Trevecca students record with Casting Crowns

You’ll likely hear some familiar voices on Casting Crowns’ next album. More than 20 Trevecca students recently went into the studio with Casting Crowns’ Mark Hall to record background vocals for the soon-to-be released album.

According to the students, all members of the National Praise and Worship Institute (NPWI) choir, it was an experience they won’t soon forget.

“We had an experience that not everyone gets to have,” said student Karina Silva. “Not everyone gets to go into a recording studio and sing.”

NPWI student Nikki Taylor enjoyed getting to meet music industry veteran Mark Hall.

“It was really neat to see how people who’ve been in the industry as long as they have are so humble,” she said. “He treated us as equals. It really was life-changing.”

Mark Hosny, director of NPWI, credits adjunct instructor Diane Sheets with making the experience possible. Sheets, a vocal coach to Mark Hall, Natalie Grant and Tenth Avenue North, among others, taught voice lessons and NPWI’s Essentials Voice class last fall.

“She hadn’t seen our students do any type of performing, though,” Hosny said. “So I invited her to come to a choir rehearsal.”

That was last semester. Then, earlier this semester, Sheets unexpectedly texted Hosny.

I’m in the studio with Casting Crowns, the text read. They are recording their new record. Last night we were discussing our need for a larger gang vocal group, and I suggested hiring the choir at Trevecca.

On April 7, Hosny and 24 NPWI students joined Mark Hall at Sound Stage Studios in Nashville for the recording. The group sang on three songs, doing four takes of each song with different combinations of voice parts.

Hosny said Hall sat in with students and made them feel at home.

“He took selfies with them, listened to the students record his music,” he said. “He had absolutely no ego. It was just an honor to be a part of that.”

Kennedy Bryan, one of the students who sang on the album, was excited to be a part of the recording.

“No matter what happens, we’re going to be on that album forever,” she said.

The Casting Crowns recording session likely won’t be the choir’s last. Recently, six NPWI students recorded choir vocals for Leslie McKee’s latest album. McKee’s daughter, Sarah, is a NPWI student, and McKee first heard the choir at NPWI Parents’ Weekend.

For Hosny, these are just a few reasons Trevecca can be proud of our students.

“I’m excited to continue to showcase that our students are doing great things,” Hosny said. “And we’re just a niche of that.”