Lake Junaluska aerial photo showing fall foliage colors and the walking bridge

Choir Music Weekend

Spend a scenic fall weekend at Lake Junaluska as you enjoy a weekend of music and worship

October 14-16, 2022

Enjoy incredible autumn colors at Lake Junaluska in the North Carolina mountains when you attend this weekend of music, worship and fellowship. Choirs and all who love to sing sacred choral music are invited to come together to learn and perform eight anthems, as well as attend workshops. For 2022, our theme will be “Reflections of Christ – His Life and Mission,” and a new workshop will be offered specifically for the church accompanist.




Register Online
Download the Reservation Form (PDF)
[email protected]


[email protected]


Lake Junaluska Chapel exterior in Fall

3-5:30 p.m.- Registration & Sign-in (Bethea Welcome Center)
4 p.m.- Lodging Check-in
5:30-7 p.m.- Dinner
7-7:15 p.m.- Welcome and Announcements (Harrell Auditorium)
7:15-9:20 p.m.- Rehearsals (Harrell Auditorium)
9:30-10 p.m.- Evening Vespers (Memorial Chapel)

Singing and piano at Choir Music Weekend

7:30-8:30 a.m.- Breakfast
8:30-10:20 a.m.- Sectional Rehearsals – SA (Harrell Auditorium) – TB (Terrace Auditorium)
10:30-11 a.m.- Morning Devotions (Harrell Auditorium)
11 a.m.-12 p.m.- Full Choral Rehearsals (Harrell Auditorium)
12-1:30 p.m.- Lunch and Free Time
1:30-4:50 p.m.-  Workshops
4:50-5:30 p.m.- Free Time
5:30-7 p.m.- Dinner
7-9 p.m.- Rehearsals (Harrell Auditorium)

Participants sing at Choir Music Weekend

7:30-8:30 a.m.- Breakfast
8:30-9 a.m.- Final Offertory Ensemble Rehearsal (Harrell Auditorium)
9-10:20 a.m.- Final Choral Rehearsal (Harrell Auditorium)
10:30-11:55 a.m.- Closing Worship (Harrell Auditorium)
12 p.m.- Lunch and Departure


Expand Choral and Vocal Techniques contentCollapse Choral and Vocal Techniques contentChoral and Vocal Techniques

Workshop Leader: Ginger Wyrick
Similar to a group voice lesson, this session explores the vocal instrument including breathing, phonation, and diction. Experience a series of vocal exercises that you can do on your own or with your choir to improve your technic and sound. Recommended for singers of all ages, directors, and those who are simply curious!

Expand Crafting contentCollapse Crafting contentCrafting

Workshop Leader: Claudia Smith
The craft room will be open Saturday afternoon. Crafters are welcome to come and go as they wish. Join us for fellowship around the table as we create with a variety of materials. There will be several projects to entice your creative soul! Recommended for all who enjoying crafting!

Expand Folk Dancing for Fellowship and Fun contentCollapse Folk Dancing for Fellowship and Fun contentFolk Dancing for Fellowship and Fun

Workshop Leader: Amy Martin
Psalm 149 says “Let them praise God’s name with dancing.” In this workshop we will learn and enjoy some simple folk dances from different parts of the world. We can build community in our local church through the fun and fellowship of the dance and also connect with other cultures and their people. Recommended for all who would like some low impact activity. No prior dance experience is necessary. Knowing right and left directions may be helpful.

Expand Expanding your hymn & contemporary style playing for congregational worship  contentCollapse Expanding your hymn & contemporary style playing for congregational worship  contentExpanding your hymn & contemporary style playing for congregational worship 

Workshop Leader: Hilda Ryan
Simple steps toward a fuller style that encourages heartfelt and worshipful congregational hymns. Tips for playing contemporary music with or without a praise team. Recommended for accompanists

Expand Forming Disciples Through Worship contentCollapse Forming Disciples Through Worship contentForming Disciples Through Worship

Workshop Leader: Diana Sanchez-Bushong
A key component of growing disciples in our local churches is the weekly worship experience. We will look at the liturgy and discuss how these elements help support, nurture and challenge growth in our congregations. Recommended for worship designers, choir directors, pastors, Sunday School teachers, youth leaders, and all who have an interest in discipleship.

