LifeNotes: Songwriter Champion Cindy Wilt Colville Passes

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• July 11, 2014
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Cindy Wilt Colville

Cindy Wilt Colville, champion of songwriters and developer of emerging talent, passed away on Thurs., July 10th. She was 58. Cindy was diagnosed with advanced adenocarcinoma (lung cancer) in October and while she had been in failing health for a number of months, she was cared for and surrounded by her husband, mother, extended family and countless friends.

Cindy Lea Wilt was born in Lincoln, Maine to the late Rev. Dr. Lloyd Wilt and Lois Wilt who survives her. She graduated from the music school at Houghton College and went to New York City to do urban ministry and met her future husband, Bruce Colville, whom she married (a couple of decades later).

In 1985, Cindy Wilt moved to Nashville to become a singer. She landed a receptionist job at Lorenz Creative Services. From her receptionist desk she moved to production manager for Greg Nelson who was producing records for Sandi Patty, Larnelle Harris, Steve Green and many other artists. She worked on the first four albums by Steven Curtis Chapman.

In 1993 she was recruited to run Benson Music Publishing and five years later she began a nine-year run as Vice President of Word Music Publishing. Cindy has long been associated with the songwriting and performance career of Matthew West. She met him when West was 19, created a songwriting internship for him and later signed West to his first publishing contract. Besides Matthew West, Cindy Wilt signed Joel Lindsey, Jason Ingram, Clint Lagerberg, Pete Kipley and Jason Walker (among others) to their first publishing deals and worked extensively with Sue Smith, Cindy Morgan, Tony Wood, Sam Mizell, Ross King and many others.

After a brief foray into artist management, Cindy started her own music publishing and songwriting development company (CWC Creative Music) eventually signing two writers Kip Fox and Rachel Barrentine. In the last six years she has taught and developed hundreds of early career songwriters, traveled and led workshops across the country, became a fixture with the Christian Musician Summit’s Songwriting Boot Camp, was a proud board member of the Gospel Music Association and coordinator of the song track for the Immerse Training Conference and led her own songwriting intensive retreat near Nashville. Starting in 2009, she organized and facilitated the ASCAP Foundation’s Christian Songwriters Workshop.

ASCAP has announced its intention to extend their Songwriter GPS Program for songwriters in the Christian market as a memorial to Cindy’s work and legacy. Her husband asks, in lieu of flowers, that memorial gifts and donations be made in her name to Church of the Redeemer (Anglican): 920 Caldwell Lane, Nashville, TN 37204.

A funeral service will be given by Church of the Redeemer on Wednesday, July 16 at 10:00 a.m. The service, with a reception to follow, will take place at Grace Community Church: 5711 Granny White Pike, Brentwood, TN 37027. All are welcome.

For fifteen years, every Sunday night, Cindy ministered to and loved “her girls” at Tennessee Prison for Women. As far as she was concerned, it was the best thing she ever did.

Besides her husband and mother, Cindy Wilt Colville is survived by two brothers, Kendall and Timothy (Rukabuza) Wilt, loving in-laws, three nephews, eight nieces, many cousins and the friendship of everyone in the Christian Music business.

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Sherod Robertson is President and Owner of MusicRow Enterprises. He oversees all operations and develops strategic initiatives for MusicRow magazine, RowFax, and MusicRow's CountryBreakout chart. Robertson previously served as Director of Finance of Arista Records after beginning his career as Vice President of Finance and CFO at Reunion Records.

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