May 2017
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Worship and Performing Arts

We sat down with Worship and Performing Arts (WPA) Chair, Paul Thorlakson, and Director of Chorale Vocal Studies, Dr. Rob Bigley, to learn more about what comprises this vast department at Lancaster Bible College.

Describe WPA to someone those who has never heard of it before.

Thorlakson: I think WPA is a community that transcends all the majors within it. What we offer here is a vibrant artistic community of collaboration. Students learn from each other as well as their professors. 

Bigley: When we started, we said, “We know we will have reached success when our students are collaborating on their own.”  They are starting bands and doing things outside of their requirements. That’s when you know you have a certain synergy that makes a program like ours successful. We reached that point about two years ago.

Thorlakson: That ethos quality is truly something that draws in students.

Bigley: I think we bring that uniqueness because we haven’t separated worship and performance; most schools have. > read the May Even More to hear more.

 The Gospel of Music

 The weather is balmy as spring overtakes the campus of Lancaster Bible College. Students hustle around, anticipating the end of another semester. Charity Kim, female student-of-the-year and senior, is preparing to graduate in May. As she sits down to tell about her time at LBC, she enters the conversation with a bubbly smile and a voice that holds both wisdom and grace. Charity began her journey toward LBC long before she stepped on this campus. Born in South Korea, she went to an international school for most of her early education. Later, her family moved to China when she was nine years-old. During most of her school years she enjoyed music and singing, but it wasn’t until her senior year of high school that she considered music seriously, thanks to her choir director and LBC graduate, Tom Ford. Charity recalls the words that led her to leave China after graduation and start her education at LBC: “Tom spoke of LBC so highly as a great place to study music and an environment to grow in.”

Ultimately, her love for music and the Bible influenced her decision to attend LBC. Charity commented, “I loved the idea of having a dual major in both music and the Bible. Those are the two things I treasure the most. But it wasn’t the easiest decision. I was insecure in my musical ability. I always loved music but never thought I’d do it for life. So much of me was holding back out of fear because I thought I couldn’t do it. I started to pray about it, and God clearly told me, this is what you love, and I will walk you through it. Now I am here getting to do it.” 

As a Vocal Performance Major, Charity has had many opportunities in the WPA Department. One of those being participating in a worship band. The core of LBC is the Bible and the core of the WPA department is worship. Charity had the opportunity to be on a worship team her freshman and sophomore year, followed by co-leading a worship team her junior and senior years. In reflecting on the experience, Charity commented, “It’s a privilege to learn the making of a worship set that allows people to be comfortable and worship, while also avoiding pleasing the audience to become idol. I say it is a privilege because it allows me to stay rooted in scripture, because without it, I cannot lead. It takes a lot to prepare worship; so much prayer goes into it.”

As Charity prepares to graduate, she has one big event still to come: her senior recital. She accredits so much of her music education and preparation for this recital to her professor, Dr. Dan Foster. Charity said the class that influenced her most was Introduction to Composition with Dr. Foster, where she discovered her love of writing songs. Charity quickly became very passionate as she talked about her song writing: “I have grown to love writing music and songs. I was supported and encouraged in that by Dr. Dan Foster. I would love to write music because it reaches people in ways we never can with words. Music reaches ears that we are unable to speak to. I would love to use music as an avenue to speak truth and awareness to people who are searching.”

The requirements for Charity’s senior recital are challenging and advanced. She explains how she must sing in three languages she doesn’t know. She has chosen German, French, and Italian. Her recital will last 45 to 50 minutes and will display a variety of music and is based in the classical genre. One song she will be performing was written by Dr. Foster. 

Beyond graduation, Charity has big plans. She will start a year long experience with International Project, an organization focused on missionary training and church planting to reach the unreached in New York City. Though Charity is taking a year to develop another set of her skills, she isn’t done with music. She credits God for allowing her to perform music and giving her the strength to grow through four years of learning more about it and her abilities in it. She is well aware that music is a gift; she believes it is a tool to be utilized while also sharing the Gospel. Charity remarks, “I am excited for the opportunities before me. I live to share the Gospel, not to just do music, but to share the truth, no matter the avenue. I think this year will give me a voice to share, as well as show me how music ties into my life and sharing the Gospel.” >


Read Even More, May 2017.


What is EVEN MORE?

EVEN MORE is Lancaster Bible College.

As we have grown, we have become EVEN MORE than an evening institute.

We are EVEN MORE than a college for preacher and teachers.

We are EVEN MORE than a former farm on Eden Road.

LBC is growing in depth and breadth of locations, academic programs, artistic performances and athletic events.

We want you to have a deeper understanding of how God is shaping the college, and how we are shaping our students to become EVEN MORE for God’s Kingdom.

Join us on the Journey to Discover how LBC is EVEN MORE.

Want to join the Even More mailing list? Contact us at 717.560.8211 or advancement@lbc.edu


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