Expand In Endless Song: Keeping Music In Our Hearts Through Troubled Times contentCollapse In Endless Song: Keeping Music In Our Hearts Through Troubled Times contentIn Endless Song: Keeping Music In Our Hearts Through Troubled Times

Workshop Leader: Daniel Craig
The past two years have been challenging on so many levels. How can we maintain our spiritual center as the world is crumbling around us? This workshop will explore how the music we sing can be used in daily devotion to renew and restore so that we may be equipped for the harvest before us. Recommended for singers, leaders, and anyone who is curious about spiritual upkeep and development.

Expand Lake Junaluska Photography Walk contentCollapse Lake Junaluska Photography Walk contentLake Junaluska Photography Walk

Workshop Leader: Daniel Craig
Bring your camera or your smartphone and take a spiritual walk around Lake Junaluska. In this session we will look at great ways to capture images that reflect the nature of Christ’s teaching and his life. You will also learn innovative techniques to make your photographic journey more meaningful and creative. Recommended for anyone who loves taking pictures and enjoying the beauty of God’s great creation.

Expand Offertory Choir Experience contentCollapse Offertory Choir Experience contentOffertory Choir Experience

Workshop Leader: Gary Alan Smith
The closing worship service includes an offertory anthem for a small ensemble. A brand new hymn anthem was arranged specifically for this weekend with you in mind! We need about 10 singers to learn and then to present it during Sunday’s worship service. Singers need not be soloists but should be adequate sight readers who match pitch easily. If interested, please add your name to the sign-up sheets at registration or in Harrell Auditorium. Come have fun! Recommended for approximately 10 interested singers who have fun singing in small groups.

Expand Psalms and Social Justice: How to incorporate into worship and daily life contentCollapse Psalms and Social Justice: How to incorporate into worship and daily life contentPsalms and Social Justice: How to incorporate into worship and daily life

Workshop Leader: Diana Sanchez-Bushong
The book of psalms, labeled “the little bible” by Martin Luther, is the most diverse book in the biblical canon. It spans the gamut of joy and lament, the depths and heights of experience, and it calls us not only to awareness of our own humanness and God’s omnipotence, but also to our witness in the world. When we sing these songs we are declaring out beliefs and taking a stand! Recommended for ALL.    

Expand Turning Hymns into Anthems (for Smaller Choirs) contentCollapse Turning Hymns into Anthems (for Smaller Choirs) contentTurning Hymns into Anthems (for Smaller Choirs)

Workshop Leader: Gary Alan Smith
Search your church’s choral library, or any publisher’s catalog, and you will find numerous choral anthems based on familiar and unfamiliar hymns. Often, however, there is something that excludes a particular hymn-anthem from being right for your church’s choir. This class will explore simple compositional techniques you can use to create customized arrangements specific to the needs of your group of singers. We will also look at how unfamiliar, unaltered hymns can be presented by the choir as anthems right off the shelf. Recommended for Children’s, Youth, and Adult Choir Directors; choir accompanists; budding choral arrangers. 

Expand Ukulele 101 contentCollapse Ukulele 101 contentUkulele 101

Workshop Leader: Tim Bushong
Want to learn to play ukulele? Want to start a ukulele choir at your church? We will explore some of the basic ukulele songs for all ages and discuss how to incorporate into the children/youth/adult musical offerings at your church. A few instruments will be available for use in the class or bring your own. You are also welcome to come and watch. Recommended for ALL.  

Expand Ukulele Jam Session contentCollapse Ukulele Jam Session contentUkulele Jam Session

Workshop Leader: Tim Bushong
Love to play ukulele or just a beginner? Both are welcome at this jam session. Ukuleles will be provided along with some other rhythm instruments. Come have some fun singing and playing. Recommended for ALL.  

Expand What if it’s too hard? What if it’s too easy? contentCollapse What if it’s too hard? What if it’s too easy? contentWhat if it’s too hard? What if it’s too easy?

