September 28, 2023

Bright stage lights flash as students are welcomed into the Events Center by the powerful voices of California Baptist University’s Chapel Band.

Every Chapel the student-led band sings three songs to help guide students in worship.

The number of members have grown significantly over the past semesters and the band has split into four vocal teams, which cycles through each Chapel session.

For the first few weeks of the semester, Hector Jimenez, associate professor of music and Chapel Band leader, had been away on paternity leave and asked Josue Gonzalez, senior health science major and keyboardist, to take up the leadership mantle.

Having been in the band for three years, Gonzalez said Chapel Band is different this

semester in terms of song selection and leadership.

“Our repertoire has been intentionally selected to rep resent CBU’s culturally diverse population. We have chosen gospel songs, contemporary Christian music and even hymns,” Gonzalez said. “Students have taken charge of lead- ing songs and have been able to lead the student population in worship.”

Gonzalez also said Chapel Band is important because it helps students connect with God.

“We have the opportunity to be an example to the student body, the way we sing and praise on stage is seen and is an inspiration to worship together,” Gonzalez said.

Each year the band gains new talented members who said they are called by God to lead worship.

Nathaniel Peister, sophomore worship arts and ministry major and second lead guitarist,

said it is his first year in the band and he likes every moment of it. “I love music and the Lord has given me the gift of music,” Peister said. “I love to lead people in worship, so this was the perfect fit for me. It’s just an awesome opportunity to worship and to learn songs that magnify and glorify the Lord.”

Another first-year member, Andrew Williams II, senior mu- sic education major and vocalist, said he was nervous about joining but the experience has been incomparable.

“It is pretty awesome being up there with people who are so like-minded in their purpose and goals for doing what we do. You see all the different perspectives,” Williams said. “I am a really hesitant person and am cautious about things but when God tells you to do something, you just go for it.”

Any student, no matter his or her major, may audition to join this group.

Alexis Long, senior music education major and vocalist, gave some advice for students who want to join Chapel Band.

“The stage looks scary but you are singing to and for God,” Long said. “It is all for him. Your role isn’t to impress everyone here or to try and sing well. It is to worship God and to set an ex- ample for others to lead.”

The Chapel Band works diligently at their weekly practices to bring students the best worship possible.

Even though Chapel Band changes every year, its goal is still to spread the love of God through each lyric it sings.

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