The Grace College worship arts program released an album titled “Reclaim/Proclaim” on March 24, featuring five songs written and performed by worship arts students and faculty.
“The project title, ‘Reclaim/Proclaim,’ comes from the idea of reaching back into church history to find hidden gems and declaring timeless truths in a fresh way,” said Dr. Wally Brath, who led the project. “I hope you are blessed by these sung prayers and that they will help you encounter the living Christ in ever-deepening ways.”
Work on the album began in the fall of 2019 but was put on hold when the pandemic hit. In the fall of 2021, they resumed recording. The students wrote the songs through their worship theology courses, and they used the skills they learned in audio production courses to record and mix the album.
Abigail Hawkins, a senior at Grace from Grand Rapids, Mich., co-wrote two songs on the album: “Come Holy Spirit Dove Divine” and “Psalm 34.” She is a vocalist in both songs and played the keys in ”Come Holy Spirit” as well.
“The process of this project has been a blast, and I learned so much from being in the studio specifically,” said Abigail. “I love how collaborative it was and how much spontaneously happened within the arrangements of some of the songs. Wally did a great job of championing our creativity and giving assists where there were gaps in our skills. Overall, I am so behind the vision of the worship arts program to teach and grow worship renewal in our churches.”
For recent graduate Elizabeth Aalbue, her favorite part of the project was arranging the string parts for “Come Holy Spirit Dove Divine.”
“I learned the importance of patience in this process. Writing up each part required notation, listening and rewriting to ensure I had chosen good harmonies and melodic lines for each instrument,” said Elizabeth. “I’m so thankful to the Lord and to Dr. Brath for the opportunity to use my gifts on this project,” she said.
Wally hopes to record and release music yearly to give students experience working with recording and mixing.
“When we began the worship arts program at Grace in 2016, one of my goals was to write and produce our own music,” said Wally. “It has been a joy to watch that goal come to fruition, and I look forward to coming alongside students in these projects for years to come.”
Learn more about the album and find links to online listening platforms here.