John Mark Reynolds, 2004.
Biola has a first rate Conservatory, that deserves even more money and support. I have had great pleasure at many fine concerts. However, today Torrey Music Club put on a worship service I enjoyed more than any other event I have attended in a long while. Too often in our culture we worship the professional at the expense of the joy of community. Music is too important to be left to the professional, though there is a place for the professional. No one has been to Messiah done by untrained voices could doubt it.The music club did a selection of hymns, the songs of the parish not the professional, mixed in with Lutheran catechism, the theological of the layman. It was divine. If you doubt a liberal, Christ-centered education exists, you should have seen the faces of these students. They meant what they were singing. They sang well, having worked hard, though not professionally. Their errors were of no consequence. What they did well mattered. Soul and body united to make music. When they invited the congregation to sing, it was wonderful to hear parents, Torrey chums, and other Biola students unite in praise to the creator. Students like the luminous Allison Connet, the director, remind me of why I teach. It was sacrament as the singers imparted grace to the audience at a deep level. Take hope. The culture is not lost when it can produce such men and women.