2015 Conference Clinicians



Pepper Choplin

 Mary McDonald

Pepper Choplin is a full time composer, conductor and humorist. He has gained a reputation as one of the most creative writers in church music today. Beginning his music training at the age of four, he grew up singing and playing piano, trumpet, guitar and banjo. With a Bachelor of Music degree from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro, he went on to earn a Master of Music degree in composition from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary.

Choplin incorporates varied styles such as folk, Gospel, classical, and jazz. His published work includes over 230 anthems for church and school choir, 13 church cantatas and a book of piano compositions. An original hymn, "Come to the Water" appears in the recent hymnal, Celebrating Grace. His anthems consistently appear in the top seller lists of publishers and distributors. Since 1991, his choral music has sold several million copies. In 2013, he made his Carnegie Hall debut in a joint concert with Joseph Martin.  In 2015, Choplin will travel to Lincoln Center where he will conduct his new cantata based on the Lord’s Prayer. In his solo concerts, he moves audiences with his powerful ballads and his zany humor.

Currently, he attends Greystone Baptist Church in Raleigh, North Carolina, where he served as music minister for twenty-two years.  There in his hometown, Choplin has conducted several mass performances of his Easter and Christmas cantatas in Meymandi Auditorium (home to the NC Symphony) with over two hundred voices and full orchestra.


  Luke A. Powery


The Rev. Dr. Luke A. Powery is the dean of Duke Chapel and an associate professor of the practice of homiletics at Duke Divinity School. Prior to his appointment at Duke, he served as the Perry and Georgia Engle Assistant Professor of Homiletics at Princeton Theological Seminary.
He received his B.A. in music with a concentration in vocal performance from Stanford University, his M.Div. from Princeton Theological Seminary, and his Th.D. from Emmanuel College, University of Toronto. He has written two books, Spirit Speech: Lament and Celebration in Preaching, and Dem Dry Bones: Preaching, Death, and Hope.
Though nurtured in the Holiness-Pentecostal tradition, Luke was ordained by the Progressive National Baptist Convention, and has served in an ecumenical capacity in churches throughout Switzerland, Canada, and the United States. Luke is a member of the Academy of Homiletics for which he serves as secretary, the American Academy of Religion, and the Society for the Study of Black Religion, and is the recipient of numerous scholastic fellowships and awards from organizations such as the Wabash Center for Teaching and Learning in Theology and Religion and the Fund for Theological Education. In 2008, The African American Pulpit named him as one of "20 to Watch," an honor given to 20 outstanding black ministers under the age of 40 who are helping to shape the future direction of the church.



Randy Edwards



Randy Edwards is Founder & Director of Programs for YouthCUE, a multidenominational ministry network which includes over six hundred youth choirs in twenty-four states. Randy has conducted over forty major YouthCUE festivals accompanied by professional orchestras across the U.S, Canada, and Korea. Prior to devoting his fulltime efforts to YouthCUE beginning in 2005, Mr. Edwards served for more than thirty years as minister of music at First Baptist Church San Antonio, First Baptist Church Shreveport, Trinity Baptist Church in San Antonio and now at Woodland Baptist Church in San Antonio. He served as Chorus master of the Shreveport Opera Company from 1991-1999.

Mr. Edwards has composed twenty-one published choral anthems and has authored the most comprehensive textbook to date on youth choir ministry, entitled, Revealing Riches and Building Lives: Youth Choir Ministry in the New Millennium. With more than six hundred articles published in over thirty publications, Randy Edwards is one of the premiere specialists in youth choir ministry today. He is sought widely as a conductor, clinician, consultant, and teacher.



Segue Youth Choir



Segue is a one day, high energy event for youth choirs who are transitioning to the next level of ministry. Music selections are very accessible for beginning and intermediate level choirs. This experience will provide the interaction and inspiration students need to launch their choir ministry to “higher ground.” This group will be providing a special concert for our Oasis Conference.