When Roger Breland took the first step down the road toward a career in Christian music, he had no idea what a remarkable journey it would be.
In 47 years, he traveled more than 4 million miles across 47 countries, presented over 12,000 concerts and produced 100 albums. His 31 years with TRUTH, among the first widely successful contemporary Christian groups, helped launch the careers of artists such as Avalon and 4Him.
Breland spent the subsequent 16 years on the road with Voices of Mobile, an ensemble he co-founded with Al Miller, dean of the University of Mobile’s Alabama School of the Arts. Breland and Miller led an expansion of the Alabama Baptist university’s music program that includes its first doctoral degree in musical arts. Along with faculty whose expertise ranges from opera to worship leadership, they have prepared hundreds of graduates to pursue their professional calling as musicians, educators, worship leaders, missionaries, music industry professionals and music ministers.
When Voices of Mobile wraps up its final tour on July 7, assistant director Collin Clardy, who is pursuing a master’s degree in theology, will become the ensemble’s director. Clardy’s wife Hannah will continue as road music director.
This academic year alone, Voices of Mobile will have presented 150 concerts, including appearances in Cuba, Romania and England. Breland has traveled half a million miles with the ensemble, presenting 2,000 concerts across 12 nations, while recording 16 albums.
This fall, Breland will transition to executive director of Voices of Mobile and pursue another dream — establishing the Roger Breland Endowed Scholarship to help coming generations have a Christ-centered education. In his new role, he will assist in fundraising for scholarships and special projects, while continuing to assist in the Roger Breland Center for Performing Arts at the university’s Alabama School of the Arts.
With his touring career drawing to a close, Breland’s lifetime of accomplishments will be recognized May 11 when University of Mobile awards him an honorary doctor of humane letters. Among other accolades Breland has received: He and TRUTH were inducted into the Gospel Music Hall of Fame in 2000.
But his greatest accomplishment isn’t in the number of miles traveled or concerts performed.
It’s in the message he has taught students.
“There’s really only one song to sing, and that is the song that will honor God. We want to do that with excellence,” Breland said in an interview. And it’s not enough, he tells students, to simply believe the song’s words.
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Source: Baptist Press