The Presbyterian Association of Musicians (PAM) works in cooperation with Mo-Ranch to bring this annual summer worship and music conference. Guided by the principles of Reformed worship, attendees explore opportunities for vital worship experiences and enriching the liturgical life of the local church.
With friends, colleagues, inspiring preachers, worship leaders and nationally recognized faculty, we will gather together in the beautiful Texas Hill Country.
This Mo-Ranch/PAM Conference is made possible through grants from the Presbyterian Association of Musicians, the Office of Theology and Worship of the PC(USA) and Mo-Ranch’s Distinguished Speakers Fund.
Questions about the Mo-PAM Music & Worship Conference? We’re happy to help!
Contact the PAM office:
Presbyterian Association of Musicians
888-728-7228, ext. 5288
Kimberly Ahrens is the choir director at Robinson Middle School in Plano, TX, where she runs a highly successful middle school choral program, conducting over 275 students in a total of nine performing ensembles. Kimberly conducts the apprentice chorus of The Children’s Chorus of Greater Dallas and is also the Director of Children’s Choirs at the Episcopal Church of the Transfiguration in Dallas, TX. She serves as a frequent guest conductor, adjudicator and clinician throughout the United States. Kimberly earned a bachelor’s degree in music education with vocal emphasis from Texas Christian University.
Children’s Choir description coming soon!
Theresa Cho lives in San Francisco, CA surrounded by water, fog and the bustling noises of an urban city. She’s a west coast gal, loves seafood and 60-degree weather. She balances her time serving at St. John’s as a co-pastor, subverting her husband’s diet with baked goods, cheering her son on at soccer games, delighting in her daughter’s unique displays of personality and true self and dutifully obeying her dog’s daily demands of walks, pets and adoration.
A native Texan, Nilda Meliza Gomez has been involved in music from a young age. She was influenced by her ecumenical family of pastors and musicians to pursue a career in music and ministry. Nilda Meliza received a bachelor’s degree in vocal performance from the University of North Texas. From songwriting to teaching children’s music, organizing intercultural programs to managing kids’ camps, she has seen God’s faithfulness at work in and around her. She is the Contemporary Worship Director at Memorial Drive Presbyterian Church in Houston, TX where she leads multiple services in Spanish and English.
Worship Beyond Our Comfort description: As followers of Jesus, we believe in making room for all. To do so, we must continue to push the boundaries of worship comforts. This seminar dives into what that could look like in our lives and in our worship communities. Exploration of these expanding boundaries will be through the lens of modern worship arts with intercultural means and a multi-generational reach.
Carol Herriage is a cradle Presbyterian who attended her first PAM conference at Montreat, NC when she was six months old. She grew up at Westminster Presbyterian Church in Nashville, TN and now calls First Presbyterian, Dallas her church home. When she’s not attending a committee meeting at church, she is working as an elementary school counselor, reading novels or spending time outdoors. She lives in Dallas with her husband, Kim and her twin eighth graders, Reuben and Lydia.
Jimmie Homburg and her husband, Norman, are retired and live in Horseshoe Bay, TX. Jimmie was an art teacher before working in the computer game industry as an artist. She serves on several Boy Scouts of America national committees and is active in the Sea Scout program.
Children’s Bible Study and Art descriptions coming soon!
Marlon Hurst joined the staff of First Presbyterian, Lexington as Director of Music and Arts in January of 2003. Prior to his arrival in Lexington, KY, he served congregations in London, Kentucky and Georgia. While living in the metro-Atlanta area, Marlon sang with the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra Chorus and Chamber Chorus under the direction of Robert Shaw and Norman Mackenzie. He was also a member of The Atlanta Singers. Marlon holds a degree in church music and choral conducting from Cumberland College and the University of Tennessee respectively. Marlon is the Artistic Director of the Kentucky Bach Choir. He previously served as the PAM board president from 2012-2014.
Cassie Johnson was raised in Highlands, TX just minutes away from the San Jacinto battlegrounds. Cassie was a classroom teacher for twenty-five years in the Cypress-Fairbanks Independent School District in Cypress, TX. Throughout the years, she taught reading for the joy of language and science for the fun of discovery. However, her greatest passion lay in the history classroom where her love for Texas and teaching always led her and her students on great adventures. Cassie writes for the Boy Scouts of America and serves on the Sea Scout national committee. When she is not teaching, sailing or spoiling her grandchildren, you will find her at her easel.
Children’s Bible Study and Art descriptions coming soon!
Beth Judd is retired from full-time music and arts ministry after 40+ years of experience. She professionally conducted children, youth and adult vocal and bell choirs, oversaw liturgical dance and art gallery ministries and developed extensive concert series. She served as president of AGEHR and continues to serve as conductor and clinician for seminars, festivals and denominational worship and music conferences. Beth served as conductor for the HMA Distinctly Bronze East event as well as the International Symposium in Busan, Korea. Beth is honored to be serving as a volunteer for Hospice Austin and as a session member at First Presbyterian, Austin.
