Upbeat, genuine, and intentional corporate worship is nothing new here at Northwest University. In fact, it happens on a regular basis from 3-5 times a week in chapel and on Monday nights at student-led Pursuit. What doesn’t happen on a regular basis is the recording of a live worship album with hundreds of voices echoing throughout Butterfield Chapel. On January 14, 2013 the dream of recording a live worship album came true.
Who made this project possible?
The vision for the album entitled “For You” originated with Northwest University Ministry Association Worship Director Christian Dawson (@Christiand2010) and his peers, but quickly spread to other areas on-campus.
While he assisted with song writing, music arranging, singing, and playing keys and made sure word got out about their recording, Dawson also acknowledges that the project wouldn’t have been possible without all the minds that put this live recording together. NU’s Creatio Studio team and new live sound technician Eli Ramos have been a huge part of the production process. “We also had an incredible musical team,” Dawson says of his band mates, guitarists and vocalists Israel Talamantes and Connor Hedge, electric guitarist Lalo Guzman, bassist Nathaniel Furtado, drummer Isai Talamantes, vocalists Kenzie Villarreal, Kaitlyn Rasmussen, and Charley Laas.
Northwest University believes in excellence especially in the music, theology, and recording departments, and this is often exemplified in the variety of worship teams on campus.
“We took our different worship teams, combined them, and put together a project that gave a more holistic reflection of the sound of NU Worship,” explains Dawson. “We are also creating a culture of writing. There are songs being written in our community and we want to begin to hear them.”
Sophomore Connor Hedge (@connor_hedge) wrote the title track “For You” in his dorm one day during last fall for his worship methods class. It is a song all about God and his amazing characteristics being the reason for us to lift him high in praise. Hedge says that hearing the student body sing the song made him feel extremely blessed that God would allow him to take part in creating a song that people could engage in.
What is the purpose for this album?
In part, the team wants this project to be for the NU community. It is something we can take, enjoy, be proud of, and be encouraged by. Current NU student Sarah Foster said she loved the atmosphere of the evening, people cheering and having a great time, the lights and the music, and especially how she could “feel the Holy Spirit in the house.” Paired intentionally with every song on the album, there is even a devotional thought or encouragement written by an NU professor.
This project is also for the local church. The band wants it to be a tool for churches all across the world to use in their services, which is why the album will include music and lyrics. One of the neat parts about the album is that its music crosses styles and genres to cater to a worldwide audience. A majority of the proceeds for the album will go to sending out NU’s teams to minister to students and churches as well.
This project is also for the lost. The band hopes it is a tool that people can use to reach their friends and families who may not be receptive to the message of Christ in other ways. “Finally, it is for Christ,” says Dawson. “We want to honor Him through a project that is about Him.”
Campus Pastor Phil Rasmussen was involved with overseeing the live CD as well and he adds:
“There are so many great things at NU that we can talk about and this is one of them. If our community will get behind this we really have an opportunity for people around the region and the country to have a small taste of what the community at NU is about. We are not ashamed of our faith. Jesus is the main thing we have in common and we need to make him famous in every way we can. This album will be in the hands of many people…pray God blesses people as they listen to it.”
When can we hear the finished product?
The current goal is to release the album “For You” on Monday, April 22, 2013 through a live release worship night. Everyone is invited, including the Northwest community as well as local churches and pastors. The guitars will be blaring, vocals riffing, keys swirling sweet melodies, voices harmonizing, and the syncopated drums driving each song amidst a spirited crowd. You don’t want to miss these events that showcase the caliber of musical performance and genuine worship Northwest University has to share.
To see more photos of the recording project check out our Flickr Gallery.
Posted on Tuesday, February 5, 2013