Over the summer I had the opportunity to perform at Spirit West Coast in Del Mar and Monterey. One of their new worship leaders is Mary Alviso. We caught up with her and talked about life and ministry.
HD: How did you get involved in leading worship?
MA: My mother says that I came out of the womb singing. In fact, I guess you could say it was mother who got me started. When I was in high school, I started singing specials, you know, the monthly spot on “the list”. The worship leader really liked me and suggested I started singing as a backup vocalist. I did for many years. Then this Pastor friend of ours was planting a church and asked me to come be their worship leader, and I have been leading worship ever since.
HD: You have a new project out called Give Me Jesus that Brent Bourgeois from Bourgeois Tagg fame produced for you. What would you say to a worship leader that wants to get into the “music business” side of things?
MA: Leave that to someone else. Don’t let that distract you. I don’t know that much about the business side, except what I learned from Brent Bourgeois when doing the CD with him. He was VP of A&R for a Christian record label (Word) in Nashville for five years, and he was even like “don’t go there”. Even though it’s “Christian”, it can still be ugly. Business is business as they say, no matter what the nature. Just do what you do and let someone else deal with that.
HD: What is your most memorable worship moment?
MA: I always love those times of spontaneous worship. When I often reflect on past services, it’s those times when the Holy Spirit literally takes over. New songs are birthed, lyrically as well as musically, on the spot. Everybody is just worshiping in abandon. It’s just awesome.
HD: What would you say are the top three priorities for worship leaders?
MA: 1) Worship must be a lifestyle – Read God’s word, have your own prayer and private worship time. We draw closer to God and get to know His voice more and more, and we really want to be in tune with God especially when leading His people; 2) Seek the glory that comes from God; 3) Keep watch of the response of the congregation; the object is to take them with you to the holy of holies. Make sure the congregation is connecting with you.
If you would like more information on the ministry of Mary Alviso log on to her website at marylynnmusic.com or friend her on Facebook.
FEATURED INDEPENDENT SONG – WE PRAISE YOU by MARY ALVISO
Give Me Jesus is a collection of new original worship songs, modern standards and classic hymns. The opening song “Let Your Glory Fill This Place” is a sure addition to any worship set list as a great opener.
Give Me Jesus was produced by Brent Bourgeois, who produced Point of Grace, Rachel Lampa and Cindy Morgan. He was also the cofounder of the 80’s pop band Bourgeois Tagg. His production credits include working with Michael W. Smith and Charlie Peacock, to name a few, so this project has a refined musical quality as opposed to the garage band demo sound of many worship recordings. The song that stands out is cut #2: We Praise You. I asked Mary what inspired the song.
“One Sunday night during worship, the Holy Spirit was on the move and everyone was just singing, dancing, lifting up praise to the fullest. And as I was leading, I looked over at the rest of the team, and they were just playing their instruments with all they had for the Lord. Between the congregation and the worship team, it was Psalm 149:3 in action… hence came the song.”
In speaking about her studio experience Mary says: “It would be breaking down because I was feeling so inadequate on one song, and Brent would tell me: You are an A-mary-can- (American) not an A-mary-can’t! Get it? He’s quite humorous.” Mary you’re not alone. We all break down in the studio!