Archive for the ‘Asbury features’ Category

My favorite is…

Posted: March 27, 2012 by Laura Richards in Asbury features

Everyone has different taste, style and like different genres of music. Some like hip hop, while others prefer a more contemporary style. For this article, I decided to focus on the ladies of Asbury and see who their favorites are!

Megan Snyder

– “My favorite band is Switchfoot. I’ve loved them since I was 13, and they’re so genuine with their lyrics.”

Linnea Luzzo

-“John Mayer, because he is a great songwriter and I can find a song to listen to no matter what mood I am in. I have seen him twice in concert and he is a great performer and guitarist. And he is also SEXY.”

Jenny Kate Baker

-“I love the Backstreet Boys! They’re classic boy band and their music always makes me so happy! They’re adorable too.”

Krysti Leonard

-“Taylor Swift, duh. She is an incredible songwriter.”

Melissa Landon

-I love Chris Rice music because the lyrics are creative. The sound is unique and I never get tired of listening to it.”

Rachel Taber

-“I would have to say Lady Antebellum. They remind me of where I grew up. My hometown. The people. Their songs hold meaning. Also, musically they are phenominal.”

Sara Morgan

-“Billy Currington. he is a country singer. he is hot, sings great songs, he is sweet and he is also my future husband. Did I mention he is goodlooking?”

Asbury features…Joshua Bracken

Posted: February 28, 2012 by Shelby Weakley in Asbury features

When we hear the organ play in chapel, some may think it’s a lost art. Others, such as Joshua Bracken, deem it his calling.

Bracken began to play the organ when he was a junior in high school. He was first introduced to the organ when the organist at his church went to Paris, France (but he is originally from Tennessee.) With no previous experience with the organ, much less the piano, Bracken began to familiarize himself. “I started to mess around and I found it came easy to me,” said Bracken. “Well my parents invested in lessons for me and I took off.” Since then he has practiced and succeeded. After five years of playing and lessons, he has gotten a lot farther even without piano lessons, which the norm is for most people to have skill in piano first before organ.

Besides having fun, Bracken has said that the organ has taught him many things. “The main thing the organ has taught me is discipline. I have to manage my time very carefully so I can have time to practice and time for school.” Bracken usually practices 12 hours a week to keep his skills sharp and in tune. He has also learned a bit about friendships as well. “Since I spend my time alone, I have learned to really value my friendships outside of practice time.”

The skill and art of organ playing has taken Josh on many adventures. He has played in churches, some even across the world! “It gives me the opportunity to play many different organs and many different rooms. I think the coolest organ I have played on is in Austria.”  This experience has been a highlight of Bracken’s organist career. “I had the privilege to play an 111 year old organ!” Bracken has also played in Cincinnati, Chicago, Czech Republic and various other places.

Bracken has many goals about where playing the organ will take him in his future. “My goals, thus far, are to go to grad school in Wisconsin to get a Masters in church Music and [I’m] planning to be a minister of music,” he said. He also has a goal to play a very specific organ in the future. “One of my goals is to play the organ in Westminster Abbey in London, England,” he said. “It’s one of my favorite organs and by far my most favorite church building!”

Asbury features… Josh Krieder

Posted: February 14, 2012 by Shelby Weakley in Asbury features

When you hear a hearty laugh on campus, one can always assume it is Josh Krieder. Proud Asburian, Josh has a radiant personality that can make anyone around him smile even on his or her darkest days. But not everyone knows of his musical gift of guitar playing.

Josh began playing guitar since his junior year of high school with one of his buddies. “He had started playing and I wanted to as well, so I used [my friend’s] dad’s guitar and learned the basics from him,” he said. After this, Josh began to play on and off through high school, not really committing to it just yet. But the real influence to start focusing on the guitar has been his coming to Asbury. “My roommate was a pretty good guitar player, and just watching him play made me want to go from a casual player to a real guitarist,” said Josh.

Josh has learned a lot from learning to play an instrument. “Guitar has taught me that in order to be good at something you need to practice, and it will probably be hard and take a long time,” he said. “But it has also taught me that hard work is worth it.” Josh has not only learned about dedication but also about artistic expression through music: “I’ve always loved music, but until I started playing guitar, I didn’t have a way to create it myself. It provided a way for me to get me feelings out that I couldn’t necessarily put into words.”

