From Hickman Science Center all the way down to Brock Hall, students across campus are working together to create original songs for Southern Adventist University’s annual Lawn Concert. Though songwriting credits are not a prerequisite for performers, several students have found in Southern an environment that encourages this kind of creativity and collaboration between fellow believers.
They’re more than stories / Your love’s for real / My heart is Yours, Lord!
Like many Southern students, Kenric Rimoni was born into the Seventh-day Adventist church. He feels blessed to have parents that shared Jesus with him, but knows how difficult it is to have a firsthand relationship with God when you’ve only been told secondhand stories. His song “My Heart Is Yours, Lord” is a proclamation of Kenric’s total surrender to God, whom he wants to know on a personal level.
Kenric says he’s benefited a lot from the creative environment at Southern, improving his musical abilities through the people he’s met and the ministries he’s participated in.
“I’ve never been in any other place that has so many musically talented people,” he says.
People like Silvia Bernard. While singing for fun with Silvia, a freshman social work major, Kenric asked if she wanted to hear a song he had written. When he started singing it, Silvia began to sing along and found herself deeply moved by the words.
“I love the song,” she says. “Knowing that God is the only thing in my life I really need is such a blessing. I know that when I place my life in His hands, He won’t fail me.”
You marched yourself down here tonight / The narrow path is hard to see sometimes /
And the hardest part is diving in
Roger Miller, senior biology major, wrote “The River” back in July while studying for the Dental Admission Test.
“It’s a big test and I was freaking out, but at one point I just wanted to stop studying and play guitar,” Roger says. “The song has to do with that time after you’ve exhausted all your efforts and you just have to rely on God and let Him do His work.”
According to Roger, “The River” is a musical metaphor for submission to God. Much like diving into a river and being carried by its current, one can’t dive into God and remain in control.
Having already worked on solo creative projects (including an album called ‘Crayons’ available for purchase on iTunes) Roger is grateful for the opportunities Southern provides for creative communion among students. For the past two years he has joined efforts with Andrew Jaeger, a junior biomed major, to work on music for the Lawn Concert. This year Andrew helped him write a second guitar part for “The River” and provides harmony vocals on the song as well.
“He lives in California so, if it wasn’t for Southern, I wouldn’t know him and I wouldn’t have gotten the chance to collaborate with him,” Roger says.
You can see these students and others perform during the Lawn Concert at the Goliath Wall on Friday, September 16 at 8:00 pm. Admission is free and the event is open to the public.