The music of Cedarville University’s HeartSong music ministry can now be found on YouTube and in the Christian and the gospel section of iTunes and other online music sites.
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For the past decade the student music ministry has performed for churches and youth camps across the nation.
“Cedarville has utilized student music teams to travel and represent the University going back to the early 1960s. Around 2004 the teams were all branded under the name HeartSong. They travel, not only to recruit prospective students, but to share the mission of the University through music and service,” said Ashlynn Kelly, Cedarville University Ministry and Event Coordinator.
Kelly said that last year (2016-17) the HeartSong ministry saw 31,730 people, 20,876 of them being junior high and high school campers. From August 2016-August 2017, HeartSong played 96 total events, including 36 weeks of camp, 24 church visits, 20 youth retreats and other various events.
Kelly said that they are thankful for the way that streaming has made their music accessible beyond their touring and physical CDs. “We record an album each year which is available through Spotify, Apple Music, iTunes, CD Baby and many other outlets. I think there are many students that we encounter during the summer that listen online to help remind themselves of truths that they learned at camp. I’m thankful that our music can also have a worldwide impact. We have followers in Brazil, the UK, Canada, Australia, the Philippines and Germany, just to name a few.”
According to Mark Weinstein, executive director of public relations for Cedarville University, by using online music streaming services HeartSong has been able to reach thousands of listeners every month “They have had 45,544 song streams on Apple Music and 257,004 on Spotify within the past three months, as well as an average of 19,200 monthly Spotify listeners,” said Weinstein.
In addition to streaming their music, HeartSong has also found success on YouTube.
A recently uploaded video featuring HeartSong’s own unique arrangement of “A Mighty Fortress” which was arranged by 2014 Cedarville graduate Grant McCurdy, has as of Dec. 1, registered 390,027 views. Weinstein says this far exceeds the viewership of any other HeartSong videos. Comments under the YouTube video included many requests to play the arrangement, as well as expressions of thanks and inspiration.
In fact, thanks the worldwide reach of social media, this modern reimagining of the 500 year old hymn was recently translated into Portuguese and used at Herdeiros, a megachurch in Porto Alegre, Brazil for their celebration of the 500 year anniversary of the Protestant reformation.
You can view this and other HeartSong videos from Cedarville’s YouTube channel at www.youtube.com/watch?v=_vT6HQ1QaU4. You can also find HeartSong on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.
As far as what the future holds, Kelly says they hope to continue to communicate the purpose and programs of Cedarville University in a way that is relevant to prospective students, alumni, and everyone they encounter on campus or on the road.
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