Georgia-Cumberland Academy’s Magnify Worship program is releasing its debut album titled SOS on June 7.
The album features original songs written by GCA students and faculty, which were recorded by Chapel Basement Studios on the campus of GCA.
Magnify Worship is a fine arts class offered at GCA that educates approximately 50 students per year in the ministry of worship leading in the church. Within the class of 50, there are 12 student leaders who participate in a separate leadership class dedicated to leadership development, spiritual development and songwriting/recording.
“This has been a longtime goal of the program to be releasing original music,” said Mark Torsney, instrumental music and Magnify Worship director. “We have so many talented and creative students who just need instruction in the art of songwriting in an effort to give voice to their thoughts about life.”
The album echoes the tumultuous year the students lived through. Between the pandemic, politics, and social justice issues, many of the songs explore the concept of finding peace in the midst of chaos. The students wrestled with their faith and articulated their belief in God’s providence through the songs.
“We were pretty excited to learn songwriting. Our teacher had written and released a song over the summer. Because of the pandemic, a lot of things were different. We weren’t able to do as much with the praise program, but we were really blessed to use the studio more,” said Lauren Gerath, co-writer of I Am Yours and a member of the class of 2021.
Another one of the students who co-wrote the song I Am Yours had this to say about the process.
“Our teachers split us up into writing groups of three students. They gave us guidelines and helped us with ideas, but then they told us to go and see what we could come up with on our own,” said Brianna Self, a member of the class of 2021. “We didn’t expect our song to be chosen, worked on even more, and sent out to the world.”
There are stories behind all the songs, but Holding on to You holds a special meaning as it was written in an effort to comfort the school family after the unexpected loss of a graduate of the class of 2020 right before Christmas.
“This last year has been filled with loss and disappointment for so many, but when we heard about the death of Zach, we set out to write a song of comfort for those struggling to make sense of the pain in this world,” said Kalie Kelch, co-director of Magnify Worship.
GCA students sang on the recordings, and many played a variety of instruments, along with a few community members and friends of the school who contributed their musical talents to the production of the album.
In addition to releasing the music, Magnify Worship has created accompanying music videos for four of their songs, which are available on their YouTube channel at youtube.com/magnifyworship.
For more information about Magnify Worship, you can find the group on Instagram, Spotify, Apple Music, YouTube, Amazon Music, and Pandora.