During my years studying music at Taylor, Rich Mullin’s song “Awesome God” was a very popular chapel song. Many dorm wings would perform it in Chapel with great enthusiasm. However, my favorite part of chapel was the organ preludes and postludes by Dr. Fred Shulze, who my father had befriended as an undergraduate, studying music at Wheaton College. As a music major, I spent most of my day in the Smith-Hermanson Music Building and enjoyed the friendships of those who “lived” there by day. During an intense J-Term music theory class, my roommate (and music major), Christa Ittzes and I named various campus buildings with music-theory related terms. We nicknamed the chapel the “Land of Parallel Fifths.” All in good fun. For my senior recital, I prepared Aaron Copland’s Passagalia in C minor. This is a set of variations over a repeating bass line. My Dad was intrigued by this form and composed an arrangement of a worship chorus over a repeating bass for me. He choose the tune “Awesome God” my Rich Mullins which I found so ironic. This and so many other experiences at Taylor taught me always to have an open mind and open heart. God works in mysterious ways and there is room in God’s church for multiple expressions of faith, word, liturgy, art and thinking.
I was enriched by chapel speakers and the variety of perspectives they exposed me to. I will never forget Jay Kesler’s chapel talks (“Nothing is going to jump out from under a rock and eat God”). The dedication and encouragement of the music faculty members continue to influence me today. I also was blessed to be employed at the Zondervan Library and the mentorship and friendship of many staff there is what led me to my vocation as a music librarian.