By Kayla Helmintoller
On Thursday, Sept. 23, 2021, the Trevecca worship choir Testify was given the opportunity to record with Keith Everette Smith, GMA Dove Award and Grammy winner, for Tasha Layton’s upcoming “This Is Christmas” single that came out on October 28, 2021.
As a sophomore worship arts major and Testify worship choir member, I was able to experience the recording process. It was an exciting and meaningful experience as we got to learn what it is like to professionally record in a choir setting. We went through several takes with Keith directing us in what direction he and his wife, Tasha Layton, envisioned.
Testify member and junior worship major Chris Clapp said he enjoyed working with professionals in the music industry, especially “getting to see a small piece of what professionalism looks like in a Christian space.”
The recording opportunity was made possible by Testify’s choir director Mark Hosny, who reached out to Smith about Testify, and directed the choir in preparation for the recording.
“One of the reasons why Keith wanted to record Testify is because we’re always prepared, and we get the job done,” said Hosny.
Hosny said this was not just a great learning opportunity, but a great spiritual opportunity as well.
“I truly believe that when we have the intentionality in what we’re doing and what we are recording it is a spiritual opportunity and moment to worship God – like we should do every day,” he said. “I think that transcends through the audio even though people can’t necessarily see us in the choir room, and I think that anytime we do something we are singing to our Creator and we are giving Him an offering of our best. That’s what Testify is about.”
Testify is more than an elective or required course, but rather the chance to worship our Lord and Savior with our peers in excellence and diligence. As a member, I continue in the choir even though I have no need for the credits, and I stay for the community and worship.
Hosny spiritually speaks into the lives of the students and brings special guests that do the same; all the while encouraging students to spiritually speak into the lives of others through praise and worship.
“Experience is one of the biggest things that, in my opinion, is a big part of education,” Hosny said. “It is not just going to classes, though that is important, but it’s all the external experiences as well; so, to be able to sing and have the opportunity to be recorded by a Grammy Award producer who is also in the worship world and going on tour with Toby Mac is a great experience.”
Though God presents Testify with opportunities such as these, ultimately it is about community and about using music to bring students together to glorify our praiseworthy God.