October 22, 2020

Inspiring Performance at Evening of Classics

Cherry performs at Evening of the Classics

Everyone wants to be inspired,” shares Joel Visker, Wheaton Academy’s Choral Director. “Watching young adults pursue their passions and share their talents is simply inspiring.  It is mutually beneficial for both audience and performer to experience music that lifts our spirits during challenging times. We have great hope that God is always working to shine His light through our students as they allow themselves to be used by Him and for His glory.” 

On Tuesday night, music students gathered in the Fine Arts Center to perform at our annual concert, Evening of Classics. This year, the performance was streamed to a live YouTube audience by our hardworking livestream team. The concert featured eighteen performances including soloists, an a cappella choir, and a chamber music ensemble. Repertoire ranged from early Renaissance songs to familiar classics like Bach’s cello suite.

Vocalist Anna Jones reflects, “Even though Classics is normally performed live with an audience, the experience of live streaming was a blessing that encouraged the viewers and performers to look ahead towards better times. Our directors have been inspired to act creatively and use the resources we have to create a beautiful sound—even behind the masks. I believe that singing has created a newfound sense of hope in the hearts of many. Singing is a way to shed light on a dark situation. As we sing to glorify the Lord, the Lord is blessing us daily with the ability to even perform at concerts like Evening of the Classics.

Many student performers echoed Anna’s reflection on the hope that is inherent in music-making. Pianist Kate Johnston shared, “I’m encouraged that we were still able to share the beauty and gift of music. Even though so many things around us have changed, the community and joy from sharing music hasn’t changed.

Vocalist Cherry Kuruppacherry adds, “Music is my favorite way to speak to God. When I sing it’s my way of expressing gratitude and praise. Sometimes, music helps me to convey what I want to say better than prayer because it expresses emotions and thoughts I can’t always name.

We are so grateful that we are able to continue providing students with opportunities to glorify God and share their talents with the Wheaton Academy community this fall through events like WAvinia and Evening of Classics.

Orchestra Director Steve Willemssen shares, “It was so good to see and reflect on the lessons that students learn from the act of performing music. From the preparation and audition process, to having to deal with nerves, to wrestling with what it means to communicate to other people through an art form, to expressing encouragement and thankfulness to other performers…. These are all part of the performance process that are essential to the life of a musician; they are also skills that help inform so many other parts of students’ lives. We are so thankful that the act of performance still gets to be part of these students’ educational journey even during this unique year!