And the Beat Goes On

by Briauhnna A. Phelps

APU music students have the advantage of a four-month summer break, which allows them to focus exclusively on their music without the stress of a demanding class schedule.

Jonathan Lord ’11—"JLord" to his friends—is a commercial music major with an emphasis in arranging and audio recording who was busy working on numerous music projects this summer.

“I recorded demos for several people and wrote pieces to be performed by APU’s ensembles,” Lord explained. “I also had independent jobs such as running sound at a professor’s church and creating rehearsal packets for our Bel Canto Women’s Choir’s repertoire this year.”

When it comes to the music-making process, Lord prefers to help others produce their work. His favorite parts of making music are engineering and producing.

“I love helping and collaborating with people, and being an engineer allows me to do that,” he said. “There are so many talented artists who are scared and intimidated by computers and recording, and there’s nothing I love more than taking that fear and turning it into a powerful tool to help spread someone’s art.”

One artist that Lord began helping the summer was Brian Svehaug ’10, a music theory and composition major working on his first album, "Definition of a Dream," which features his own music and lyrics.

Svehaug, who adopts the recording name of Brian Strick, desires to create music that brings glory to God. His favorite part of the recording process is, “envisioning the impact it can have, should it serve God’s intention.” His inspirations are, “the grace God gives to humble man, the love He shows toward us, the hope His promises provide, and the peace His love brings.” Svehaug wants his music’s focus to be on God and not on him as a recording artist.

“My favorite moment so far was recording kids (one of the tracks features a young soloist and an ensemble of children singing along with the chorus) and seeing their faces light up, both because of the music and because of how special they felt being a part of a recording," said Svehaug. "When they walked out smiling and humming the chorus, I couldn’t help but laugh, realizing that God seems to have plans for this music that are so much bigger than I am.”

Both Lord and Svehaug are still hard at work on their music, even as APU enters the busy midterms season. “College is about prepping for the workforce,” Lord said. “This is my job, just like my classes. It’s not a struggle or even an inconvenience; it’s a challenge, a test run, a sample of everything I hope to be doing someday. It’s exciting.”