Songwriters Contest features two Corban hopefuls

Thursday, January 30, 2014


Though 123 worship songwriters aspired to be the best in the Willamette Valley, two of the top three are from Corban.

The Albany, Ore.-based Christian music station HOPE 107.9 is holding its annual Songwriters Contest. Chris Spivey, ’12, the worship director at Willamette Community Church in Albany and Corban Student Body President Emily Teterud, ’14, will both perform their compositions live at Worship Northwest March 1, where the winner will be announced.

The songs were recorded and submitted to the station by contest hopefuls from across the nation. A panel of judges narrowed the field from 123 to 50. Listeners and judges then narrowed the list to the top 12. On Jan. 24, the top 11 (one songwriter dropped out of the competition) played their music for an audience at Dayspring Fellowship in Keizer, Ore. From there, judges selected the top three. Corban University is a premier sponsor of the Songwriters Contest. Dan Shuholm, Corban's music chair, was one of the judges at that performance.

“I’ve been writing worship songs since high school,” Teterud said. “I started ‘Where I Am’ then, but didn’t get if finished until about two years ago.” Though she had several songs that were meaningful to her, she felt “Where I Am” was a reflection of where many people around her are right now.

“It’s a song about how it seems easy to praise God, but that it isn’t always the case,” she said.

After recording a worship record with friends, Spivey wasn’t planning to enter his song, “John One,” into the contest. However, he said his wife and friends encouraged him to do so.

“Frankly, I almost didn’t enter this song into the contest because there was another song on the record I felt more connection to,” He said.  “But what won out was the strong desire to enter a song a congregation can sing that sheds light on Jesus as the Creator of all. There are very few worship songs, if any, that speak to that truth and anytime a worship song causes your view of God to stretch outside the box, provided it’s scripturally sound, it’s a good thing.”

Both Teterud and Spivey said they don’t want the competition or the music to be about them, but about glorifying Jesus Christ.

“The Lord put this song on my heart,” Spivey said. “If there is anything we can learn from the parable Jesus told of the talents, it is that whether God has given you five talents or one, as long as you are faithful to use and develop your talent, the reward is the same.”

Their final performance will be March 1, the final day of Worship Northwest at Dayspring, where they will be accompanied by a backup band. Teterud said she is excited and encouraged about the entire experience.

“Singing and writing music is my number one passion,” she said. “I’ve really enjoyed seeing this happen and how God can use music to bless others.”

For more information about the competition and to listen the songs, visit the HOPE 107.9 website.

"Where I Am

By Emily Teterud


Sometimes life doesn’t go the way we planned.         

Upsetting, heartbreaking, plans changing

Where do I go from here?

It can make you feel lost, afraid to move,

But Lord, I look up to You.

You’ve given me life, You’ve given Your Son, You’ve given me freedom


So I’ll praise You where I am today

I’ll praise You where I’m standing today

Through the rain, through the storm

Even when I feel alone

Cuz You are God, You are God

And I’ll praise You where I am today



Sometimes it all seems meaningless under the sun

And I’m chasing after wind.

When summer’s gone, and winter seems here to stay

Lord, help my faith remain.            

Cuz seasons will come, and seasons will go.

Lord, You hold control


When weakness feels like it’s winning, when sorrow is all that I know,

I lift my eyes to the hills. I know where my help comes from.



"John One"

Words and Music by Chris Spivey


Verse 1

You were there before the earth began

The mountains formed by Your mighty hand


You speak and stars fall from the sky

The heavens shake and the oceans rise




Son and Savior

King Creator

Holy is Your name

Gift and Giver

Faithful Finisher

Holy is Your name


Verse 2

You are the Word, Author of life

No darkness overcomes Your light


You speak and stars fall from the sky

The heavens shake and the oceans rise




We will worship You, Jesus 

  • Emily Teterud, '14, will perform her song "Where I Am" at Worship Northwest on March 1.

  • Chris Spivey, '12, will perform his song "John One" at Worship Northwest on March 1.

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