Senior Produces Worhip CD Featuring SC Praise Band

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Ideally, senior projects should reflect the full range of a student's education. In Sterling College senior Matt Ehresman's case, that should have been nearly impossible. "I created my own major," he said, "graphic communications. I minored in youth ministry and I also took some business and music classes-I thought they might be useful."

They were. Ehresman says his senior project-producing an 11-song CD featuring all three of SC's praise and worship bands-used the full scope of his education at Sterling. He designed the cover for the CD; worked with the bands on the music; arranged for copyright on the songs they chose; and organized the distribution and sales of the final product.

But though the project reflects Ehresman's education, that was not his primary reason for producing a CD. "We didn't do this to make ourselves look good," said Ehresman. "We did it because worship has been a really important part of Sterling College for us, and we've really grown in it during the past few years." He credits Theology and Ministry Professor Dr. Hank Lederle for leading them in this growth. "Dr. Hank was really instrumental. He developed the worship program so that we were able to do this. He's passionate about worship, and he's taken us to places like New Life Church in Colorado Springs and Gateway Church in Dallas. We learned a lot there."

Early in the planning stages Ehresman asked junior Zack Yarbrough to join him in the project. As the president of the Praise Band Organization on campus, Yarbrough works with all three campus bands and leads one of them. "When Matt first presented the project to me, I knew God wanted to do something powerful with this idea," said Yarbrough. "This was an opportunity to bring honor and glory to Him and to share how our campus engages with God in worship on Sunday nights."

The three bands chose songs to perform--"They're a sampling of the songs that have resonated with our campus," said Yarbrough-and then Ehresman began the process of obtaining the copyright for each song. "A lot of things could have gone wrong in this process, but they didn't," said Ehresman. "When I figured up all the copyright and production costs, the total was $2600. I almost aborted the project then."

But the funds came in-"I knew then we were really supposed to do this," said Ehresman- and the CD will be available for purchase Wednesday, May 12. "I think people will be pleasantly surprised by the quality of the music and the skills of our bands. I think, too, this really will be used for worship-it's why we made it. It's a worship CD."

The CD is titled "All Else Fades" and is available for $5.50 (price includes tax) at the Sterling College bookstore or online at for $7.50 (price includes tax and shipping/handling). For more information contact Matt Ehresman at