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Music, Theater, and Art Converge at The Seven Last Words of Christ Event

by University Relations

The School of Music; Department of Theater, Film, and Television; and Department of Art and Design joined forces on March 21 for The Seven Last Words of Christ event, an evening of music, theater, and art commemorating Christ’s death and resurrection. It represented the first collaboration of these three influential disciplines that will form the new College of Music and the Arts in fall 2013.

School of Music string players performed Franz Joseph Haydn’s masterpiece The Seven Last Words of Christ, a world-renowned work with seven sonatas that depict Christ’s final utterances before His death. Faculty and students from the Department of Theater, Film, and Television wove relevant biblical readings and thought-provoking meditations between the sonatas. Adding yet another dimension, a projection screen showcased art pieces produced by art and design students illustrating the themes of Christ’s death and resurrection. “This collaboration encouraged people to think about how they should respond to Christ’s powerful final words. In order to honor that important call and facilitate an atmosphere conducive to deep contemplation, the performances and creative work had to meet the highest level of excellence,” said William Catling, MFA, professor and chair of the Department of Art and Design.

A purposeful intersection of faith and academic excellence, this fusion of artistic forms invited faculty, staff, students, and off-campus guests to experience Christ in new ways. “This high-quality collaboration among scholars and students centered our thoughts around Christ during the Easter season,” said Donald Neufeld, dean of the School of Music.

This synthesis of these creative disciplines forecasts the potential of the new College of Music and the Arts to engage students in today’s culture, pursue high standards of scholarly excellence, and further Christ’s work in the world. “The confluence of music, theater, and art produces an aesthetic power that amounts to much more than the sum of its parts,” said Catling. “As we work together and celebrate our symbiotic similarities and distinct differences, we find that we are stronger together than separate.”

Originally published in the Spring '13 issue of APU Life. Download the full issue (PDF).