Workshop Leader: Hilda Ryan
What you can add. What to leave out. Examples from this weekend’s music and other anthems to help you “enhance” the arrangement! You’re welcome to bring a “stumper” – an anthem that has a spot that’s too hard or one that’s so easy it needs more to fill it out, and we’ll look at it during the session. Recommended for accompanists.    

Expand Worship Design with Music: A Survey and Discussion of CMW Worship contentCollapse Worship Design with Music: A Survey and Discussion of CMW Worship contentWorship Design with Music: A Survey and Discussion of CMW Worship

Workshop Leader: Ginger Wyrick
Get a preview of our closing worship service filled with insight into the selections and process. The discussion identifies how music functions as liturgical structure and supports the theological theme specific to this year. Participants will gain a deeper understanding of why and how the service is designed, and learn ways to implement similar design devices in the local church. Recommended for anyone who designs worship, Choir Directors, and all members of the Church body.  


Amy Martin

Amy Martin is a Deacon in the UMC and serves as the Minister of Music and Discipleship at Reidland UMC in Paducah, Kentucky. Since 1986 she has been directing vocal and handbell choirs in small, medium, and large churches. In addition to church ministry work, Amy has taught piano and voice lessons, early childhood music classes, and served as Director of The Dixie Children’s Chorus in Huntingdon, Tennessee. Amy loves music, children, hiking, and tofu.

Claudia Smith and Cathy Garland
Claudia Smith
& Cathy Garland

Cathy Garland and Claudia Smith are the crafty sisters who love planning and preparing the craft room each year at choir music weekend. The sisters were born and raised in Memphis, TN and now live in Nashville. Cathy is a retired accountant, Claudia is a retired teacher and both are lifelong choristers.

Daniel Craig
Daniel Craig

Daniel R. Craig is serving his thirtieth year as Director of Choral Activities at the University of Southern Indiana. His choirs have toured extensively in Poland, Ireland and Germany. His USI Chamber Choir is the two-time premiere competition winner of Mayo International Choral Festival in Castlebar, Ireland.

Daniel also serves as the Director of Music Ministries at Old North UMC in Evansville, Indiana. He is an active member of the Fellowship of United Methodist Musicians and the American Choral Directors Association. He enjoys liturgical arts, playing and singing Irish Traditional music, and composing for the church and university.

He is an avid fisherman and nature photographer. Daniel holds degrees from Murray State University and the University of Illinois. He is married to Clara Meadows Craig and has one adult daughter, Jennifer.

Diana Sanchez-Bushong
Diana Sanchez-Bushong

Diana Sanchez-Bushong grew up in San Antonio, Texas singing from the age of five at Browning United Methodist Church. She earned a Bachelor of Music Education degree from the University of Texas at Austin, a master’s degree in Music in Choral Conducting from Southern Methodist University, a Master of Sacred Music degree from Perkins School of Theology at SMU, and a Doctor of Musical Arts degree from UT Austin.

Diana has served in churches and at the United Methodist General Board of Discipleship, where she worked with the Hymnal Revision Committee to develop the 1989 United Methodist Hymnal. In addition, Sanchez- Bushong helped develop the 1992 United Methodist Book of Worship, and Mil Voces para Celebrar, an official UM hymnal for Spanish-speaking churches. She edited The Hymns of the United Methodist Hymnal (Abingdon, 1989) and authored Your Ministry of Planning and Leading Hymn Festivals (Discipleship Resources, 1990). She has written extensively on hymnody and music in worship, including the article ‘Latin American Hymnody, USA’ in the Canterbury Dictionary of Hymnology. She also teaches the course “Culto de Adoracion y los Sacramentos” for the Course of Study Program and is an adjunct professor at Belmont University in the College of Theology and Christian Ministry.

Gary Alan Smith
Gary Alan Smith

Gary is the retired Music Editor at Abingdon Press of the United Methodist Publishing House where he served for 29 years. He was Editorial Manager of The United Methodist Hymnal, and Editor of the hymnal supplements The Faith We Sing and Worship and Song.