Advanced Handbells description: Experienced ringers will rehearse challenging repertoire geared towards advanced level ringers. This class will focus on musicianship, technique refinement, execution of difficult ringing patterns and preparation for the final concert performance.
Intermediate Handbells description: Adult and youth ringers will rehearse repertoire geared towards those who usually perform level 2+ to level 3 music. This class will focus on ringing techniques, developing coordination and increasing musical ringing skills. Participants will also prepare for the final concert performance.
Jo Love is a pedagogue; an arts worker; an investigator; an incisive observer; a critical questioner; and an inveterate journal keeper. Jo is an ordained Deacon of the Church of Scotland and a member of the Iona Community and its Wild Goose resource group. She worked for several years in urban parishes, with much involvement in youth and children’s work, the exploration of one’s faith and the enablement of creativity in worship settings. She has also received her qualifications for primary teaching. Since legislation made her humanitarian truck driving unfeasible, she has diverted her social justice energies to litter pick up. Drawing others into creative thinking and actions is her passion and delight.
Sandra McDonald is an ordained Presbyterian minister and has been on the staff of Central Presbyterian Church in Atlanta, GA since 2006. She has previously served as a professor at the University of North Florida and as an assistant superintendent of schools in St. Johns County, FL. In addition to her work as a staff member of Central Presbyterian Church, Atlanta she sings in the chancel choir and rings in three handbell choirs. She has been a part of the staff for numerous PAM conferences at both Mo-Ranch and Montreat.
Ralph Morgan has just completed his 27th year in music education in the state of Texas. He holds a bachelor’s degree in music education from Texas Christian University and a master’s degree in music performance from Northwestern University. Ralph’s bands have received consistent superior ratings at UIL band contests in Texas. He is also an active freelance bassoonist in the Dallas-Fort Worth metroplex. From 1994-2003, Ralph performed with the Dallas Winds as the ensemble’s contrabassoonist and utility bassoonist. He has served as the woodwind director at the 2007 Music and Worship conference at Montreat and this will be his second time as faculty for Mo-PAM.
Instrumental Ensembles description: Attendees will participate in small to medium-sized instrumental ensembles including woodwind, brass, string and percussion instruments. This class will have the opportunity to perform and lead music in various worship experiences as well as learning and potentially performing chamber music. *All levels of ability are welcome*
Phillip Morgan serves as the Director of Music at Central Presbyterian Church in Louisville, KY. Phillip has had the privilege of leading the choir at the 2016 Presbyterian Youth Triennium as well as serving on the faculty for previous PAM conferences at Montreat. He is delighted to be a member of the Presbyterian Association of Musicians executive board. Both a conductor and a vocalist, Phillip currently sings with the Louisville Chamber Choir and has been a soloist with the Louisville Orchestra, the Choral Arts Society and the Kentucky Opera.
Youth Choir description coming soon!
Known for his innovative pedagogy and ability to inspire singers of all ages and abilities, G. Phillip Shoultz, III, enjoys a multifaceted career as a conductor, educator, singer and speaker. Phillip is the Associate Conductor and Director of Learning, Engagement and Community Programs for VocalEssence. There, he recently established the Singers of This Age group. He serves as the Director of Music, Worship and the Arts for the Good Samaritan United Methodist Church. He frequently appears as a guest clinician, adjudicator and consultant. Phillip enjoys all things related to sports and food. He currently resides in St. Louis Park, MN with his wife, Michelle, and their children, Malachi and Lydia Grace.
Feeding the Flock description: This class will explore the transformative power of choir through a pedagogical framework of conducting and rehearsing. These exercises will engage attendees’ minds, bodies and voices to further foster a sense of community.
Adult Choir description: This class will offer daily rehearsals to connect attendees’ bodies, minds and voices. This class will also explore attendees’ repertoire and faith stories to knit the class together through similar beliefs and desires to share God’s story in song. This choir is open to all registered ault and young adult attendees. One 90-minute rehearsal each day will prepare the choir to sing for worship as well as the Thursday evening closing service.
Joshua Taylor is in his eighth year as the Director of Worship and Music at the First Presbyterian Church of Dallas, TX where he conducts the chancel choir, chapel singers and youth choir. He also prepares the liturgy and worship experience for the congregation. Joshua is the Coordinator of Sacred Music Studies at the University of North Texas college of music.
Tom Trenney is a pastoral musician serving as Minister of Music to First-Plymouth Church in Lincoln, NE where he leads four adult choirs, accompanies the congregation in worship as well as preaches. The choirs of the First-Plymouth Church have been featured at conventions of the Nebraska Music Educators Association and the national American Choral Directors Association (ACDA). Tom is a graduate of the Cleveland Institute of Music and the Eastman School of Music.
