Three-Day Music Ministry Summit and McDonald’s Choir Showcase Features Debut of Yamaha Montage Synthesizer

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Yamaha Contributed Workshop Session Leaders, Musical Instruments and Equipment for Performances and Awards

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L to R: Cole Eunson; Ellis Jones; Gerald Footman; Charles Miller, Fox Music House; and Joseph Fox, Fox Music House.

"Hundreds . . . attended our first Music Ministry Summit: all of them appreciated the Yamaha commitment to help them to powerfully engage their congregations through high quality music performances,” said Cole Eunson, Yamaha.

The McDonald’s Choir Showcase focuses public attention on the expression of faith through music and song. This year, the 9th annual showcase was held on May 6-8, and the format expanded to include two days of sessions with regional music ministers and musicians prior to the popular choir competition on Sunday evening. Working in tandem with Fox Music House in Charleston, Yamaha contributed workshop session leaders, musical instruments and equipment for performances, awards to the top choirs – and debuted the next generation of Yamaha synthesizer, the Montage.

“This event was such a rewarding experience, and it has grown every year for the past nine years,” said Cole Eunson, district manager, Pro Music division, Yamaha Corporation of America (YCA). “Hundreds of bishops, pastors, church and community leaders, and musicians attended our first Music Ministry Summit: all of them appreciated the Yamaha commitment to help them to powerfully engage their congregations through high quality music performances.”

On Friday and Saturday, Mike Overlin, manager of worship resources, and John Schauer, Pro Audio product manager, YCA, conducted two days of seminars and hands-on workshops with music ministers featuring the Yamaha PA system and the new TF3 digital mixing console. Since many of the ministers are keyboard players, and there are an estimated 1,000 churches in the greater Charleston area, the reception was quite enthusiastic, noted Eunson.

Yamaha trainer merchandiser and well-known keyboard player, Ellis Jones, conducted demonstrations to introduce the revolutionary Yamaha Montage synthesizer during these Summit sessions.

“Everyone was wowed by the Montage, and found it very intuitive and easy to play,” said Eunson. “As more and more of these accomplished keyboard players came in to play the Montage, Ellis did back-to-back demos.”

On Sunday, May 8, the 9th Annual McDonald’s Choir Competition Showcase was held before a sold-out audience of 3,800 people at the Charleston Convention Center. Three Yamaha Motif keyboards were onstage for all the choir competition performances. Nine finalists shared the stage with nationally known gospel artists Casey Jones and Tina Campbell, and were awarded Yamaha instruments and equipment, including a Yamaha MOXF8 keyboard, one pair of DBR-15 speakers, Stagepas portable PA system, MX61 synthesizer, Reface YC keyboard, HPH-MT7 studio headphones, and HPH-150 and HPH-100 headphones.

Awards were presented by Eunson; Joseph Fox, owner, and Charles Miller, manager, of Fox Music House; and Gerald Footman, event promoter, of Footman-Brewer Enterprises.

Talented local church choirs, praise and worship teams, and contemporary Christian groups submit recordings of their group’s performances several months prior to the McDonald’s Choir Showcase. An online voting and selection process – which tallied more than 23,000 votes this year – culminates in a group of finalists. For one month prior to the McDonald’s Choir Showcase, Footman and his staff rehearse the finalists with a 14-piece band and background singers to ensure their performances are professional and polished: these winners perform before thousands of people via online exposure, media appearances and onstage performances.

Additional information about Yamaha Corporation of America worship solutions is available at


About Yamaha
Yamaha Corporation of America (YCA) is one of the largest subsidiaries of Yamaha Corporation, Japan and offers a full line of award-winning musical instruments, sound reinforcement, commercial installation and home entertainment products to the U.S. market. Products include: Yamaha acoustic, digital and hybrid pianos, portable keyboards, guitars, acoustic and electronic drums, band and orchestral instruments, marching percussion products, synthesizers, professional digital and analog audio equipment, Steinberg recording products and NEXO commercial audio products, as well as AV receivers, amplifiers, MusicCast wireless multiroom audio systems, Blu-ray/CD players, earphones, headphones, home-theater-in-a-box systems, sound bars and its exclusive line of Digital Sound Projectors. YCA markets innovative, finely crafted technology and entertainment products and musical instruments targeted to the hobbyist, education, worship, music, professional audio installation and consumer markets.

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Peter Giles
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