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Princeton Seminary Director of Music to Lead "A Festival of Psalms" August 20-21

Dr. Martin Tel, Princeton Seminary's C.F. Seabrook Director of Music, to lead weekend of music, prayer, and worship--including seminars and a concert--at Westminster Presbyterian Church.

Gulfport, MS, August 01, 2016 --( Princeton Theological Seminary’s C. F. Seabrook Director of Music Martin Tel will lead “A Festival of Psalms,” a public, two-day seminar and concert on the prayers and music of the Psalms at Westminster Presbyterian Church Saturday, August 20 and Sunday, August 21.

“I am very grateful for the opportunity to host Martin for his first visit to Mississippi,” said the Rev. Will Shurley, pastor of Westminster. “As a former student of his, I know of his passion for making the scriptures come alive, whether through helping people use the Psalms to enrich their prayer life or to broaden their scope of music through the offerings of the world church. Anyone who regularly reads the Psalms, teaches the scriptures, is looking to deepen his or her prayer life or simply loves music, particularly beyond the old divide between “contemporary” and 'traditional' styles, will find something enriching at ‘A Festival of Psalms.’”

During the day on Saturday, Tel will present two workshops. At 9:30 a.m., he will lead “The Psalms as the Bible’s Prayer Book,” which will allow participants to explore the Psalm’s historical use as a guide to expanding one’s prayer life to include authentic praise, lament, petition and solidarity with the suffering. At 1 p.m., he will lead “The Psalms as the Bible’s Song Book,” which will allow participants to learn about the wealth of musical resources for singing the Psalms, particularly as they have been sung by churches around the world.

On Saturday evening, Tel will lead a 7 p.m. concert titled, “Singing Christ in the Psalms.” Featuring musicians from Gulf Coast churches and church choirs, along with Westminster’s 33-rank Wicks pipe organ, this concert will highlight the way the Psalms can be used to illuminate the life and work of Jesus Christ, from his advent, through his birth, death and resurrection, and to his coming again. Concert-goers will be invited to sing with the choirs and vocalists, and will be able to hear a wide array of styles and rhythms from the world-wide church.

On Sunday morning, Tel will lead a special service of worship at 10:30 a.m. following the pattern of Psalm 103. At this music-heavy service, worshippers will be invited to sing and pray the psalms, to hear choral settings of the psalms and to hear a brief sermon on them. A pot-luck luncheon will follow the service.

Tel, who has earned a Master of Music degree from the University of Notre Dame, a Master of Arts degree from Calvin Theological Seminary and Doctor of Musical Arts degree from the University of Kansas, served in 2012 as senior editor for “Psalms for All Seasons: A Complete Psalter for Worship,” which remains the largest-ever collection of musical Psalms produced in the English language. The collection draws from the Christian tradition of Psalm singing around the world, and features multiple settings of all 150 Psalms, including settings from Scotland, the Americas, Africa, Asia, and many other places and cultures.

“A Festival of Psalms” is open to the public and is being offered free of charge through gifts that have been made to Westminster Presbyterian Church’s Memorial Fund to the glory of God and in loving memory of long-time members Stella Hemphill and Howard Smith.

The “Singing Christ in the Psalms” concert and the Sunday morning service of worship require no advance registration. Free registration for the Saturday morning workshops is requested. An optional box lunch for Saturday can be purchased in advance for $10, as can be copies of “Psalms for All Seasons,” which will be used heavily in both Saturday workshops, for the reduced rate of $20. Free registrations and purchases of box lunches and copies of “Psalms for All Seasons” can be completed at or by calling (228) 864-3143. Only a very limited number of box lunches and copies of “Psalms for All Seasons” will be available for purchase on site.

Westminster Presbyterian Church is located at 5005 Lawson Avenue, directly behind Bayou View Elementary School, in Gulfport. For more information about “A Festival of Psalms,” including a full schedule of events and references for travel accommodations, visit, call (228) 864-3143 or send email to
Contact Information
Westminster Presbyterian Church
Will Shurley
(609) 751-3034

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