View of pews in Daniel Chapel

Church Music Conference

January 30 – 31, 2020

Guest Clinicians: Pearl Shangkuan and Dan Forrest

Pearl Shangkuan

The 2020 Furman University Church Music Conference will mark the 50th year of this marvelous event, founded in 1971 by Dr. Bingham L. Vick, Jr. and Dr. Milburn Price. To mark the occasion, we are honored to have as our clinicians this year two acclaimed musicians: PEARL SHANGKUAN, Director of Choral Activities at Calvin College, Grand Rapids, MI and an internationally active conductor; and composer (and Greenville native) DAN FORREST, whose works are among the most-often performed of American composers in our time.

Pearl and Dan will bring to our conference not only vast expertise and experience, but also a continuing tradition of working as a duo in conferences and workshops.

Dan Forrest

Attendees will have the opportunity to sing under Pearl’s direction, and to hear her work with the Furman Singers and Furman Chamber Choir; they will both sing Dan’s music and hear it sung by the Furman choirs, with the composer on hand to provide coaching and comments.

On Thursday evening, we will travel to Greenville’s Christ Episcopal Church to hear a recital by Furman faculty members Charles Tompkins (organ), Alison Trainer (soprano), and Gary Malvern (trumpet), featuring Christ Church’s two outstanding organs (a 2001 Goulding and Wood pipe organ in the rear gallery, and a new Walker Technical / Cornell Zimmer digital organ in the chancel).

We invite you to join us on the beautiful Furman campus this January for two great days of learning and inspiration!

View the Conference Schedule

View list of hotels offering a Furman event discount.

Hotels within walking distance of food?  Look for those in downtown Greenville and in Travelers Rest. The two hotels nearest to the Furman campus (but not easily walkable – still need to drive or Uber) are 5 minutes North of campus: Hampton Inn Travelers Rest and Best Western Travelers Rest.


Eventbrite - Furman University Church Music Conference 2020

$ 120  Registration Fee (Early Bird discount available prior to Jan. 1)

   $  99  Early Bird Registration fee if paid prior to January 1
   $  50  Student Fee for college and youth ages. High School students with interest in conducting, church music or composition are encouraged to attend!

Fee includes two days of conference sessions, a conference music packet, and one reservation for the Friday luncheon.
No discount for partial attendance. 

Mailing Address:

Church Music Conference
Furman University Music Department
3300 Poinsett Hwy
Greenville, SC  29613


​The Thomson Lectures in Church Music were established by an endowment gift from the Thomson Foundation as a memorial to Waddy Randolph Thomson and Pauline Blackwell Thomson. These lectures are the featured events at the annual Church Music Conference at Furman University, Each year distinguished musicians of national and international prominence deliver the lectures on subjects related to the study and practice of church music.


  • Questions? Contact the Furman music office at 864.294.2086 or email
  • Conference Director: Charles Tompkins, Furman University Organist and Professor of Music; Organist and Artist in Residence at Christ Church Episcopal Greenville SC.