Haemi Kim—Staff Writer
On Monday February 4th, prolific singer-songwriter and modern-day hymn writer Sandra McCracken visited Dordt College as part of the First Monday Speakers Series. Among many other pieces, she wrote “We Will Feast in the House of Zion,” which is often sung at Dordt. In the morning, she presented “A Songwriter’s Journey through the Psalms” and sang few songs on the BJ Haan stage.
Instead of the normal SB 1606 location, McCracken’s evening session came back to the BJ Haan, opening up a free concert for students and faculty. She performed 15 different songs, including songs she wrote, songs she collaborated on and songs she simply liked. She had a similar theme of asking what “your [our] story” was and shared her perspective on how God has shown the path she was walking on.
“First impressions: it was absolutely beautiful!” junior digital media major Elizabeth Eckels said. “She had this warm genuineness about her, and all of her songs had a purpose and a story behind them. I don’t want to sound cliché, but that concert was one of those times where you could feel God moving through us and moving hearts.”
“At first I was not sure what I wanted to think about her music because of her new twist on the Psalms,” said junior fine arts major Allison Wordes, who attended both the afternoon and evening sessions. “As someone who is studying pipe organ and hymns, I didn’t know if a contemporary artist could pull it off. Overall, however, I felt inspired by her music and pulled by her inspection of human emotion. It has changed the way that I see Christian worship music, honestly.”
Wordes also loved how McCracken worked with her husband, who performed on the piano.
“I thought that Sandra McCracken was very real and open,” sophomore fine arts Danikka Jackson said. “She may have written a popular worship song and has a beautiful voice and all that, but she didn’t seem vain or proud, just casual and willing to admit that things aren’t always perfect.”
The stage was simple: McCracken, two accompanists and the instruments.
“All in all, I found it very refreshing,” Jackson said. “My favorite song was her version of Psalm 42, ‘My Help, My God.’”
The First Mondays Speaker Series aims to bring in a variety of leaders to stretch students’ imaginations and their understanding of this world. This month, McCracken definitely brought the campus the new perspective of a musician and how music can bring the light to this world.