Cooper Atkeson, Neosho, Missouri
Music Theory, Harmony I, Harmony II, Advanced Sight Reading, Advanced Song Writing
Cooper has been involved in worship ministry since 2002 at age 14. He completed his Public Worship Leadership Certification through the Singing School in 2009 and graduated from Freed-Hardeman University with a B.A. in music and education in 2011. Cooper joined the faculty in 2012 with a focus to instruct in music theory and sight reading. Cooper is a teacher by trade, published composer by hobby, an advocate of professional worship leader development, and a servant always seeking to better himself and the assembling of God’s people.
Don Carlile, Denton, Texas
Office Assistant, Booth Coordinator
Don has a Masters Degree in Bible and Ministry from Lubbock Christian University. He was a student at the Singing School from 1999-2002. He received the Public Worship Leadership certification in 2002 and joined the faculty and staff of the Singing School in 2003, teaching The History of Public Worship. He now serves as the Singing School Housing Coordinator and Office Assistant at The Singing School.
Mike Dozier, Madison, Alabama
Advanced Song Leading
Mike has been a leading singing in worship for 30 years and is a 3rd-generation song leader within the Lord’s church. He’s active in Lads to Leaders/Leaderettes program as a coordinator the the Nashville convention and enjoys coaching song leading and singing for congregations in the North AL area. Mike attended FHU where he was a member of the SonShine Singers. He has a passion about singing and song leading and completed his Worship Leader Certification from the Singing School in 2014 and joined the staff in 2015.
Jim Fletcher, Friendswood, Texas
Women’s Special Music, Trends in Church Music; Board of Directors
Jim has been a Worship Leader and Special Music Director for over 40 years. He and Joe Ed Furr were instrumental in development of Worship Leader Conferences in Houston, Texas. He has also conducted singing emphasis events and workshops in Texas and Oklahoma. Joining The Singing School staff in 2005, Jim has taught Beginning Men’s Song Leading, Advanced Men’s Song Leading, and Women’s Special Music.
Joe Ed Furr, Sherman, Texas
History of Church Music, Advanced Song Leading, Ministry of Public Worship Leadership; Board of Directors
Joe is a long time preaching minister in the churches of Christ, most recently having completed a nearly thirty-year work with the Western Heights Church of Christ in Sherman, Texas. He was the Curriculum Director for The Singing School in Sabinal, Texas from 1973 until the school moved to the campus of Abilene Christian University in 1988. He now serves as Director of the The Singing School. Joe teaches the senior level training class for worship leaders, Advanced Song Leading, and the History of Church Music.
Thana Furr, Sherman, Texas
The Role of Women, Children and Church Music
Thana has been married to Joe Furr for 50 years. They have two sons, Darren and David. She has her BA in Sociology and has more than 40 years’ experience teaching all ages, specializing in ages pre-K through fourth grade. Her curriculum for those ages is used in churches around the Brotherhood.
Dr. Paul Hoffecker, Mesa, Arizona
The Science of Sound, Singers’ Workshop
Michael Kersh, Manvel, Texas
Michael has been associated with The Singing School since 1964, when he attended the old Sabinal campus as a student for the full three year curriculum offered at that time. Today he functions as volunteer Office Administrator in support of the teaching staff. Among his several duties are: assisting at registration, preparing the school roster directory, supplying instructors with classroom materials, etc. He may also be regarded as Tutor-at-Large, ready to help students who want assistance and/or advice. In summary, the goal of his position is to help the school function more smoothly, enhancing the overall experience of both student and staff.
Tony Kite, Lubbock, Texas
Harmony I, Song Writing; Board of Directors
Tony, a student of SSACU from 1993-1997, began teaching Song Writing and Music Theory in 1998. He has taught Song Writing, Music Theory, Harmony, and assisted with Men’s Beginning Song Leading. He loves singing tenor and currently sings 1st Tenor with Generations, a male gospel quartet out of South Plains church of Christ in Lubbock, Texas, where he also serves as a deacon in the Missions and Music Ministries.
Tim Lowry, DVM, Weatherford, Oklahoma
Song Leading 101A, Video Coaching; Board of Directors
Tim is a third generation song leader. Since first attending The Singing School in 2001, Tim has brought many of his fellow church members – including his father, wife, and two daughters – to be part of the Singing School family. He brings a plainspoken Oklahoma charm to the classroom as well as a sincere heart for God’s people and their worship. He takes time to impress upon his students the fundamentals of leading singing and takes great pride in seeing their progress.
Tim is a 1987 graduate of Oklahoma State University where he studied veterinary medicine. He keeps a veterinary practice and pursues agricultural interests near his home in Weatherford, Oklahoma. Tim serves as an elder for the Weatherford church of Christ.
Marilyn Pineda, Comanche, Oklahoma
Remedial Music Theory, Song Writing
Sharlan Proper, Lubbock, Texas
Luis Salazar, Monterrey, Mexico
Aaron Shotts, Fate, Texas
Intermediate Song Leading, Advanced Sight Reading, Video Coaching, Finale
Aaron is a native of Michigan, though he now calls Texas home. He graduated from Western Michigan University in 2004 with a Bachelor’s in Aviation Flight Science. Aaron first came to the Singing School as a student in 2008 and immediately started making friends when he met a couple from his sister’s home church in Mesa, Arizona! After earning his certification in 2011, he pursued a full-time worship minister position in 2012. The Singing School brought Aaron on as an instructor in 2013. After serving as worship minister for 2 1/2 years at a large church in the DFW area, he went back to his first love of flying the friendly skies. Aaron still enjoys volunteering his musical talents in other areas. He has recorded several albums with Keith Lancaster and The Acappella Company’s “Praise & Harmony” series. He also helps them in the design process of their worship slides for those projects.
