the Goshen College Bulletin | Alumni magazine since 1956
Photo of Rachel Lapp

About this issue:
Celebrating 'a human manifestation of the divine creative impulse'

In a year when we are celebrating the opening of the new Goshen College Music Center, it is only fitting that the Bulletin also take its turn to share music at GC with a worldwide audience, all of whom cannot experience the highly praised acoustics in the Sauder Concert Hall, join in the hymn singing and sharing during Sunday's Morning Song in Rieth Recital Hall or attend a convocation on our general education community theme, "The Wisdom of Music."

Many colleges and universities, not to mention conservatories, would celebrate a new music facility with a plethora of offerings. But this year's activities - from the inaugural concert in November to department programs throughout the year to the Performing Arts Series to the Bach's "St. John's Passion" in April - and the general nature of musical expression and scholarship at GC could not take place on just any campus.

Why the difference? The answer begins with the mission of the Music Department:

"The Music Department at Goshen College is dedicated to the cultivation of excellence in the areas of musical performance, pedagogy and scholarship. As a ministry of the Mennonite Church we believe musical expression is a human manifestation of the divine creative impulse and, as such, serves as a window into the individual soul, a bridge between human beings and a means of corporate religious experience."

Then we can consider the participation of campus in music activities: in any given year, around one-fourth of the student body is engaged in music department-sponsored choirs, orchestral ensembles, courses and/or private lessons. More than 90 percent of first-year students who arrived on campus in the fall of this academic year participated in music activities while in high school. Hymn-sings are very well attended - in fact have become genially competitive in terms of having one's favorite song selected. This year, the music and theater departments are collaborating on the musical "Into the Woods," with two faculty members and two students providing direction. Student coffeehouses and Hour After performances are filled with original songs. Student conductors will step to the podium to direct orchestral works this spring.

In this issue, we explore individual stories of the impact of music preparation - performance, pedagogy and scholarship - at Goshen College. Through the lives of current and former students and faculty, we see how each is seeking harmony, in the ways they make music, make a living, make connections in the church or with students or with other musicians.

This has been a wonderful year of music at Goshen - building on decades of excellence in teaching, learning and performance that have bridged sacred and secular, campus and church and community, faculty to students to alumni to audience. Whether experienced in a performance hall, the community music school, our church-chapel or in a practice room, the years to come can only bring us more divinely inspired music.

Rachel Lapp's Signature

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