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Winterfest concert specials to air in more than 50 million homes

February 21, 2014 : By Drew Menard/Liberty University News Service

The stage lights up during Winterfest.

Liberty University recently launched the Winterfest Concert Series television broadcast, which includes seven one-hour specials from the electrifying two-day festival held on campus. Episodes feature complete concert coverage and interviews with prominent Christian artists such as Skillet, Third Day, Building 429, The City Harmonic, Andy Mineo, and Tenth Avenue North. An interview with Duck Dynasty’s Reed Robertson, who was a guest speaker at the event, is also one of the highlights.

Liberty's Winterfest hosts.
Liberty University students (from left) Tucson Vanloo, Lauren Creekmore, Julie Guy, and Tory Abrahamsen were television hosts for the Winterfest broadcast and series.

Winterfest is the largest Christian New Year’s celebration on the East Coast. Last New Year’s Eve, a two-hour live broadcast of the event allowed more than 200 million homes to tune in to ring in the new year.

Over the next few months, the TV specials will air on more than five networks in over 70 markets nationwide, as well as 10 other countries, a potential audience of more than 50 million homes.

The television series debuted on KTV (Dish Network Channel 264) where it runs on Wednesdays at 10 p.m. EST. It will also air on JUCE TV (formerly JCTV) on Thursdays at 7 p.m., beginning March 6 and The Walk on Fridays at 10 p.m., beginning March 7. Continue to check local cable listings for additional networks and air times.

The episodes were produced by Liberty’s Campus Production team — which includes School of Communication & Creative Arts students led by industry veterans — in collaboration with the Liberty Flames Sports Network. (Read more about LFSN and broadcast opportunities for students in the Liberty Journal.)

“World-class is an aspiration here at Liberty,” said Dr. Norman Mintle, dean of the SCCA. “Our coverage of Winterfest provided one more opportunity for our entire student crew — whether they worked hard behind the camera or on-air — to strive for excellence. I’m very proud of the side-by-side, student-with-professional environment we’ve created here. Our students have unparalleled opportunities to prepare for their God-directed futures in the media arts.”

Russ Martin, LFSN’s executive producer of programming, added that events like Winterfest expose students to top-notch equipment in an exciting, fast-paced environment.

“If we want to see our students be properly prepared in their field of study, there is no better place than real-world work opportunities such as this,” he said. “On the job training goes to the very heart of the mission of Liberty University: Training Champions for Christ.”

Julie Guy, a junior, was one of the hosts. She called the experience “a broadcasting major’s dream come true.”

“It was a great experience for my career,” she said. “Being able to communicate the appropriate context during the interviews as well as being live on national television are clearly great résumé builders. This opportunity taught me many lessons for success in my future. I learned the ability to quickly and clearly communicate, to be ready to go live at any moment, and to stay stress-free in a fast-paced environment. These skills will be what set me apart from my competition and one day will get me my dream job.”

Senior Tory Abrahamsen, a co-host with Guy, added that Liberty showed its dedication to helping students grow as professionals by hiring them for the production.

“I found myself jumping from a classroom into the very situation I was studying for,” he said.

He added that interacting with some of the bands he listens to was a highlight of the weekend.

“I really enjoyed interviewing the bands; it’s not everyday you get to chat with some of the most prolific people in the Christian music world.”