Jerry Sisemore, Tulare, California
Song Leading 101T, History of Public Worship
Jerry is a graduate of Pepperdine University and Sunset School of Preaching. He inherited his father’s love of singing the gospel in song and his talent for leading others in worship. Since 1968, Jerry has served churches in California, Texas, Hawaii, and Michigan. He was a full-time missionary to Barnaul, Russia for 15 years and served as the Director for the Barnaul School of Preaching (a branch of the Sunset International Bible Institute). He graduated from The Singing School in 2008.
Levi Sisemore, Snyder, Texas
Sight Reading 101, Song Leading 101A, Trends in Church Music, Webmaster; Board of Directors
Levi first came to The Singing School as a student in 2001 from Barnaul, Russia where his family served as missionaries. He has been on staff since 2007. He has led singing and conducted Congregational Music Workshops for congregations in several states as well as teaching for several years at Music Camp for Northwest Christian Camps. In 2006 he graduated from Sunset International Bible Institute with a degree in Bible and Ministry to which he later added an advanced degree in Missiology. He’s currently pursuing graduate-level Bible education. Levi is a collector of hymnals, especially of those from the Restoration Movement.
Levi, his wife Sara (whom he met at Singing School in 2001), and their two young boys make their home in West Texas where he has preached full-time for the City Park church of Christ in Floydada (2007-2014) and for the 37th Street church of Christ in Snyder (2014-present). When he finds time, Levi writes about church music and hymnals at hymnalcollector.com.
Sara Sisemore, Snyder, Texas
Women’s Song Leading
Sara is a life-long learner and lover of music, who began studying shaped notes and music theory when she was five. She comes from a family who loves to sing, but gained her special love of singing and music from her aunt (herself a student at The Singing School). Sara’s music experience includes seven years of piano lessons, singing with a quartet in high school and the University Singers at Harding University, teaching song leading to girls for Leadership Training for Christ, and leading singing for Ladies’ Chapel at the Sunset International Bible Institute of Lubbock, Texas. In 2011, Sara was a featured speaker at the Sunset Workshop on the topic of church music.
Ken Spoor, Snyder, Texas
James Tackett, Austin, Texas
Music Theory; Harmony II, Singer’s Workshop, Finalé (seminar), Copyright Laws (seminar); Board of Directors
James first attended the Texas Normal Singing School in 1963 and studied under Holland Boring Sr., Austin Taylor, and others. In 1968 he started teaching first year theory. After a three-year absence from The Singing School, he has been on staff ever since. Besides teaching at the ACU Singing School, he has taught theory at the Acappella Christian Music Seminar and ACAFest in Paris, Tennessee; Murray, Kentucky; and Nashville, Tennessee. For a few years, he joined former TNSS instructor John Blackstone at the singing school at Thorp Springs, Texas. James has directed The Sweet Expressions, a mixed choral group of Austin-area singers for some thirty years. After a career of 34 years with NCR (National Cash Register) where he was a large systems technician, he has devoted his retirement years to The Paperless Hymnal™, which supplies hundreds of churches with song slides that display both music and lyrics. He married his best friend, Wally, in 1969, and they have one son, Michael, who was sound tech for Acappella for several years. James and Wally live in Austin, Texas where James is the song leader for the Hyde Park Church of Christ.
David Williams, Marlton, New Jersey
Worship Development, Singers’ Workshop; Chapel Coordinator; Board of Directors
Jerry Yoder, Plano, Texas
“I highly recommend the Singing School, as there is an urgent need for song leader training.”Keith Lancaster (4/4/16), Cullman, Alabama
“I always thought I was a fairly decent song leader before attending the school. But having gone thru the program, I learned from excellent instructors and have confidence to lead in ways that I would have never tried before. I was challenged to be better, not for me, but for Him.”Robin E., Madison, Alabama
“The fellowship and love we had together in song and spirituality is something I will cherish for the rest of my life … I would encourage anyone who has a passion for leading the church in worship to take the time even for one year to experience what the singing school has to offer.”Alan D., London, England
“I had a WONDERFUL time with all of you this week! I will work hard this year!”Megan A., Missouri
“We had a good time singing with you all tonight. Thanks for letting us stop by.”Jason F., Abilene, Texas
“What a great, intense week the singing school was! I want to shout my thanks to all of you who work so hard to make this happen. I can only imagine the time and effort that goes into it.”Kerri R., Grants Pass, Oregon
“I thank all of the teachers, coaches, and staff here at ACU Singing School for helping me get where I am today. I had a long way to go and I’m just barely getting started… thank you all from the bottom of my heart.”Robert H., Temple, Texas
“So stoked to be in our church’s regular song leading rotation. Lead today again and loved it! I love leading people in worship for God! Thank you all for all I learned with you guys!”Jeff R., Abilene, Texas
“So today I was able to song lead in Ladies’ Chapel! I am proud to say that I did the time signature and was on pitch! … I got a lot of compliments and it made me really happy! So glad that I was able to go to this school and learn what I did!”Alejandra G., Lubbock, Texas
“Some of the most talented, sincere, and spiritual I’ve ever met was because of the Singing School.”Robin E., Madison, Alabama
“I never would have thought or dreamed of being able to even be in front of 2 or 3 people a few years ago. … never would have been possible without the love, support, and teaching of this singing school.”Robert H., Temple, Texas