Grand Canyon University (Sept. 10, 2018)
The Grand Canyon University Worship Arts program has released its third album – Canyon Worship 2018 – with 10 original songs written and performed by GCU students.

“Last year’s album was so good that, coming into this project, I actually was a little bit concerned that we may not be able to bring it up to that level,” said Eric Johnson, manager of the GCU Recording Studio and the album’s main coordinator. “But I think we hit the mark and maybe even passed it a little bit because we’re shifting the focus to the corporate worship side. There are a lot of good songs that you wouldn’t necessarily sing as a group in church, but these are songs that you can sing in church.”

Corporate worship songs, which can be incorporated more easily into a church setting, are the direction the Christian music industry is headed. For the second consecutive year, the Canyon Worship 2018 album was produced in GCU’s state-of-the-art recording studio by two music industry veterans, Geoff Hunker (Satellites & Sirens) and Billy Smiley (The Gaithers). Like Johnson, they’re delighted with how it turned out.

“On all of the songs, I tried to do different styles so as not to limit to one thing,” Hunker said. “The approach was to make it more congregational, worship-based. We tried to not so much find artsy songs but to find some that might have artistic goodness or greatness to them but also can connect with congregations or the chapel worship service. That was the goal, but also keeping some creative artistic influences in the songs and the writing.”

“I love the idea of what the Canyon Worship 2018 record is,” Hunker said. “There are so many creative and talented students here. To take all these different people and allow them a place where they can release their own original music that’s produced professionally, it’s all of the avenues that any artist would want their song to be on.” GCU’s Center for Worship Arts is distinct among performance-based programs, as it combines both ministry and performance. 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.
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The album is available for on iTunes, Google Play, Spotify and Shazam.

Canyon Worship 2018 Track listing:
1 “Rhythm” (Harrison Russell)
2 “Goes Before” (Katie Brown)
3 “You and I” (Mallory Denson)
4 “Make Yourself Known” (Kristyn Marie)
5 “Witness” (Aaron Bolton)
6 “Come to Me” (Harrison Russell)
7 “Free Me” (Courtney Welker, featuring Mallory Denson)
8 “Hear Me” (Chris Calderon)
9 “My Only Truth” (Logan Myers)
10 “Still Love Me” (Johnny Harris)

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