Lessons and Carols at Converse College

The Spartanburg community is invited to join in a longstanding holiday tradition, the annual student-led Festival of Lessons & Carols. Pre-service music including some of the most beloved traditional carols will begin at 7:15 p.m., followed by the program at 8 p.m. The Converse Chorale, Spartanburg Festival Chorus, Converse Wind Ensemble, and soloists will perform and lead the congregation in singing carols and hymns between verses of the Christmas story, which will be read by Converse students.

Organ prelude performed by Brennan Szafron 

Furman Church Music Conference 2019

Church Music Conference
January 24-25, 2019


We were recently informed by Dr. Stephen Cleobury that, as a result of ongoing health issues that will prevent his traveling abroad this spring, he will not be able to serve as clinician for our 2019 Furman Church Music Conference. We, of course, send Stephen our best wishes, along with our hope that he will experience a speedy return to good health. 

We are delighted to announce that BRUCE NESWICK, Director of Music and Organist for Trinity Episcopal Cathedral, Portland, Oregon, has been engaged to serve in Cleobury’s stead as clinician for the conference. One of the outstanding church musicians in America, Bruce Neswick has enjoyed a stellar career as both organist and choral director. Previously Organist and Director of Music at the Episcopal cathedrals of St. John the Divine (New York City) and St. Philip (Atlanta), and Professor of Church Music at Indiana University, Bruce now directs a nationally-known and multi-faceted music program at Trinity Cathedral, Portland, where he directs the Trinity Choir (adults) as well as multiple youth and children’s choirs. He is a much sought-after organ recitalist and one of the outstanding improvisers of our time, having won first prize in multiple improvisation competitions (including the 1990 American Guild of Organists National Competition in Organ Improvisation). Further information regarding Bruce Neswick may be found at: 


For the Furman Church Music Conference, Neswick will lead rehearsals of the conference attendees in repertory for Friday’s Evensong service; conduct an open rehearsal of Greenville’s acclaimed Chicora Voices youth choirs; and conduct the Furman Singers and combined conference attendees / Christ Church choirs at Evensong. He will also demonstrate his unique gifts for creative hymn playing and improvisation at the Evensong service, accompanying both congregational hymns and performing an improvised postlude. If you would like to sing with the Festival Choir – on a space available basis – your registration for the conference must be received by November 30 (if registering online) or postmarked no later than November 26 (if registering by mail). Due to seating in the church, space is limited. 


The two conference sessions originally devoted to discussions of the King’s College musical traditions will be replaced by lecture demonstrations by Neswick, “Creative Hymn Playing” and “Singing the Psalms.” We invite you to join us on the beautiful Furman campus this January for two exceptional days of learning and inspiration. Revised conference schedule will be available here by December 1. 

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