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Students Helping with 50th Annual Dove Awards

by Angela Farlow, Student Public Relations Writer

Chapel bandFor the third consecutive year, Dr. Roger O’Neel, associate professor of worship, and his Cedarville University students will volunteer at the 50th Annual Gospel Music Association (GMA) Dove Awards in Nashville, Tennessee. The ceremony will be held at Allen Arena on October 15.

Since 1969, the GMA Dove Awards has honored outstanding achievements and excellence in Christian and gospel music. Awards are handed out every year to performers and songwriters from a wide variety of Christian music genres including rock, inspiration, southern gospel, worship, among others.

“Cedarville students are in demand because not only are they respectful, but also very responsible with important tasks,” explained O’Neel. “They literally begged us to come back this year because our students are such valuable assets.”

— Roger O'Neel

Cedarville students are involved in several different aspects of the GMA Dove Awards show. In the past, students have served as seat fillers and created packets of information about the awards. This year, they will be used almost exclusively as main stage talent escorts. Their primary job will be to escort award winners through the green room, on stage, and to the final press room.

“It’s not a high profile job but it is very important to help get them where they need to be,” explained O’Neel. Past artists that students have had the privilege to escort or interact with include Chris Tomlin, Hillsong, Jordan Feliz, Mike Huckabee and Trace Adkins. Cedarville University students have the opportunity to interact with these well-known artists while volunteering.

Antonio Muñoz, junior worship major, said the Dove Awards is “one of the most exciting hands-on experiences I’ve had through the department.” Muñoz, along with 18 other students, will serve at this year’s show.

“As a worship major, having the unique experience to interact with big names of the industry was incredibly valuable,” Muñoz noted. “I am thankful to grow in the way I handle myself as a professional while meeting well-respected Christian artists.”

Located in southwest Ohio, Cedarville University is an accredited, Christ-centered, Baptist institution with an enrollment of 4,380 undergraduate, graduate and online students in more than 150 areas of study. Founded in 1887, Cedarville is recognized nationally for its authentic Christian community, rigorous academic programs, strong graduation and retention rates, accredited professional and health science offerings and high student engagement ranking. For more information about the University, visit

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