Orchestral music raises standard of excellence

Elijah Hickman | Banner

The purpose statement of the Collinsworth School of Music is inspiring students to the highest standards of musical craft and personal character, preparing them for success in music.

Changes and improvements have been made to enhance the professionalism and credibility of the program.

Smaller ensembles within the larger groups have been formed such as quartets, trios, quintets and duets. The groups learn music for smaller settings and create friendships among participants.

There have also been additions such as new classes, concentrations and a new major – Worship Arts and Ministry. The CBU Worship

Collective has also joined this year’s worship team for chapel services and participates in local Sunday morning church services.

Ruth Wheeler, Symphony Orchestra director and violin instructor, has been instrumental in these changes.

“I have had the honor to build the Symphony Orchestra from scratch,” Wheeler said. “I get to pass on to my students what God has allowed me to learn all these years. I have passion for music, passion for excellence, passion for being an example as a Christian musician.”

AJ Ursua, senior biology and music instrumental performance double major, plays the cello and is a part of the Chamber String Ensemble, Male Chorale and the Symphony Orchestra. He has been a part of the Chamber String Ensemble for the last four years.

“Chamber music is perhaps my favorite style of instrumental music so I was beyond excited to be a part of it when I came in,” Ursua said. “I have been pushed by being a part of a small quartet with extraordinary players.”

According to Wheeler, the School of Music needed the alterations and faculty are pleased to see the results.

“The faculty and staff at the School of Music worked hard for a full year to recalibrate the entire program,” Wheeler said. “I have no doubt that the students will be better prepared as musicians for the real world.”

Jason Chan, sophomore biology pre-medicine major, said he appreciates the opportunity to magnify God and inspire people to participate in worship through music.

“I’m personally fearful yet excited to pioneer our way through contemporary Christian worship by bringing the choir back to the modern worship team,” Chan said.

The next concert will be Nov. 3 at 7 p.m. at Calvary Presbyterian Church, presenting a new repertoire of movie theme music. Admission is free.

About Olivia Quebe

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