top of page


The Call: Reclaiming Our Deep Passion

February 1-3, 2024

Winthrop University & Oakland Baptist Church

Rock Hill, SC

Conference Recap

The 2024 Polyphony conference was a wonderful gathering of almost 60 church musicians at Oakland Baptist Church and Grace Lutheran Church in Rock Hill, South Carolina.


The panel discussions, sessions, worship, fellowship and conference dinner at the award-winning restaurant, Kounter, were the right mix of inspiration and information as we explored our theme, The Call: Reclaiming Our Deep Passion.


  • R.G. Huff, whose lyrics appear in hymnals and choral works both, led a session on exploring hymns for Lent, Holy Week and Easter.

  • Winthrop University faculty, Kristen Wonderlich and Jeremy Mims, presented a session on working in choral rehearsals with the “vintage voice.”

  • Warren and Maureen Howell led the group in Morning Prayer at Grace Lutheran church.

  • Aaron Rice, Filippa Duke, Larry Dickens and Tyler Ingram explored our theme and delved into how church musicians can intentionally encourage students to explore a vocational call to church music.  Filippa also guided the conference in brain-storming practical steps to nurturing this call in students.

  • Chip Handrich coordinated a team of directors who led a curated choral reading session based on anthems they had used in worship at their churches.

  • Julie Merritt Lee, a spiritual director from Houston, Texas, guided the group to explore “embodied spirituality,” an approach to spiritual practices that is less cognitively-centered and finds ways to experience God through our bodily and sensory experiences.

  • A Friday evening choral concert at Oakland Baptist Church featured a festival chorus made up of the Winthrop Chorale and singers from Grace Lutheran Church in a concert of church choral classics.  

  • Susan Deal, who coordinated the summer 2023 interviews for the research initiative, Harmony Project, reported along with interviewers Keeley Tarkington and Marty Watts about their findings.

  • The final version of the Harmony Project was published during the conference and mailed to everyone in attendance.

Thank you to all of our facilitators and presenters who brought new ideas and helped us think about strategies for adapting, and thank you to the participants who attended and engaged so fully.

Next year’s conference is in development and we hope to release information by early spring 2024.

Watch the Polyphony website and emails for more information.


Session Videos

Session Videos
bottom of page