Music majors show out at popular music concert

The Popular Music Ensemble Concert showcases the development of students’ performance skills.

Amanda Frese, Staff Writer

Hands clapped to the melodic indie-pop songs of COIN and Hippo Campus, feet tapped to the tune of “ABC” by Jackson 5 and students’ voices belted Queen’s “Somebody to Love” at the Popular Music Ensemble Concert on April 23 at the Fireplace Pavilion. Throughout the concert, four bands consisting of performers majoring in worship or commercial music performed sets of popular music songs. In between performances, soloists from the bands also performed original compositions.

The popular music concert is held every spring to showcase the development of students studying worship and commercial music. Students who performed were given scholastic credit for their participation in the concert.


Performers chose songs at the beginning of the semester, practicing for at least two hours a week to prepare for the concert and receiving feedback from performance coaches. Four coaches mentored each band, overseeing the development of performance skills, according to director of commercial music and manager of the worship arts degree Jeff Askew.

“The groups are put together in the fall to do worship concert and in the spring to do commercial,” Askew said. “It’s primarily to get the worship majors more comfortable performing and also the performers more comfortable with ministry.”


After months of preparation, students walked onstage to perform their sets, while students walking from the Caf stopped to listen to the familiar music coming from the speakers as they heard their peers perform popular songs. Before long, Biola students crowded around the stage and clapped along to the beat of the music.

However, for some performers, the concert was one of their lasts at Biola, with graduation rapidly approaching. Senior commercial music major Christopher Hutton reminisced on the people who have helped him grow musically, and how music has impacted him throughout the past four years at Biola.

“I have seen all these people grow so much over the years, and it’s just such a fun night, so it’s hard that it’s the last night for me,” Hutton said. “Music is how I live my life. I don’t know what I would do without it. It’s not something I can’t do, and being here for four years has just enforced and encouraged that.”

Additionally, junior commercial music major Ellery Sablan shared about her move to California and choice to study music through the performance of her original song “Backwards California.” According to Sablan, the song reflects on her transition to California after leaving her home in Guam and how she has grown in the past three years at Biola.

“In the end, I’m just happy to share what I can create with everybody,” Sablan said. “Music for me, it’s like this amazing experience. First and foremost, God gives us these amazing musical gifts and we’re able to share it with the community. But music is also family, because there are so many people that I love in the program and how it’s able to connect everybody––it has such a beautiful connective force.”


0 0 votes
Article Rating