THE RISE of THE SACRED SONG AGAIN
If Christian worship culture and worship consciousness emerge from liturgies we create, tonight we post an interesting dialogue with those who believe contemporary worship music is irrelevant. The true voice of the people must emerge for transparent artistic expression to come to fruition. Genre is about people. Worship is about God.
Perhaps twenty-five years from now we might entertain the notion that the eclectic musical offerings of songwriters and composers such as Thomas Tallis, J.S. Bach, Palestrina, Edwin Hawkins, Rosetta Tharpe, Andrae Crouch, Duke Ellington, Igor Stravinsky, Arvo Part, Rita Springer, Aretha Franklin and Chris Tomlin were not only typical products of the rise of the sacred song, they were at the epicenter of fresh thought, artistic endeavor and bold creative worship performance practice. Their musical ideas were fresh.
I would dub tonight’s live recording and musical renderings as Eclectic Fresh. The student composers and songwriters of our Worship Arts Ensemble Class, offered annually at Seattle Pacific University, present their sacred songs. I am encouraged to see such an array of audacious creative expressions coming from the next generation of songwriters, composers and worship leaders. As you listen, let these sacred songs of God’s Kingdom and Gospel minister to your soul, spirit and mind. I hope you leave this place tonight singing and making melodies in your heart to our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. I pray the rise of the sacred song will keep your heart singing praises to God again and again.
Stephen Michael Newby, D.M.A.
Director of University Ministries and The Center for Worship
Associate Professor of Music at Seattle Pacific University
Director of the Worship Arts Ensemble