No room for chapel bands

Chapel bands without worship majors struggle to find rehearsal space.


Becky Mitchell/THE CHIMES

Samantha Gassaway, Writer

Biola’s chapel bands go through an audition process to lead the student body in worship, but finding practice spaces afterward can be a thorn in the foot of these musicians.

Any Available Space

From the swimming pool area to the Christian Formation and Ministry room, Biola’s worship bands rehearse wherever they can find available space. The worship building remains strictly for the use of worship majors, though bands can practice there only if one of them meets the requirement.

Caleb Lai, senior communication sciences and disorders major, has rehearsed in several places on campus. While his experience has proven positive, he feels that the music and worship building offers the best equipment and production value.

“The place that is the best is probably the music in worship building. They have mics there, a keyboard there. It’s usually all set up. And then we can practice late at night, we won’t disturb anyone, so that’s usually a good thing,” Lai said.

Never Ideal

Lai has also practiced in the global student’s office in the upper Student Union Building. While he describes this room as convenient, it may never be ideal. The room can feel tight with a whole band, and equipment must be brought in from elsewhere from outside the office.

Lydia Deaton, senior Christian ministries major, similarly practices in a tight space. As a leader of a worship band, finding spaces and choosing the agenda of rehearsals rests on her. Deaton’s band prefers to practice in an area behind the Biola swimming pool, in a small room called the shed. In the shed, chapel groups are welcome to leave their instruments and practice as they desire.

Another space Deaton’s band has worked in sits in the upper SUB, in Chad Miller’s office inside the Christian Formation and Ministry room. The band refers to this space as the studio, and while it can offer needed last-minute practice space, the offered units may not be ideal.

“We prefer the shed because we can actually play with the real instruments, in the studio you have to use the electric drums and a different keyboard, but this one is the one we use in the actual chapel, and we can hear ourselves better,” Deaton said.


Although the shed does offer a space for storing instruments long-term, it also provides opportunity for bonding on a deeper level while serving the student body.

“We do really like this space and it’s because it’s become very cozy and we have a lot of memories in here. But it would be nice to have a bigger space,” Deaton said. “We don’t have access to [the music and worship building] because no one on our team is a worship major. We used to have someone who was, and we practiced a few times while he was on our team but he graduated.”

Without a Worship Major

Those in chapel programs who do not have a worship major in their worship band cannot practice in the worship building, and figuring out a place to fit can be a challenge. Often, long periods of time have to be allotted simply to set up before rehearsal even begins.

“The reason it takes so long to set up is because all of this stuff we have to move back so we have room for our instruments. We can fit, but it can just really cramped sometimes, it’s hard with the drums, because it can hurt your ears,” Deaton said.

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