Lydia Jayaputra—Staff Writer
Dordt University worship arts and music programs are receiving a little help from across the pond.
Geraldine Latty and Carey Luce, a married couple from the U.K., are worship artists in residence on campus this fall. Latty and Luce fly in with experience as worship leaders, songwriters, choir directors and professors at the London School of Theology.
Their connection to campus began with a Zoom call from Dr. Jeremy Perigo, Dordt’s director of campus ministries and worship arts. Perigo and his wife, Angela, Dordt’s pastoral care assistant, know Latty and Luce from the London School of Theology. Their families are close friends and now reunited coworkers. From these Zoom calls, a particular conversation led to prayer for Dordt, leading Latty and Luce to consider the Defender campus as a potential temporary home. After further prayer and Zoom calls, both families felt the Holy Spirit calling the musical couple to Dordt University.
“It was like a switch,” Luce said. “Just by praying, it switched from blue-sky thinking to, ‘Come on over!’”
“We didn’t give saying yes a second thought,” Latty said. “We love Angela and Jeremy from the heart and find it easy to walk in the Spirit with them.”
Latty has led worship in a variety of churches and has presided over 100 choirs, including university gospel choirs and “Sing Gospel” community choirs from the U.K and abroad. Her four solo albums combine gospel, jazz, world, and other music styles. She also enjoys individual vocal coaching.
Luce produces his and Latty’s music through their joint label: LuceMusicLondon. During COVID-19 lockdowns, he produced multiple songwriting collaborations with friends from around the globe. He resources the “Sing Gospel” choirs, allowing them to remain non-profit and open to all.
Latty and Luce are both lecturers in the Music and Theology degree program at the London School of Theology. Their classes include vocal improvisation, worship ministry and practice, and songwriting. Together, they run the university’s gospel choir ensemble.
The switch from London to Iowa went smoothly despite COVID-19 concerns. Latty and Luce describe Dordt’s welcome as warm and relaxed — even though they started their work right away.
A few weeks before classes started, Latty and Luce spent time discipling student worship leaders and working on a few albums, both by worship arts students and for a hymn album by Perigo. Now they teach the WA class (Worship/Contemporary Context), write and record songs, and lead worship sets. They can be seen in chapel or at Thursday night worship in the grille. Luce rocks the piano during a jazzy hymn and Latty lifts her hands to the students, encouraging them to sing.
“We’ve loved being in gathered worship spaces again,” Luce said. “Particularly where there’s hungry hearts, because that’s so infectious and affects us deeply.”
Three weeks remain of Latty’s and Luce’s stay, but they plan to make the most of it.
“Ask me tomorrow,” Latty said. “And there will be a different best thing I get to do at Dordt.”