Routley description coming soon!
David VanderMeer is the Minister of Music/Fine Arts at Central Presbyterian Church, Atlanta. He has held this position since 2001 and conducts three handbell choirs and the chancel choir. He oversees the graded choir program, liturgical arts ministries, rotating art exhibits and participates weekly worship planning for the church. David has been conference director and on the faculty for many PAM Worship and Music conferences in Texas, New Mexico and Montreat, NC. He served on the National Board of Handbell Musicians of America and is the president-elect of PAM. David is a graduate of Westminster Choir College and received a Master of Arts in Practical Theology from Columbia Theological Seminary.
Professional Development seminar description: This class will discuss employment in the PC(USA), PAM certification and other topics pertinent to your work in the church.
Phyllis Wilson received a master’s degree in sacred music from Southern Methodist University Perkins School of Theology and a Bachelor of Science in Music Education from Bridgewater College in Virginia. Phyllis served as Director of Music and Worship at St. Marks United Methodist Church in Mesquite, TX and as the Associate Minister of Music at Lovers Lane United Methodist Church in Dallas, TX. She retired as an ordained deacon in the United Methodist Church in 2008 after serving as Minister of Music at First United Methodist Church in Cedar Hill, TX. Phyllis is currently the Director of Chancel Handbell Choir at First Presbyterian Church in Dallas, TX and sings in their chancel choir. Phyllis is married to Percy Wilson and she boasts about their two grown children as well as their children’s families.
Children’s Chimes/Handbells and Beginning Handbells descriptions coming soon!
Anne Wilson is an organist and Director of Music at Forest Hill Presbyterian Church in Cleveland Heights, OH as well as a staff accompanist and instructor at Case Western Reserve University. Anne is also an active pianist and choral coach at Cleveland Heights high school and a rehearsal pianist for Apollo’s Fire. She has won first or second prizes in seven national and international organ competitions. Anne has been featured on National Public Radio’s “Pipedreams” program and WCLV’s “Not the Dead, White, Male Composers Hour.”
Organ seminar description: Class topics will be chosen by the attendees and may include topics such as creative use of the hymnal; accompanying at the organ; and practical skills for the church musician (modulation, improvisations, etc.). Attendees will also have a chance to play in a master class.
Krista Wright holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees in music and is a two-hundred-hour certified yoga instructor. Currently, she lives in Indianapolis, IN and maintains a voice and piano studio. In her studio, she integrates Eastern principles of yogic breathing, energy work and body alignment with Western piano and vocal pedagogical technique. She enjoys sitting in her garden with her husband, John, and texting with her grown son, Ian.
Lauren Wright Pittman is an artist, graphic designer and a member of A Sanctified Art. A Sanctified Art is a collaborative arts ministry that provides multimedia resources for worship communities. Lauren uses mixed media to seek after God as well as to visualize the tension, joy, sadness, beauty and engergy she experiences in scripture texts. The visual arts offered her a holy space to ask questions, take risks and make bold statements. Once she began this journey in visual self-expression, she became determined to help others embody this freedom and find their own voice through a creative process. Lauren also helps faith communities share their vibrant stories through brand design.
John Wurster has served as pastor of St. Philip Presbyterian Church in Houston, TX since 2012. Previously, he served churches in Philadelphia, Kerrville and in northwest Ohio. John has been a PAM member since 2003 and served on different conference faculties at Mo-Ranch, Montreat and Westminster. He has contributed essays and liturgical materials to “Call to Worship” and served as adjunct faculty in homiletics at Austin Seminary. John’s wife, Deb Burks, is a writer and former English professor.
Adult Bible Study description: This daily Bible study will explore the scripture texts used in worship with special attention to how these texts develop the conference theme.
Scholarships are available! Click here to learn more.
What Do I Bring?
You may want to bring a Bible, notebook, flashlight, comfortable walking shoes, casual clothing, tennis equipment, swimsuit, water shoes, rain gear, camera, lidded cup or mug/water bottle, sunscreen and insect repellent.
Conference check-in is 4:00-6:00 p.m. in the Mabee Building on Sunday, June 16. Dinner is served from 5:30-7:00 p.m. and the opening worship service begins at 7:00 p.m. Sunday evening.
The conference concludes following worship on Thursday evening. Lodging fees include housing and meals, Sunday evening-Friday morning.
Mo-Ranch is 90 miles one-way, or a 2-hour drive from the nearest airport (SAT), allow 3 hours travel/check-in time for departures. We recommend generally scheduling arriving flights before 3 p.m. and departing flights after 3 p.m. to be sure you do not miss any of your event.
If you need shuttle service from the San Antonio Airport to Mo-Ranch, please contact the PAM Office for information.
Questions about the Mo-PAM Music & Worship Conference?
Contact the PAM office:
Presbyterian Association of Musicians
888-728-7228, ext. 5288