Music plays an important role in campus worship

MC’s chapel services take place each Tuesday at 1:15. Senior Nick Rose and Sophomore Sarah Gregory are two chapel scholars that help fill the CCM with music each week. Photo courtesy of Tobi Scott.
MC’s chapel services take place each Tuesday at 1:15. Senior Nick Rose and Sophomore Sarah Gregory are two chapel scholars that help fill the CCM with music each week. Photo courtesy of Tobi Scott.

   In the Center for Campus Ministry, music is a fundamental part of each service. Every Tuesday at 1:15 members of the Maryville College community gather in the CCM to worship and grow in their faith through meditations and music.

    Becky Chapman, music coordinator for the Chapel, uses music to set the tone for each service. Chapman plans the music portion of the service each week and guides the students who help lead worship.

    Each week, Chapman receives the main scripture that will be used in the upcoming service and thinks about how to best use music to enhance that message. The speaker is different from week to week so Chapman is able to present a different message through music each week as well.

    She feels that music is important to the service because it “draws people in.” Chapman’s goal is to positively encourage those who attend and tie the message of the service together with music.

Ian Schomer, freshman piano player, stated, “I consider music to be a link between our understanding of religion and the feelings that religion brings us, so I receive great joy knowing that I have the honor of helping to provide those feelings to our chapel service.”

    Chapman and her student musicians incorporate both traditional hymns as well as contemporary Christian music in order to provide variety and please the tastes of all people in attendance. Chapman realizes that people come from different backgrounds where they might prefer one type of Christian music over another, so she tries to let her song choices reflect those different tastes.

    Chapman even plans to include more songs that may not normally be considered Christian music.  The popular song “Lean on Me,” for example, is not a Christian song, but Chapman included it in a service because it holds a lot of meaning that can be applicable to Christians and their faith. Her goal is to use positive music, whether the song is Christian or secular, to allow people to think about their faith in a different way.

    Senior Nick Rose plays a variety of musical instruments at the Chapel services and he explained that his goal in being involved with the music in the CCM is to “help grow the spiritual life on campus.”

    Music is a great way to bring people together. Rose hopes to use music to strengthen the faith of the Maryville College community.

   The music group has grown in the last few years from only a piano player to now having guitar players and a percussionist as well. Chapman hopes to grow the program even more over time. Anyone who is interested in being a part of providing music for the chapel services can contact Becky Chapman. Anyone interested in worshipping with this team of musicians should attend chapel on Tuesdays at 1:15 in the CCM.

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