Musical diversity key in worship experience

By Colette M. Jenkins
Beacon Journal religion writer

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Tampa Lann-Murphy, the worship leader at Christ Community Chapel Highland Square campus leads her worship team in rehearsal in the music room of Christ Community Church. (Mike Cardew/Akron Beacon Journal)

The Rev. Marshall Brandon knows that music is an essential part of worship.

And he knows that it takes the right kind of person to lead a music ministry that appeals to a diverse group of worshippers.

“People have made decisions to leave a church because they didn’t like the music,” said Brandon, the lead pastor at the Highland Square campus of Christ Community Chapel. “It is important to include styles of music that people can relate to. That can sometimes be difficult when you have a diverse congregation like we do, but we are blessed to have a worship leader who is well-versed in a variety of musical styles.”

That worship leader — Tampa Lann-Murphy — is a professional musician and singer, who along with her late husband, Michael, a drummer, toured with the Bee Gees in 1989. During the yearlong “One For All World Tour,” Lann-Murphy was one of three female background singers.

The Cleveland native, who now lives in Hudson, was hired in 2005 as director of worship and music at Hudson Community Chapel (now Christ Community Chapel with campuses in Hudson, Stow, Aurora and Akron). In addition to serving as worship leader at the Akron campus during Sunday worship services at 11 a.m., Lann-Murphy also serves as worship leader at the Hudson campus on Saturdays at 5:30 p.m. and has conducted all of the church’s Christmas concerts since 2005.

In her role as worship leader, Lann-Murphy is responsible for selecting music for the worship services, rehearsing the worship team, playing keyboard and singing with the worship team. She studied organ and eurhythmics at the Cleveland Institute of Music and first played as a church organist when she was 12 years old. Her experience includes playing in rock ’n’ roll and high-energy dance bands and singing in a Broadway play, on recordings (with artists including Michael Jackson and Kenny Loggins) and in commercials.

“It has been a real blessing to do all of the things that I have done, but it’s wonderful to be able to ground myself in worship music,” Lann-Murphy said. “It’s very cool to see how the Lord has guided me through all of my musical experiences to bring me to this place where my total focus is worshipping Him.”

Colette Jenkins can be reached at 330-996-3731 or cjenkins@thebeaconjournal.com. She can be followed at https://twitter.com/ColetteMJenkins.


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