Earthlight is a group of gospel singers serving as ambassadors for the University throughout the General Baptist denomination, as well as the nation. Auditions for this group are held at the beginning of each school year.
The group began in 1974 when the newly elected OCU President James Murray led revivals around the tri-state area. Dr. Alton Davis came up with the idea that it would be wonderful to have a singing group of students from the college go with Dr. Murray to revivals and act as ambassadors not only for Christ but for Oakland City University as well. Earthlight has traditionally been a southern gospel group, known for blending rich four-part harmonies.
Although the ministry has continually transformed its members over the years as students have come and gone, Earthlight’s mission has always been to share the love of Christ with others through singing. Sometimes, if members of Earthlight were also ministry students, they would also preach as part of the service. There were a few years when Earthlight wasn’t in existence, but with a few persistent students who didn’t want to see the ministry fade away, a new chapter of Earthlight began in 2006. The leaders of Earthlight are excited to see where the Lord carries the group in upcoming years!
Many of the Earthlight groups have created albums. Each year, the possibility of recording is discussed and decided upon based on the current member’s schedules, educational and financial responsibilities. Albums are for sale at all Earthlight performances as well as from any Earthlight member.
Each year, the group is formed differently, based on the talent that auditions. There have been years where they have had a full band accompany the vocalists, and many years where the vocalists perform with tracks and occasionally a pianist. There have been as little as four members to as many as ten members to make up the ensemble. The decision on size is dependent upon balancing out the overall sound of the group.
Earthlight try-outs are held every year, generally during the first week of school.
Students interested in auditions should prepare two songs to perform, preferably one slower and one upbeat song. They should also be able to harmonize by ear, which will be auditioned in various ways. The Earthlight sound system will be set up with a CD player available for accompaniment tracks; no cassette player will be available. A piano is available as well, but you must arrange for your own accompanist if needed.
In addition to singers, Earthlight also auditions for a pianist and possibly other instrumentalists. If you are interested in auditioning as an instrumentalist only, contact the current manager in advance.
We want to share that the heart of Earthlight is the ministry opportunity! All Earthlight members must have a relationship with Jesus Christ! We encourage all students who are trying out to be comfortable with sharing their testimony with others and to be comfortable talking with people we meet about Jesus, as well as comfortable talking on stage.
Earthlight requires each member to be dedicated to making ALL rehearsals and performances unless pre-approved by the manager. The fall semester especially requires a huge time commitment since the group is learning their music and getting ready for the first performances. The first few weeks generally hold fairly long rehearsal nights. Weekday schedules will be made according to the class schedules of the members.
All weekends during the school year are open for Earthlight bookings, with the exception of Thanksgiving, Christmas, and Easter break weekends. Members must keep all weekends available for traveling with the group until the bookings are finalized.
Scholarships are available for Earthlight members. Members are on contract with the university to maintain a lifestyle of integrity. Along with following the OCU student handbook, Earthlight members:
1. Must have a cumulative GPA of 2.0.
2. Must not be on academic probation.
3. Must not be on social probation.
To hold the position of Earthlight Manager or Assistant Manager, you must uphold the club officer standards as set by the Student Handbook. This includes the following:
1. Must have a cumulative GPA of at least 2.5
2. Must not have failed ANY classes during the previous academic year.
3. Must not be on academic probation.
4. Must not be on social probation.
Earthlight's 2008 "New Chapter" CD is on sale for $10.00 each. CD's may be purchased on campus at the Information Desk in the Murray Administration Center as well as at all of Earthlight's performances.
For booking Earthlight, contact Jim Pratt at 812-749-1215 or firstname.lastname@example.org.