Josh not only plays in his free time, but he also has opportunities to share his talent and use it for worship. “Anytime I play for people it’s usually for church or a small group,” he said. Josh has admitted to having a shy streak when it comes to playing in front of large groups, but he is finding courage. “I’m beginning to come out of that fear and looking for more opportunities to perform,” Josh said.

When asked about future opportunities concerning guitar playing, Josh revealed a possibility of wanting to maybe pursuing a career in worship ministry. “I would like to play in church and small groups more, and I hope to someday be a worship leader of some kind,” he said. Josh has also utilized the GarageBand app on Apple computers and recorded his own songs, and hopes to someday make a CD.

Though Josh has been emerging as more of a serious guitar player recently, he realizes how much progress he has made. “I’m not a virtuoso now, but I am much better than when I started!” he said. Like many of his friends, I know I am looking forward to what the future holds for him.

Josh Krieder playing guitar

Asbury features…Sean O’Connor

Posted: February 6, 2012 by Shelby Weakley in Asbury features

Sean O'Connor playing cello at Illuminated Freshman Formal

Sean O’Connor; most of the time when people hear that name, they think of the tall, media communications major that plays cello in chapel and in the orchestra at Asbury. A sophomore, Sean is a talented musician who honored me with the title of being called his friend. I got the chance to sit down with him and ask him about his gift.

Sean first started playing the cello in middle school during a “tryout day” for various instruments. “I tried the violin, cello and drums. [The] violin was too small and I could keep a beat on the drums, but I really enjoyed the cello.” Sean had been interested with the cello ever since he saw it on a Steven Curtis Chapman music video. “It was the song ‘When Love Takes You In.’ I saw it and thought, ‘that’s a cool instrument,” said he. And he has been playing ever since.

In the ten years that he has been playing (this coming September), Sean has learned a lot: “It’s really taught me to be committed to something… I guess it’s easy to put it off and not practice.” Sean struggled when he first began, not practicing as much as he could. “[I] got older and got more interested.” Sean says playing the cello became a bigger part of who he was, and helped him understand commitment and how practice can really make perfect.

With the cello, Sean has come from playing in fundraisers to chamber groups to playing solos for his church back home. “The first time I ever played other than the orchestra was at church four years ago.  [It was] an all worship service and I got to play a piece,” said Sean. He has played many classical pieces, one that I am extremely fond of which is the first of Bach’s six cello suites, which can be heard on the movie “Master and Commander.”

Although Sean is extremely skilled at the cello, he has decided to put his love of film first. “I love being able to play the cello, but am called to do Media Comm. in writing and directing film.” He would love to still be able to keep playing, either for pleasure or part-time gigs. “It would be really cool if I got to play for movies.” Maybe someday…

Asbury features…Sonneline Woolls

Posted: January 31, 2012 by Leslie Ferrell in Asbury features

By Leslie Ferrell

Not many people know that Sonneline Woolls, a sophomore here at Asbury and a major in business and accounting, is also a very talented musician. Originally from South Africa, Sonneline moved to China when she was 12 years old and stayed there until she graduated. After teaching herself how to play guitar, which she says came very naturally to her, she began writing lyrics when she was around 13 or 14 years old. “I actually taught myself to play music by writing it,” she says. However, not only was Woolls learning to play guitar and beginning to write lyrics, but her music also became an “outlet,” she says, for a then very introverted and shy young girl.

Woolls had the opportunity to begin performing in China, which was full of unforgettable experiences. She began by playing the bass in a band, and soon was performing her own concerts at various coffee shops, and eventually in front of thousands of people. They wanted to hear a blonde, Western girl, who could sing the songs they wanted to hear, especially, “Sweet Home Alabama” and “Hotel California.” In 2010, her senior year of high school, Woolls professionally recorded her first album, a process which took about three weeks. “It’s a very amateur CD. I think that if I made one now it would be a lot more polished with a lot better quality music,” she says.

