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Two ACU music faculty to perform at Texas Prayer Breakfast

For immediate release
February 15, 2005

Abilene Christian University faculty members, Dr. J. Eric Wilson and Samuel Cook, will perform at the Texas Prayer Breakfast prior to the 79th session of the Texas Legislature Thurs., Feb. 17 at 7:30 a.m. at the Austin Hilton Grand Ballroom. 

During every legislative year all members of the Texas House of Representatives, Texas Senate, judiciary officers and state-wide officials are invited to the prayer breakfast which is an extension of a small Bible study prayer group that began in 1986.

Wilson will perform "Just A Closer Walk With Thee" on alto saxophone prior to the message from the House of Representatives given by Speaker of the House Tom Craddick.  At the conclusion of the program, Cook will sing "The Lord’s Prayer."

"The performances by these talented musicians will provide a tremendous inspiration for all of the House and Senate members as well as the statewide officials who will be in attendance," said Rep. Bob Hunter, R-Abilene. 

The idea for the Texas Prayer Breakfast came from a small Bible study prayer group consisting of members of the House.  This group sponsors the Texas Prayer Breakfast and has also provided a Bible in every desk of the House and Senate, Hunter said. 

At the breakfast, messages will be given from the House and Senate as well as Old Testament and New Testament readings, prayers for the Texas leaders and a message from Governor Rick Perry. 

Wilson is the director of bands and associate professor of conducting and saxophone at ACU.  He was a founding member of the saxophone quartet Resounding Winds and has received awards and honors from the National Endowment for the Arts, Aaron Copland Fund for Music and the Texas Commission on the Arts.  He has recently released his first solo album, “Near to the Heart of God,” which is a reflective collection of classic hymns and contemporary worship songs.

Cook is an associate professor of voice and artist-in-residence at ACU, and he has won numerous international voice competitions in Spain, Portugal and Munich following his vocal training with world famous Carlo Bergonzi in Italy.  His professional engagements have included the San Francisco Opera’s touring company, Western Opera Theater and as a soloist with the State Opera of Kassel, Germany. 

For more information about the Texas Prayer Breakfast, contact the office of Rep. Bob Hunter at 325-674-2495.

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