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A Music Sensation

Smoothies and JazzWritten by Dr. Brett Janssen, Music Department Chair

McPherson, Kansas – The Central Christian College of Kansas (CCCK) Music Department presented a variety of events during the second half of the semester, showcasing student talent through diverse genres of music. The top highlight was music major Luke Koerperich’s (CC ’21) senior recital which consisted of a classical piano portion with works ranging from Haydn’s “Sonata number 60 in C Major” to Rachmaninoff’s “Prelude in G Minor”. The second half of his recital consisted of the CCCK jazz band which presented works ranging from “Spain” by Chick Corea to “Whistle While You Walk” by The Yellow Jackets.

Other highlights include performances by the Concert Choir, the Jazz Band, and the Lab Band, the former two under the direction of Dr. Brett Janssen (CC ’01).

Prior to their final performance in Greer Auditorium on April 18th, the choir ministered through music at New Gottland Covenant Church just outside of McPherson. This was the first time the choir has performed off-campus since COVID hit last year, and the choir students and church congregation were encouraged as they worshiped together. The final choir concert included fifty minutes of music that featured senior Luke Koerperich as a soloist on “Blessed Assurance” and Rachmaninoff’s “Prelude in G Minor.” Other featured performers included sophomore Seongji Lee on violin and Emily Epp (CC ’20) as accompanist. The diverse literature ranged from “Cantate Domino” to “Blue Skies” to “African Psalm”.

The following Tuesday, Central hosted the SGA-sponsored “Smoothies and Jazz,” which featured the CCCK Jazz Band with an outdoor concert at Heartbeat Coffee. Though snow covered the ground earlier that day, warmer temperatures in the evening along with a fire pit, hot chocolate, and coffee contributed to a fun atmosphere for the CCCK students and Jazz Band. Featured songs included “You’ve Got A Friend In Me” and the “Pink Panther” theme, along with those performed at Luke Koerperich’s senior recital.

Heartbeat Manager, Tara Kemp (CC ’17) was more than happy to help host the “Smoothies and Jazz” event, saying,

We really enjoyed being part of the Smoothies and Jazz event. It was fun to be able to see the different departments – Fine Arts, Student Government, and Heartbeat – work together to put on something great for our campus community to take part in. All of the baristas that worked the evening commented on the fun they had doing so, and mentioned it is something that should happen again. What is better than good coffee – or smoothies – good music, and good people?

The Lab Band performance on April 26th featured works by bands Annie Will Know and Lemongrass. Annie Will Know, directed by Dr. Jacob Kaufman (CC ’03), performed songs ranging from “Listen To The Music” by the Doobie Brothers, “Lookin’ Out My Back Door,” by Credence Clearwater, and “Bonkers,” an original by the band. Lemongrass followed, which performed all originals, half of which are scripture-based, including “Quercas Strain” and “Crux”.

Other music events during the second half of the semester included three Applied Lesson Recitals and the Music Theory IV Composition Recital. The Applied Lesson Recitals occurred Wednesday afternoons in Greer Auditorium and featured music and non-music majors enrolled in applied music lessons. The diversity of instruments included piano, guitar, percussion, and voice students, and performance literature ranged from Bach to musical theatre. The composition recital featured music majors James Parry and Jordan Summers, who wrote works using a variety of twentieth-century techniques including impressionism, prepared piano, aleatoric, and electronic music. “The Search for the Unknown” by Summers, a minimalistic composition, included Luke Koerperich on glockenspiel, Hibiki Takahashi on woodblock, Dr. Jacob Kaufman on guitar, and Ryan Mackey (CC ’97) on bass guitar. Parry’s twelve tone piece “Meine Strahlend Liebhaber” featured Luke Koerperich on piano.

Regarding the various events over the semester, Dr. Janssen stated,

It is wonderful to hear wonderful music this semester. I am proud of all of the music students and the time they have devoted to growing musically and sharing their music with the community.  I look forward to what next year will bring with the music department.

ABOUT CENTRAL CHRISTIAN COLLEGE OF KANSAS

Central Christian College of Kansas is a regionally accredited institution offering undergraduate and graduate-level programs. Central strives to offer Christ-centered education for the whole person – heart, mind, soul, and strength. Its history dates back to 1884, and it is located in the friendly town of McPherson, Kansas. Central is a strategically small college that offers over forty areas of residential study and a thriving online program for non-traditional students. To learn more about Central go to centralchristian.edu/about.

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