He also directed music programs at various United Methodist churches in Memphis, Johnson City, and Nashville, Tennessee before retiring in 2016. Along with the late Dr. Evelyn Laycock, Gary developed Lake Junaluska’s Choir Music Weekend and has served on the staff every year but the first. He has published numerous anthems and articles with various publishers. He is married to Claudia, who with her sister, Cathy Garland, is also a Choir Music Weekend regular.

Ginger Wyrick
Ginger Wyrick

Ginger Wyrick, conductor, author, clinician, lecturer, teacher, and performer, serves on the music faculty at UNC Charlotte. Ms. Wyrick is a life-long musician, established professionally in piano, flute, organ, harpsichord, and voice. The author of 16 books and numerous periodicals on music and curriculum development, Ms. Wyrick frequently leads workshops and lectures on music education; serves as an adjudicator for piano, voice, harp, and choral/band/orchestra; and appears as guest conductor for honor choirs and festivals.

Performance engagements include events in 17 states, the District of Columbia, Poland, Czech Republic, Bulgaria, and Nigeria. Ms. Wyrick leads training events for all ages and has appeared at national symposiums presenting her research on the changing role of music in the United States and the local church. She is active in the local church as a liturgical arts consultant, choir director, and organist. Ms. Wyrick regularly appears as the invited guest conductor at the Charlotte Music Club’s annual performance of Messiah with community chorus and orchestra. She is former chorus master and a performer with Augusta Opera.

Ms. Wyrick holds leadership positions in several professional organizations and is the former president of the North Carolina American Choral Directors Association.

Ms. Wyrick earned music degrees from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro and Southern Methodist University. Honors include membership in Pi Kappa Lambda and Mu Phi Epsilon. Ms. Wyrick is the recipient of the Lara Hoggard Award for distinguished service in choral music.

Hilda Ryan
Hilda Ryan

Hilda Ryan has a Bible degree from Columbia International University and a Bachelor and Masters in Piano Pedagogy/performance emphasis from USC Columbia. She served as church pianist, music director, accompanist for choir concerts and solo artists, soloed w/church orchestra, and taught piano in Charlotte for many years.

She now lives at beautiful Lake Junaluska and is active playing in area churches, at Lake Junaluska and in an annual 4-piano concert. She has authored 7 books for piano teachers and piano students and enjoys mentoring piano teachers with a social media weekly video “Quick Tips for Piano Teachers.” Her new CD “Finding Him Faithful,” a compilation of her favorite hymn arrangements, is also on streaming platforms.

Timothy Bushong
Timothy G. Bushong

Tim is a composer with choral pieces published by Hinshaw Music, Shawnee Press/GlorySound and Choristers Guild. His award-winning advertising jingles have aired on radio & television stations from Alaska to Maine and he has also composed the score for numerous marketing/educational videos, independent films and a television show. As a music educator, he has taught in both public and private schools in Texas and now in Tennessee.


Choir Music Weekend program, lodging and meal packages include:

  • All Choir Music Weekend events, workshops and anthem music packet
  • Lodging for two nights at the lakeside Terrace Hotel or historic Lambuth Inn
  • Six meals from dinner on Friday through lunch on Sunday

Package price rates are per person and based on the number of people per room. Pricing at The Terrace Hotel is $582.20 per person for single occupancy, $392.20 per person for double occupancy, $339.20 per person for triple occupancy, and $307.20 per person for quad occupancy. Pricing at Lambuth Inn is $512.20 per person for single occupancy, $357.20 per person for double occupancy, $315.52 per person for triple occupancy, and 289.70 per person for quad occupancy.

The program-only option, which includes worship, anthem music packet and workshops, is $105.

For more information about pricing and bringing family members, see the registration form (PDF).

Nestled in the heart of Lake Junaluska, the lakeside Terrace Hotel is convenient to the Harrell Center, Stuart Auditorium and the Rose Walk. Come relax in a rocking chair on one of the balconies or read a book by the large fireplace in the spacious lobby.