9-10 (with optional classes on September 8th) at Ridgecrest Baptist Conference Center.

WATS provides instruction in a full range of worship disciplines, offered in one location by experienced instructors at subsidized rates. This is the perfect training event to bring your entire team to, because of the five parallel tracks that merge whenever possible for cross-discipline training.

Participants receive hands-on training from recognized experts, who offer focused teaching on the art and science of each discipline. Most technical conferences provide, at most, a few hours of instruction and rarely afford the opportunity to apply theory to realistic situations. Attendees at the Worship Arts Technology Summit will be able to get their hands on top-quality gear and apply what they learn under the guidance of world-class music, sound, media and lighting experts with extensive teaching experience.

All skill levels are welcome and training will be presented in structured tracks, allowing attendees to begin with the basics and build on their knowledge with a series of increasingly advanced class offerings. In-depth two-day tracks will include Audio, Musician, Media, Lighting and Vocal. One-day Bootcamps for audio, lighting  and media basics are also available. If you have people who need the basics in these areas, the all-day Thursday boot camps provide just what is needed.

WATS instructors include top tech engineers and world class musicians who have worked with an impressive line up of artists, including Chris Tomlin, Paul Baloche, Twila Paris, Amy Grant, Israel Houghton, Matt Redman, Don Moen, Michael W. Smith, Leeland, Ron Kenoly, Tommy Walker and many more. These gifted teachers possess not only technical expertise, but also a heart for the church and its musicians and technicians. (Click here for more on the instructors)

WATS instructors are recognized experts in their disciplines. You won’t get higher quality or more comprehensive training anywhere else, especially at this price point! Fees for the summit begin at the low price of just $99 for two full days of instruction, with group rates as low as $79 (early bird rate.) Meals and lodging are available on site at nominal charges. The summit’s sponsors — Yamaha Corporation of America, Yamaha Commercial Audio Systems, Inc., Shure, Elation Lighting, and Renewed Vision — are underwriting much of the cost of the conference to enable as many church worship teams as possible to attend.

Each participant will choose a track according to their interests:

Musician (Instrumentalist)

This track is geared towards musicians desiring in-depth training on their individual instruments coupled with an understanding of the latest technology available to expand their music and ministry potential.

WATS has gathered some of the finest instructors from the contemporary Christian music world to lead you on this unique journey. Ed Kerr on keys, Carl Albrecht on drums, Tom Lane on guitars and Aaron Williamson on bass.


Fine tune your worship team vocals. Learn how to take your vocals to the next level by sharpening listening skills and intonation. In addition they’ll cover mic technique for group singing, getting the best harmony & blend for your group, improvisational techniques, arranging your team, finding the best keys, how to work productively with your tech team, how to gracefully submit to leadership and much more!


We live in a world that is becoming more connected and increasingly media-driven. The challenge for the church is to learn how to communicate and connect effectively both inside and outside the church. The WATS media track is designed to equip the church for this kind of ministry.

In the media track, they’ll cover both the art and science of communicating visually. They’ll talk about what it means to worship visually and how we can structure our media to help people experience God in more profound ways.

The video classes will enable churches to expand their worship experiences to multiple rooms and multiple venues, and the website classes will equip churches to connect internally, locally, and even globally in ways not even imagined ten years ago.


Students in the audio track will learn the art and science of mixing on a digital console as well as micing techniques, monitor mixing, effects processing, digital recording, proper sound-check techniques, etc.

The audio classroom will remain open throughout the summit. Students are encouraged to  practice what they have learned. Audio and video will be fed to the classroom during the worship sessions. Students can mix the band in real time at their own work station.


The Lighting Track is designed to provide the basic knowledge necessary to properly light a worship service. General principles in lighting design and application will help the learner to enhance services regardless of the type of lighting currently being used. In addition to instruction on basic skills, there are also specialized classes that address LED Lighting and DMX Lighting Control.

Hands on training with Elation’s ground breaking LED and Platinum technology will help familiarize participants with todays technology and help build the confidence that can only come from real world experience.

Worship environments of any size and service type will be enhanced by the techniques and tips taught by industry professionals and artists at WATS.



Early Bird Registration for the 2-day main WATS event is only $99 per person. Early-bird pricing for Ridgecrest ends August 7. Regular registration is $149 per person. Please choose “group discount registrations” for 5 or more registrations on the same checkout. The group discount gives you $20 off each main conference registration. If you would like to take advantage of the WATS bootcamp, please be sure to add the appropriate number of bootcamp registrations to your package at $50 each. “Bootcamps” are the one day basics class on Thursday in the areas of audio, lighting, and media.

Please complete the 4-step registration below for your whole group. This will register you for the conference only—not lodging and meals (see below).

Here is the link to register.


The Lifeway Ridgecrest Conference Center offers special room rates for attendees of WATS. For reservations, please call Ridgecrest directly at (800) 588-7222. Please note that accommodations, meals and/or conference fees are in addition to the WATS program fees.

  • Standard Room – Single $85
  • Standard Room – Double $85
  • Standard Room – Triple $95
  • Standard Room – Quad $105

Meals – Special pricing coming soon.

For those staying off campus, a $25 conference fee will be charged by the conference center. Please contact Ridgecrest directly to make arrangements.

More Information

For more information, visit the WATS website at

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2 Comments Post a comment
  1. Aug 8 2011

    Looks awesome! We have a similar event here in WA state called Christian Musician Summit, but I bet we could learn a thing or 2 from your conference. It’s really neat that students can mix the band at their own workstation as the conference is going on! Cool!

  2. Aug 8 2011

    I think more than just an event, we need networking relationships. Sometimes events can be like drinking through a fire hose – way too much at one time. It’s great, but have you thought about setting up training networks? Also, it seems like our colleges/universities are not playing the role they really could because they are so classically trained. Do you see a role for them in your plan? I’d love to connect with you (I’m a networking leader for worship leaders in the convergenw (formerly swedish baptist general conference), if you get a chance, drop me a line… Thanks for your great site!

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