Praise & Worship: The faces behind the voices

While many students might have seen this group at campus events or Praise and Worship Adoration, not many people really know much about the group. The Lorian got a chance to interview a few of the members to get an inside look at exactly what they do.

Graphic by Anna Petersen

“The praise and worship team is a group of musicians that provides contemporary Christian music at different events on campus,” said Rachel Timmerman, the director of liturgical music and the group’s mentor. “They are most known for their Praise and Worship Adoration nights, but they also occasionally play at Mass and different Spiritual Life events.”

The group consists of many vocalists and a few instrumentalists. Praise and Worship Adoration is held on the second Thursday of every month at 9 p.m. The group also sings at a couple other campus events and special Masses each month. Auditions for the group are held at the beginning of each school year in the fall.

Not only is this group a student favorite, but it’s also very important to Timmerman as well.

“It’s important to me because of what they do – they get the opportunity to lead fellow students in sung prayer. I think what they do is important and necessary on campus. We have adoration opportunities every day, but this holy hour is at a different time of day that may work better for some people or is an alternative for people who may be nervous about the idea of silent adoration. It’s a great blessing in my life to be able to gather and pray with and for these students and all students.”

Students come from all over campus to enjoy the music these students provide. A few of them gave their insight on what being a part of the group means to them.

“My favorite part about being in the group is the community, especially the solid group of singers in the guys section that are all good friends,” said junior Blake Derby, a vocalist for the group. “My favorite song is probably ‘Blessed Be Your Name’ because it’s an awesome closer. I also really like ‘Build Your Kingdom.’ We just added it this year.”

Another vocalist, junior Rachel Heiderscheit, shared why she enjoys group.

“I love being part of Praise and Worship because I get to help others in their conversations with Christ. I can focus on praising God through music, which is my favorite way to pray, and help others raise their voices to God as well. I love looking out and seeing heads bowed in prayer or looking up with complete love for Christ in their eyes as they look upon the Blessed Sacrament,” said Heiderscheit, “‘Sanctuary’ is one of my favorite songs to sing. I think it is so beautiful and peaceful and even though we do it towards the end usually, it always puts me in a good place with my prayer.”

Not only does this group welcome singers, but there are places for instrumentalists as well. Senior Ayla Graziano contributes her musical abilities through playing the violin.

“My favorite part of being in the group is getting to collaborate with others and play music I don’t typically get to play. It gives me a break from the classical music I typically play and allows me to express myself in a different way,” said Graziano,

“‘Oceans’ is my favorite song because of the instrumental solo parts I get to play, the lower range, and the large crescendo that builds throughout the piece.”

These students hold this group dear to their hearts just as much as the rest of the Loras community. As a Catholic college, Loras provides opportunities for students to use their talents in worship. Come listen to the team during their next Praise and Worship Adoration that will take place on Thursday, April 12, at 9 p.m. in Christ the King Chapel.

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