We are the church that shares a living, daring confidence in God’s grace.
Speakers & Musicians
Speakers challenge youth to think differently and to practice their faith with a living, daring confidence in God’s grace. The music of the Gathering sets the tone of the day and lifts the spirits of youth and their adult leaders.

Speakers & Musicians

Speakers

Speakers It takes a special talent to hold the attention of up to 40,000 high school students and adults in a venue like Ford Field. The planning team that dreams, designs and develops the experience of the mass gathering each night and worship on Sunday morning works closely with youth and adults throughout the ELCA. Prayer and reflection are part of the discernment process for the planning team as they seek to choose relevant, faithful, engaging Gathering speakers whose stories and experiences inspire high school youth to enter more deeply into their lives of faith.

This work takes time and careful discernment.  We will announce speakers as contracts are finalized, but probably not before registration opens this fall.  At this time, we ask you to trust the track record of the planning teams who have brought you speakers including: the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., Bishop Desmond Tutu, the Rev. Nadia Bolz-Weber, President Jimmy Carter, the Rev. Dr. Tony Campolo, and others who have inspired thousands of ELCA youth to trust the promises of God offered to us through the death and resurrection of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.  It is always the intention of the planning team to invite youth into a deeper relationship with God in Jesus Christ and to discover how their lives may impact the world around them to the glory of God.

Musicians

Royal TailorRoyal Tailor is a young band we know Gathering attendees will enjoy. Their music will move feet, hearts and minds, encouraging listeners to get closer to both God and their community.

Royal Tailor feels called to use its music and campaigns to help tear down walls that already exist, the ones we put up between each other because of differences in politics, religion, race or preference, as well as self-imposed walls, allowing circumstances or guilt to make us feel separated from God.

Whether it’s through writing, recording, performing or talking about God and faith with fans and friends, Royal Tailor aims to take the conversation further, to start deeper discussions of faith and community, to encourage more focused action, to help keep knocking down walls.

“We want people to come and enjoy the music, have fun and enjoy the presence of God, but we also want to inspire them to go out and do something with that, like it has inspired us. We want to encourage them to get ready and go get plugged into their community, in their schools, in their churches and make a difference.”


House Band

Chris Clay1

Chris Clay - House Band Director, Vocalist/Keyboards

Chris is originally from Chicago, but grew up in Atlanta. He’s a lifelong Lutheran with a gift for music and a passion for worship. He currently leads worship, performs concerts and leads worship workshops and conferences across the country. He has also been a performer at five of the last six ELCA Youth Gatherings.

 

Lindsay

Lindsay Rutledge - Lead & background vocals

Lindsey was born in St. Petersburg, Florida and grew up in Knoxville, Tennessee. Lindsay currently serves as Director of Youth Ministries as well as worship leader at Prince of Peace Lutheran Church in Alpharetta, GA. 2015 will be Lindsay's second time as a member of the Gathering house band.

 

 Brian1

Brian Owens - Lead/Background Vocals
Brian makes his home in St. Louis, MO. with his wife and family. He is a veteran of the ELCA Youth Gathering, having been a member of the house band for the last four Gatherings. He is a soulful vocalist with a heart for God and a passion for positive and uplifting music.

 

Danyelle

Danyelle Clarke aka Danny Rey - Lead & Background Vocals

Danyelle currently lives in Atlanta, but hails from Detroit, Michigan. She is excited to be going home this summer for the Gathering. Danny is a lifelong Lutheran and is currently working on an independent project as a Christian artist.

Ryan

Ryan Kilgore - Saxophone

Ryan is from Atlanta and is a sought-after horn player. He travels nationally and internationally as a solo artist, and is currently in his 8th year as a touring saxophonist for the legendary Stevie Wonder. No matter where he is traveling, he makes time to get home on Sundays to play for worship at his local church.

 

Jane 

Jane Lee - Lead & background vocals, piano

Jane has been playing the piano since the age of 3. In 2000, Jane toured internationally as a Sony Music artist and debuted a Korean Album, performing on TV and in stadiums. Jane is currently the Director of Hills Music and Arts Academy in Torrance, CA. and serves in the worship band at her home church, Torrance Good Shepherd Church. 

 

Will 

Will Dyer - Lead and Rhythm Guitar

Will has worked extensively with singer, songwriter Celia Whitler over the years as one of her exclusive guitarists/accompanists. He brings amazing talent, years of experience and a heart and passion for the music of worship to the 2015 house band.

 

Perry 

Will Perry aka "Will Donnie" - Keyboards

Will Perry, affectionately known as "Donnie", comes from Atlanta, Georgia. He is a talented singer, songwriter and producer.  Will has expertise on multiple instruments and is currently working out of Atlanta, Georgia.  Will is a "PK" (preacher’s kid) and provides musical leadership for his father's congregation.

 

Dawn 

Dawn Weber - Trumpet

Dawn began playing the trumpet at age 11 and excelled immediately. At the age of 16 she found the North Carolina School of the Arts in Winston-Salem, NC, where she honed her skills. She now lives in St Louis and is a household name in a city that has an amazing and thriving music scene. 2015 will be Dawn's fourth time as a member of the Gathering’s house band.

 

Chantae

Chantae Cann - Lead & Background Vocals

Chantal is a Chicago native. She was blessed at a young age to travel the world as a background vocalist for the likes of P.J. Morton (keyboardist for Maroon 5), and Grammy-winning artist India Arie. Her most recent milestone is being featured on a Grammy-nominated CD recorded by Snarky Puppy. She dabbles in neo-soul, jazz as well as praise and worship music. 

 

Zander

Zander Wyatt - Lead & Rhythm Guitar

Zander is a Nashville session musician, sideman and music teacher. Coming from a family of classical and jazz musicians, he's been exposed to music his entire life. Over the years he has had the opportunity to play and record with many great bands and artists including Ocean Street, Aberdeen Green, and Gypsy Pompe. 2015 will be his first ELCA Youth Gathering.

 

James 

James "PJ Spraggins" - Drums/Percussion/Drum Programming

James Spraggins II, affectionately known as PJ, is a drummer, composer and producer. During his musical career PJ has performed with some of the greatest musicians & entertainers all over the world like the legendary Stevie Wonder and Randy Owen. In 2006 PJ released his self-produced debut CD The Light of Day. PJ released his second self-produced project Pure Logic in early 2012.

 

Angelina

Angelina Sherie Barrett - Lead & Background vocals/Violin

Angelina Sherie is an inspirational artist changing the art of music not only through singing, but also through playing the violin. She is part of a very talented up and coming gospel ensemble known as The God Sent Project.

 

Teja

Teja Veal - Bass Guitar

Teja is from Miami, Florida but makes her home in the music mecca of Atlanta. She started gigging at the age of 16. So far her unique style, which combines her big band jazz schooling with her love of old school soul, has seen her land tours with notable acts such as Frank McComb, Musiq Soulchild and most recently, Grammy Award nominee Janelle Monáe.