Overture Music Conference

Overture Music and Worship Conference is a one-day intensive music conference that seeks to provide training for choir members, choral directors, and congregations. It is sponsored by the Donnie M. Royal Foundation and Campbell University Divinity School. Featured guests in the past have included nationally known artist/composers including Cynthia Clawson, Ragan Courtney, Mary McDonald, Benjamin Harlan, and Joseph Martin. The event is open to choirs and churches throughout the region, has a special emphasis on Sampson County, and is hosted by First Baptist Church in Clinton, NC.


2020 Conference Information

Sunday, March 15, 2020

The 2020 Overture Music and Worship Conference will take place on Sunday, March 15,2020 at First Baptist Church, 408 College Street, Clinton, NC.

Featuring Heather Sorenson and the Overture Festival Choir

Heather Sorenson entered the church music industry in her twenties, and her name quickly became a welcomed fixture in the publishing world. Diversity is the characteristic that makes Heather somewhat of an anomaly in the industry: she easily maneuvers both the traditional and contemporary genres of Christian music, often combining the two for a unique blend that has become her artistic fingerprint. Initially recognized for her skill as a pianist, Heather is now known for her compositions in choral anthems, solo piano collections, and orchestrations.  

In the past several years, Heather has appeared multiple times at Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, and Constitution Hall. Although her career is sometimes on a big stage, Heather’s heart is leading the Church in worship, and she feels that her greatest calling is using her music to connect people with God. 

Selections by Heather Sorenson for Overture 2020

  • Psalm 24 – Brookfield Press: 00268548 (SATB)
  • Psalm 121 – Brookfield Press: 00151182 (SATB)
  • Surely, He Has Borne Our Sorrows – Shawnee Press:35031849 (SATB)

Participating choirs should purchase music prior to the conference OR contact Lauren McCollister in advance to request free copies.


Schedule for Conference

2:30 PM   Registration
3:00 PM   Introduction/ Choral Rehearsal
4:30 PM   Dinner  (provided for registered choirs – no charge)
5:30 PM   Worship Concert (Congregations and guests are welcome)


Contact Us

For more information contact Lauren McCollister lmccollister@clintonfirstbaptist.org or Dr. Larry Dickens at dickensl@campbell.edu.


About the Donnie M. Royal Foundation

Each year, the Overture Music and Worship Conference is sponsored by the Donnie M. Royal Foundation.

Donnie Royal and Dorothy Turlington Royal both grew up in Sampson County and both attended Salemburg Baptist Church. Donnie practiced medicine for over 60 years in Salemburg. Dorothy was an English teacher at Salemburg High School and served many years as the piano player and adult choir director, and five years as the boys choir director at Salemburg Baptist Church. Dorothy told the Fayetteville Observer, “Music is my baby and I thought I would die if I didn’t have a piano.” Dr. Royal lived to be 98 years old, and Mrs. Royal lived to the age of 103.

In 2001 the Donnie M. Royal Foundation was started to promote music events in memory of Dorothy’s legacy, and medical-related events in memory of Donnie’s legacy.