Students, program director explain how they combine Christian faith, passion for music

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Veronica Teeter

HAND ON MY HEART: Annie Rose, Christian Allegro member and senior, performs a gospel piece with the church band during a Sunday service. Rose said singing at church strengthens her faith by connecting with each song’s meaning.

Valliei Chandrakumar

With recent headlines such as “…Made Me Appreciate Christianity for the First Time” (DJBooth), “…Calls Himself ‘Greatest Artist God Ever Created’” (E! Online) and “…on a mission to ‘turn atheists into believers’” (The Irish News), Kanye West, American billionaire, rap megastar and performer, has received both backlash and support from the Christian community and his fans for his abrupt transition from secular music to strictly Christian-based  music with the release of his ninth album “Jesus is King.” In this modern approach to gospel music, West portrays himself as a martyr to express spiritual warfare and Christian messages in a more comprehensible way for younger generations.

Christina “Chris” Carmichael, Christian volunteer worship leader at Grace Community Church, Allegro member and sophomore, said she believes that along with allowing oneself to express sacrifice, Christian musicality allows more space to grow and develop how emotions, both positive and negative, are expressed. Carmichael said combining faith and music allows her to deeply express herself through singing without worrying about slight complications in the performance.

“It’s so much more important to have the music be focused on God and faith. Allowing myself to connect with God through music is the main purpose, so perfection isn’t as important,” Carmichael said.

Veronica Teeter
MOVING FAITH:
Christina Carmichael, Christian volunteer worship leader, Allegro member and sophomore sings during a worship rehearsal. Carmichael said she enjoys singing during worship because it has allowed her to express her faith confidently.

For Annie Rose, Christian Accents member and senior, incorporating the principles of Christianity into her musicality also involves more emotion and sensitivity. Rose said that she thinks one of the main principles of Christianity is having positive, loving relationships with people. So, Christian musicians often put themselves in vulnerable positions during performances to unite with the people they’re performing with and for.

“For me, (being Christian) basically means loving everyone the way Jesus would love them, so no boundaries to who can be your friend and no boundaries to who you can love,” Rose said. “It’s just trying to live like that through anything, keeping positive and being positive towards people all the time.”

Jaime McCord, Area Director of Carmel Young Life and WyldLife, said that based on a musician’s perception of a song’s meaning and its relation to Christian fundamentals, this can strengthen affiliation with God by performing in a way that expresses personal and deep faith.

“Music is an expression of faith in a way that people can share more passionately about the relationship that they have with Jesus,” McCord said.

Angela Chen

Carmichael said that while she tailors her performances to clarify her relationship with God by learning to emotionally portray herself in different ways than she would have by simply participating in a school choir, she has also gained many learning opportunities by training to be a worship leader at Grace Community Church, deepening her ability to perform and intrinsically connect with audiences.

“In a program with five hundred students, it can be hard to get the individual attention you need from your director unless you go out of your way and get it,” Carmichael said. “With worship leading, you’re singing by yourself into a microphone, you have a vocal coach who works with you, you have a full band playing behind you. It’s not an opportunity I get from Allegro.”

Carmichael said Christians who are passionate about listening to music in today’s society cannot always rely on a piece to relate to unconditionally since the struggles are unique to the writer in most cases.

“It’s fair to the individual, but we all have our own experiences. It’s not fully representative of the entire faith and the entire religion,” Carmichael said.

McCord said music, both Christian and secular, plays an integral part in Young Life and WyldLife with its ability to assist people in expressing their passions and experiences.

McCord said, “It gives words to feelings and things that have happened in their (program participants) own lives that they are able to share in a more powerful way because of the words in the music, or the song, or the ability to play yourself.”

 

*Senior Annie Rose was incorrectly identified as an Allegro member in the print issue. She is actually an Accents member. The correction was made above and will be addressed in the next print issue as well.

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