CFAW students show creativity through worship
Liberty University’s School of Music hosted its annual Worship Lifestyle Competition during College for a Weekend (CFAW) from Sept. 21-22. The competition was created in partnership with the Recruitment office to encourage prospective students to express their lifestyle of worship through speaking, writting and musical talents. The competition also served to introduce students to the School of Music and Liberty University.
Participants had the choice of competing in two different areas called tracks. In track one, participants submit essays explaining how they live a lifestyle of worship and present these essays as speeches to a series of judges. In track two, participants submitted a short description of their testimony and performed a Christian song or hymn on an instrument of their choice, including voice.
Faculty of the School of Music were in charge of judging the competition. Yevgeniy Dovgalyuk, an associate professor of violin, shared his experience as one of the judges for track one.
“I really enjoyed when students had personal experiences that they were willing to share with us. That was really special to see so many young people come through and pour their hearts out,” Dovgalyuk said.
After rounds of rigorous judging, three finalists from each track performed their presentations to the faculty of the School of Music who then voted on the winners of both tracks. This year, prospective students Andrew Winsley and Jacob Duncan won the Worship Lifestyle Competition. In track one, Winsley gave an engaging speech on living a lifestyle of worship, and in track two, Duncan played a hymn arrangement on the piano. Each winner was rewarded with a $10,000 scholarship to Liberty University.
“God has gifted the School of Music from the dean to the students, to see this as more than just a competition,” Esther Joy Davis, a guest and student services coordinator, said. “(We want) to really embrace these (prospective) students and their families, encourage and cheer them on, and help the parents calm down a little bit and relax. The atmosphere is hectic, but it’s really exciting and joyful, not chaotic and stressful.”
The Worship Lifestyle Competition hosted its largest number of participants this year. Stephen Müller, dean of the School of Music, and many other faculty are excited to host more students in the following years and would love to expand the competition.
“We had so many people this year, the most ever; it’s a good problem,” Müller said. “We’d love to see the competition expand into more tracks one day.”
Although the competition takes place at the School of Music, participants were not just future music majors. Many participants included those wanting to be aviation majors, English majors and others outside the School of Music.
“The Worship Lifestyle Competition gives a broader outreach for the School of Music. It gives us a little bit more opportunity to speak outside of music majors, but it also shows the campus, our community and prospective students (that) we are the School of Music,” Müller said. “We offer all varieties and styles of music but the heart of it is our worship of the Lord. (Seeing the participants perform) encourages me about this upcoming generation. They are really on fire and ready to serve the Lord.”
Oribello is a feature reporter for the Liberty Champion