Quality is something that her music does not lack. Her album entitled “Change” is all about “transition, the journey of life” and “being a third culture kid,” Woolls says. As she has grown up and encountered new experiences, her music has grown as well. Woolls says, “The more honest I become as a person and the more real I become as a person, the more real my songs get.” She says she would like to record another album with the songs she has been working on since coming to Asbury, which would appropriately be titled “From the Heart.” These latest songs, especially “Like One of Them,” which she sang at the Freshman Talent Show last year, deal with life issues that everyone faces, especially when coming to college, of finding the need to fit in and discovering their own identity.

Woolls wants to “try to capture people’s lives” through her music, she says, and she does this by being open, honest and real. “I try to reflect the way I feel now, and I think that’s really how I connect to people is because a lot of people have the same doubts and fears, they just are too scared to express them openly.” Woolls does admit that this can be very hard at times, as she says, “I am bearing my soul.” Her lyrics are very relatable, and at the same time they are gripping and passionate. While she is always trying to improve, and she loves coming up with new chords and especially new rhythms, what is most important for this young songwriter is the idea and message behind each one of her songs. “I don’t care about getting famous, I just want people to hear what I have to say,” she says. Woolls writes what she is feeling, and she would love for it to inspire others and help her to connect with people. However, she knows that this only happens because of God, and He is the one she gives the credit too. “I know that God gives me these songs,” she says. “It’s not from me and it’s not about me, and that’s when I really find pleasure in my music.” God is continually teaching and revealing new things to her through her very own songs.

Woolls is currently one of the Illuminated Class Chaplains, and she has led worship several times at class prayers, as well as at the Sophomore Retreat this past August.  She sings what she truly believes with a passion and sincerity that is apparent to all. Though she is not a music major or involved with the music department, Woolls sings and plays because it is what she loves, and because it is a way for her to express herself and share life with others. “I can’t speak to a thousand people, but I can sing to a thousand people,” she says. Not many would expect this from a major in business and accounting, but Sonneline Woolls is definitely a very inspiring and passionate writer and musician who loves the Lord and has a beautiful heart. If anyone is interested in buying her album, “Change,” it is available for $5. She would also like to share that she has eight songs that are  “fresh and wonderful and dying to be heard,” if any Audio Production students are looking for someone to record! Wink wink.

Asbury features…Abe Parker

Posted: January 23, 2012 by Leslie Ferrell in Asbury features

By Leslie Ferrell

Asbury University was visited this past week by its very own Abe Parker, a 2011 graduate and an aspiring and extremely talented musician. Parker is well known on Asbury’s campus for his upbeat and catchy songs that are fun and also have the power to inspire. He says he wants to write music that you can’t help but dance too, but music that is also inspiring and makes you think. “So think while you dance,” he says.

Parker has played all over campus, including coffeehouses at the student center, as well as down the road at Solomon’s Porch and at Common Grounds in Lexington, where many fans come to hear him play their favorite familiar songs, especially “Wendy,” “Maggie McGee” and “Love Runs Uphill.” However, this past Friday they gathered in Akers Auditorium to see the Abe Parker Band release concert for the new album, Ninety Percent of Reality. With this new album Parker says, “I am really trying to pursue one direction.” He loves the idea of creating something new, inventing a new type of music and a new genre. He describes his music as “John Mayer meets Maroon 5 and goes to Motown.” The songs have a pop influence, but they are also bluesy and groovy with a driving sound, similar to that of Stevie Wonder, and they make you want to sing right along.

Parker has been very successful with his music so far in his career. He grew up always being surrounded by music, as his parents both played instruments, and he himself received a ukulele when he was just 3 years old and his first electric guitar when he was 10. Needless to say, it has been a natural progression since then. “I guess the rest has really been history,” Parker said.

The new album has recently been released on iTunes, which Parker says is definitely a next step in the process, but it doesn’t mean near as much if people aren’t listening and enjoying it. He says, “If people really want to support the music I do, the best place to buy it is either from myself personally or you can get the entire album on Facebook too.” He is known for often giving out his CD’s to people who like and support his music, as he did at his concert on Friday night, and he hopes that everyone will share it with their friends and spread the word. He is very thankful and appreciative to all of his friends and fans for all of their support. “I’d rather people just enjoy the music that I’m making, just because I enjoy it and it makes me want to make even more music when more people like it,” Parker said.