Introducing Lee’s newest Assistant Professor of Music Business, Dr. Luke Gambill!
Q: So tell us a bit about yourself! Your primary instrument, educational background, previous experience teaching or in the industry, you know, all of those hard hitting questions.
A: My primary instrument as an undergraduate church music major was voice, but most people today know me as a producer and keyboardist (though, the drum kit was my first love).
I have a unique blend of an academic background. I completed a B.A. in Church Music from Southeastern University (a historically Pentecostal institution). My M.A. in Worship Studies was completed at Liberty University (a historically fundamental Baptist intuition). Then, to top it off, I completed a Doctorate in Worship Studies at the Robert E. Webber Insititute for Worship Studies (a historically ecumenical/Anglican institution). And, somewhere between all of that, I completed a Specialist Certificate in Music Business from Berklee College of Music, as well as several courses at the Disney Institute (focus on excellence and leadership).
After 7 years working full-time on the local church level as a worship pastor, God swiftly and surprisingly opened the door to the music industry. For close to 20 years I was honored to work for Integrity Music (Creative Manager) and Capitol Christian Music Group (Creative Director) as an executive producer, as well as a hands-on studio producer. That time allowed me to work with individuals such as Michael W. Smith, Laura Story, Travis Cottrell, Don Moen, Paul Baloche, and many other wonderful artists. Realizing God began calling me toward academia, the last two years I was honored to serve at William Carey University as their Coordinator for Worship Studies (preparing future worship pastors for ministry). While at Carey, I remained well engaged in with the music business in Nashville, which began my journey to accepting the position at Lee University as Assistant Professor of Music Business.
Q: What classes do you teach here at Lee?
A: The beauty in my eclectic academic, church, and career experiences is I’m grateful for the many sides to music business and church music that I was able to bring to Lee. Thus, as more of a “hybrid” professor, I’ve been tasked to teach classes across both disciplines. This year, along with some additional responsibilities, I am scheduled to teach these classes:
- Rehearsal Techniques for Ministry
- History of Commercial Music
- Philosophy and Worldview
- Music Technology
- Aspects of Leading Worship
- Intro to Music Business
- Music Business Internship
- Campus Choir
Q: What are you most excited about/looking forward to while working at Lee?
A: As a 3rd generation Church of God “PK,” I am grateful to have known several of the Lee faculty members for many, many years. So, for me, I have been excited about working alongside many of my denominational musical heroes, colleagues, and friends, while getting to know so many other new individuals, as well.
Q: Any advice for music students?
A: My daughters have heard this from me a thousand times… If at all possible, never burn a bridge. Not only is this a scriptural concept, but I have seen positive fruit from this approach over and over again. You never know who you’re going to need and you never know when you’re going to be needed. Always be ready!
Q: How do you feel your Christian faith has impacted your life in the music industry?
A: Like any other type of career path, there are some areas of the music industry that can be tough to journey through as a believer. However, I was encouraged very early in my move to Nashville to connect with those outside of the music industry. Not only did this bring friendships that wouldn’t have occurred otherwise but helped bring a healthy perspective in lieu of a society that has unfortunate cynicism toward Christianity.
Q: Finally, any favorite memories of a moment in your musical career?
A: No doubt working on project releases with both Michael W. Smith and The Robertson Family (Duck Dynasty) in the same year. What a fun year that was!
Thanks for being our September Spotlight, Dr. Gambill! We wish you all the best and we’re so glad you’ve joined the Lee family!