Earthlight is a music group sponsored by Oakland City University that was formed in 1974. When the newly-elected president of the college Dr. James Murray led revivals around the tristate area, Dr. Alton Davis proposed that a music group consisting of students from the college be formed to travel with him and act as ambassadors not only for Christ but also for the University.
While Earthlight has traditionally been a Southern Gospel music group, with rich four-part harmony, the ministry has continually transformed over the years as its members have come and gone. Sometimes, if members of Earthlight are ministerial students, they also preach as part of the service. One thing has remained unchanged, however - Earthlight’s mission to share the love of Christ with others through music.
Each year, the composition of the group is unique, based on the talent that auditions. There have been years when there has been a full band to accompany the vocalists, and many years when the vocalists perform with recorded tracks and occasionally a pianist. There have been as few as four members to as many as ten members in the group. The decision on size is dependent upon balancing out the overall sound of the group.
Many years, Earthlight has the opportunity to record an album. Each year, the possibility of recording is discussed, and a decision is reached based on the current member’s schedules and educational and financial responsibilities. The most current albums are sold at all Earthlight performances, along with any solo albums recorded by the current members of the group.
Become a Part of Earthlight
Earthlight auditions are held every year, generally during the first week of school.
Vocalists who are interested in auditioning should prepare two songs to perform, preferably one slow and one fast. They should also be able to harmonize by ear, which will be auditioned in a variety of ways. A sound system and CD player will be available for accompaniment tracks. A piano will be available as well, but the student auditioning must make arrangements for an accompanist.
In addition to vocalists, instrumentalists, especially pianists, are welcome to audition for Earthlight, but must contact Andrew Goldman in advance. Students may perform both vocal and instrumental auditions.
Scholarships and Benefits
Scholarships are awarded to Earthlight members based on the student’s individual academic financial aid package. A clothing allowance is also given to each student, and a dress code is established every year. All of the students’ expenses paid while on the road.
Requirements and Responsibilities
Members of Earthlight are on contract with the university and must 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.
It is important for members to understand that Earthlight is a ministry opportunity! All Earthlight members must have and demonstrate a relationship with Jesus Christ. Members of Earthlight must also be comfortable sharing their testimony with others, talking with people they meet about Jesus, and 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 considerable time commitment since the group is learning new music and getting ready for their first services. The first few weeks of the school year generally hold fairly long rehearsal nights, and 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.
For booking Earthlight, contact Andrew Goldman at 812-568-3299 or firstname.lastname@example.org