PHOENIX -- The Grand Canyon University Worship Arts program has released its sixth album, Canyon Worship 2021. All 10 new songs were written and performed by GCU students and recorded in the University's state-of-the-art recording studio.
"This album is one of my favorites so far. The songs are stylistically set for corporate worship in local churches," said GCU Worship Arts Coordinator Dr. Randall Downs. "The words have depth, glorifying God and encouraging His children, and the melodies are breathtaking. I'm proud of our students' efforts, as well as the amazing work of our producers and GCU Recording Studio staff."
After the challenges the pandemic placed on last school year, the students were eager to get back in the studio and share their work. Amanda Riffe, whose song "Take Up My Cross" was chosen to be the lead single, has been featured on the past three albums. The senior said her song came to her as she was sitting in class one day. During a break, she quickly recorded her idea into her phone. "It's just crazy how it happens in the most random places sometimes," Riffe said. "That's exactly what happened with 'Take Up My Cross.' It just kind of hit me, and I had the whole song."
Canyon Worship 2021 was produced by music industry veterans Geoff Hunker and David Willey, who are no strangers to the album. This is Hunker's fifth time producing the album and Willey's second.
"It's a labor of love to do this year over year and produce consistently high-quality results," said GCU Recording Studio Manager Eric Johnson. "That's due in no small part to Geoff and Dave producing the project. They just have a way with music, and they also have a way with the students. They love our students. They've consistently shown that, and the students love them, too."
The 10 songs and authors on Canyon Worship 2021 are:
Take Up My Cross (Amanda Riffe)Forevermore (Elaina Marchegger and Nicole Raum)You Choose Me (Chandler Blue)In the Waiting (Nicole Swartz)All I Want (Madison Russell)You, My God (Nicole Jasperse)In Brokenness (Emma Mondello)Swept Up in Your Wonder (Joseph Vaught)Still Good (Madison Russell)By Grace Through Faith (Austin Bratton)
GCU's Center for Worship Arts combines both ministry and performance with a blend of industry experts, instructors and seasoned worship ministers. The curriculum includes 32 credit hours in the College of Theology, ensuring that students are grounded in Christ and prepared to become worship leaders in churches throughout the world.