Apr 27, 2010

Sarah Kinas offstage - Creative and quirky

by Erica O'Rock

 

“I didn’t have the best attitude about female worship leaders. I thought it was a guy’s job, you know, kind of like pastoring. But she showed up and she sang, and up until that point it was the most incredible worship experience that I had ever had, and my attitude was immediately changed. And I was just like, ‘That is what I want to do.’”

Sitting cross legged on a hardwood floor, Sarah Kinas reflected on the influence Meredith Andrews Sooter, former Liberty University campus praise band singer, had on Sarah’s life at a youth camp. Now, four and half years later, Kinas leads roughly 12,000 residential students at Liberty in worship five times a week with the campus praise band.

Originally from Reston, Va., known for its town center and bustling businesses within the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area, Kinas is the middle child in a family with three children. While she explained that neither of her parents are musically inclined, all three children were gifted musically. It is no secret that Kinas is an artist in every aspect of the word. Kinas began singing her sophomore year in high school for the youth worship team at McLean Bible Church. She readily admits that she has been a performer since diaper years. Without hesitation and with a giant burst of laughter, Kinas said that being musical did not help her fit in growing up.
“I think the way that I process everything around me and just the way that I see the world is very different than other people. I think that musical instinct, or whatever you want to call it, is directly related to that. I’ve always kind of been an oddball,” Kinas said.
During her high school and the years when all she wanted to do was fit in, being “an oddball” was a nuisance. Now, Kinas takes pride in her individuality that so many have come to enjoy.

“I love it. I love being set apart. I love being different. Celebrate diversity,” she said.
Still sitting on the floor dressed in blue jeans, a white T-shirt and faded black cotton hoodie, Sarah twirls the silver ring on her right ring finger around and occasionally grabs at and fidgets with her silver chain necklace.
“I wrote my first song when I was 8-years-old. It was probably one of the worst songs ever composed in the history of humanity,” she said, laughing in remembrance.
Kinas started writing music seriously her junior year in high school, but Kinas says she still looks back and laughs at herself and how juvenile the songs were. 

“Even when I look at songs that I wrote last year or two years ago sometimes I laugh just because, I guess the way that you see the world changes. The way that you express yourself changes. So when you revisit past ways of thinking, you just kind of, I don’t know ... It’s like reading an old diary,” Kinas said.

Her freshman year at Liberty, Kinas did not make the praise band and said she felt as though she “lost a sense of purpose” by not having the chance to sing, but later that same year, a group of her close friends and fellow musicians formed a band known as Glass City Stories, giving her an outlet for her musical spirit. The group recorded two original full length songs with the band’s producer and guitarist Brian Morgenthaler, and the single “Come Home” proved to be a hit for the band and a perfect display of Kinas’ vocals backed by solid instrumentals.
Luckily for all, Kinas made the praise band going into her sophomore year after a last minute audition. 

“I actually got the second to last audition spot that was open,” she said.

“She fits very well with the focus of the band, which like the rest of us, she sees the need of the students in the environment they’re in and with God’s power, she strives to lead in Jesus’ shadow — not the spotlight. She understands that it’s not about her, and it’s an honor sharing the stage with her,” bandmate Justin Kintzel said.

Though Kinas is a great leader by talent alone, her personality continues to shine through and make her contributions to the band enjoyable. 

“(Sarah) and I pick on each other a lot, kind of like brother and sister, and that sibling kind of love translates to the stage when we lead worship,” Kintzel said. “She adds a very important dynamic to the band. Obviously, being a girl, she adds a sweetness to things, but she can also be ‘one of the guys.’ It’s fun having her around, and she doesn’t make us guys feel awkward when we accidentally say something stupid.” 

Students and friends described Kinas as creative, genuine, goofy and compassionate, along with many other characteristics.

With her amazing voice and quirky personality, those who know Sarah personally only say positive things about her. Thousands of students who watch her from the stage flood her Facebook wall with praises, encouragements and notes of thankfulness for her amazing voice and fun personality. 

 

Contact Erica O’Rock at

eorock@liberty.edu. 


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