News - Well-Trained Intern Embarks On A Summer Of Music

Well-Trained Intern Embarks On A Summer Of Music

by Rachel Heston-Davis Well-Trained Intern Embarks On A Summer Of Music

Hours onstage and in the studio at Greenville University paid off big time for Brian Wells ’21. This worship arts and music industry studies major landed a summer internship that will help him prepare for a career in either discipline.

As a summer worship resident at Salem Lutheran Church in Tomball, Texas, Brian helps lead Sunday morning worship, contributes to planning meetings and assists with vacation Bible school. He’ll also travel to Nashville to meet music industry professionals.

Onstage leadership requires more than a working knowledge of music. It requires communication with other musicians and confidence interacting with large groups of people. Brian met the challenges thanks to the training he’s received at Greenville University.

A Firm Foundation In Music

As a student, Brian received intensive training in music theory and ear training, and also logged countless hours onstage with fellow musicians. Last summer he co-led GU’s touring Pursuit summer worship band, and co-led a Pursuit team the following school year. He also formed the band Prone to Wander with three close friends on campus. Brian says all this practice helped him “fit in” with musicians on the Salem Lutheran worship team.

Brian notes other GU experiences that proved vital to his music training, such as 24/7 access to professional equipment for recording, mixing and mastering; attention from “top-tier music instructors” in the music department; and private lessons in guitar and vocal performance.

Brian especially appreciates the training he’s received leading worship. “Through my studies of worship leadership at Greenville, I have been given a firm foundational understanding of worship,” he says. This includes “effective worship planning methods,” which he regularly puts to work at Salem Lutheran. 

The internship will offer Brian still more opportunities to build his skillset. This month, Brian travels to Nashville to meet music industry professionals, where he says he’ll “receive practical instruction on songwriting and production techniques, and also learn about the intersection of faith and business. 

Far From Home 

GU prepared Brian for this internship in other ways. Long before he heard of Salem Lutheran or thought about internship applications, Brian learned how to connect with others in a new environment—making friends on campus, sharing experiences with new people, absorbing the joys of Christian fellowship.

This ability to plug in to community proved crucial when he moved 12 hours away from family to accommodate his internship in Texas. Brian identifies separation from the familiar as his biggest challenge.

Happily, Salem Lutheran greeted him with open arms. “The people have been incredibly welcoming and have made me feel at home in Texas,” he says. He drew on practices learned at GU to share his life with new friends and feel a little less lonely. 

The Greenville Connection

Brian gained access to this internship thanks to alumni connections.

David and Jessica (Herzing) Ray, both ’05 graduates, recently connected with GU’s Assistant Professor of Worship Arts Paul Sunderland to help lead a worship retreat. Impressed with the caliber of students studying worship arts at Greenville, David asked Sunderland to recommend students for mentorship opportunities. Sunderland urged Brian to apply.

Brian turned down another internship opportunity in favor of Salem Lutheran, in part because of the focused, one-on-one mentorship he’d receive from Ray.

“I am being given so many remarkable opportunities here, and I am so grateful for them,” Brian says.


More stories of GU interns:

Ministry Students of Character, Serving the Church

Ministry Interns: Embracing an Adventure That's More Than a Job

Intern With Postal Inspection Service Offers Tips For A “First Class” Intern Experience

Undergraduate Research: A High-Impact Learning Experience For GU Princeton-Bound Chappel

When you fund scholarships, you help students like Brian access internships that launch careers. Thank you for helping students access these opportunities via scholarships.

This story was published on July 17, 2019

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