Songs and sounds representing a rich tapestry of cultures filled the Carlson Family Theater (CFT) during our inaugural HEALING through MUSIC production on Wednesday, January 17. In an inspiring collaboration between the Music, Theatre and Dance Departments, and the Office of Diversity, Inclusion, and Community Life, producers brought the joy and transformative healing power of music to its community of students, parents, and employees - while honoring Dr. King as an iconic catalyst for change.
“Dr. King recognized the power of music as an instrument of change,” said Patricia Jackson, Director of Diversity, Inclusion, and Community Life. “Our original production explores the profound and healing power of music across cultures, and provides a moment for all of us to reflect, rejuvenate, and reset.” She added, “As society grapples with unprecedented challenges, music stands resilient, offering a source of solace, connection, and renewal in the fabric of our ever-evolving culture.”
Celebrating the healing power of music across cultures, each of the four shows featured iconic songs, an interactive drum circle led by guest musician Jason Lee Bruns, and original compositions. The diverse array of performances also showcased two guest artists, who also are Viewpoint alums Randy White ’16, an R&B Singer/Songwriter and Music Therapist, and Jen Hirsh ’04, an R&B Singer/Songwriter and American Idol Semi-Finalist.
"I have a deep love for music, and Viewpoint played a crucial role in supporting many of my dreams. It provided me with opportunities to discover events, spaces, and people to showcase my singing. Participating in this event felt like a meaningful way to give back to the community that nurtured my passion," shared Randy White ’16.
The show, produced by composer, orchestrator, and arranger Bill Brendle, who leads the Voices Now performance group of singers, featured significant contributions from the Music Department Head Kristin Herkstroeter, the Theatre and Dance Department Head Scott Feldsher, Choir Director Carrie Dietsch, and the Director of Diversity, Inclusion, and Community Life, Patricia Jackson. The event reached its emotional peak with a moving rendition of Bill Withers' "Lean on Me" performed by a 125-person Viewpoint Community Choir, composed of both students and adults.