Tag Archive | "Jordan Brown"

Audiences blend at Homecoming concerts

Contemporary Christian artists Michael W. Smith and Shawn McDonald are making their way to Indiana Wesleyan University Homecoming weekend, and their audiences are overlapping in ways they haven’t before.

“We try to select our artists based on age demographics,” Lance Percy, associate vice president for Advancement and Alumni Relations, said.

Smith’s concert is geared toward the middle-aged and older alumni, he said, but this year, more younger people are interested in attending.

“Michael is unique in that way. He kind of crosses over a lot,” Percy said. “A lot of freshmen parents were planning to come back and go with their student. We don’t always have the benefit of selecting an artist with that broad of an appeal.”

The Student/Young Alumni Concert, on the other hand, is created to appeal more to the students and younger generation of alumni — hence, the performance of Shawn McDonald, who began his career in 2004.

The Shawn McDonald Concert, featuring Jordan Brown and Josh Lavender (alumni ‘12), will occur at 9 p.m. Friday, Oct. 3, in the Phillippe Performing Arts Center Auditorium.

The concert order will be Brown, Lavender, then McDonald. Brown said she plans on performing a couple of covers of secular pop songs and then three of her originals, including her single “Grace Unexpected,” then probably end on a worship song.

Having talked to Lavender and hearing that he’d be doing a four-piece band style, and knowing McDonald’s recent music as being more pop-sounding, Brown decided to try and balance out the musical stylings. Though her band is typically more electric drums driven, she opted for more of an acoustic feel.

“Imagine Mumford and Sons meets Adele meets Katy Perry — [that’s] the sound we’re going for,” Brown said.

Her band consists of herself on acoustic guitar, Daniel Rife (alumnus ‘11) on accordion, Anthony Francis (alumnus ’10) on banjo, Alex Krupp (alumnus ’13) on cajon, Adam Butler (sr) on percussion, Chelsea Jensen (sr) on glockenspiel, Stacey Fisher (sr) on piano/keys, and Dan Strope (jr) on bass.

“It’s always an honor to play anything at Indiana Wesleyan,” Brown said.

And with Lavender’s May 2013 EP “The One My Soul Loves” and upcoming EP “Hope in Jesus,” Brown says she is excited to reconnect with him as well.

The Homecoming Concert with Michael W. Smith, who came to Marion once before in 1987, featuring IWU Chorale, will occur the following day at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 4, in the Chapel Auditorium.

The Chorale, made up of 100 student members and 80 alumni members, will be singing as backups for four songs with Smith, according to Percy.

Percy said IWU might get the chance to hear Smith perform some of his more recently recorded music, such as songs from his worship album, “Sovereign,” released this past May, and his first-ever album of traditional hymns, “Hymns,” released in March.

With Smith attracting various age demographics, students and alumni have a better chance to connect this year.

“Indiana Wesleyan is a fantastic university, but the people are what make it the greatest,” Brown said. “Just seeing the people, seeing old friends, reconnecting that way is probably what I’m looking forward to most.”

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Beyond Basketball

Serving others occurs both on the main stage and behind the scenes. One Indiana Wesleyan University student does this through two of her passions: basketball and worship.

Jordan Brown (sr) played high school basketball in Bettendorf, Iowa, earning the position of  varsity captain her senior year. Coming to IWU as a psychology major with a worship minor, Brown said she knew playing basketball for the Wildcats wasn’t likely; she didn’t even think about the possibility. But she did get a chance.

“I was shooting outside one day, and Ashley Brooks [sr] and then another player who graduated a couple of years ago saw me, and they were like, ‘hey, you should try out for the team or try to be on our practice team,’” Brown said.

After conditioning with the team for a month, Brown thought she had a spot on the roster, but things turned out differently.

“I was actually really disappointed because when [coach Steve Brooks] called me into his office at the end of conditioning, I thought he was going to tell me ‘Sorry, it’s over,’” Brown said. “But he was like, ‘I appreciate your hard work and how you stuck with it, so if you want to be our manager, you can still hang around.’ That’s how Coach is. He hates it when people don’t get to be involved. He’s got a soft spot for people.”

About that time, Brown said she wanted to start with IWU’s praise and worship team. She taught herself how to play guitar as a freshman in high school when she and her family were serving as missionaries in the Philippines. After multiple years of experience in worship during high school, she thought leading worship at IWU would be easy.

“I came to Indiana Wesleyan with false expectations. I thought I was going to get involved right away. There’s going to be tons of opportunities, like I’ll play all the time. And that definitely wasn’t the case,” Brown said. “For me, it was kind of God being like, ‘No, you are not ready yet. You think you’re ready, but you’re not.’”

But as the years passed, many of Brown’s duties as team manager and opportunities as a worship leader grew.

As a team manager, she started filming away games and washing laundry. This grew into the head manager position by her junior year, keeping track of the shot chart and assisting with team devotions.

“She really cares about people and has a real passion for serving people, especially on our team,” Wildcats center Krystal Stoneking (sr) said. “If something’s missing, she is willing to go find it or get something for us if we need it. She’s very selfless and it shows every day.”

As a worship leader, Brown started by playing for student-led events off-campus as well as singing once in chapel. After a summer worship internship in 2011, she said this school year “blew up,” as she had the opportunity to play at Summit for the first time.

“She’s strong enough as a leader to be able to take authority for her [worship] team, make decisions, lead others, but she’s also very receptive to the encouragement and guidance of the dean of the chapel’s office, those on campus that she has to work with,” said Pat Hannon, assistant dean of the chapel. “Her overall commitment to our campus as a whole really is reflective in the attitude in the way she does everything.”

Brown said that leading worship and managing the basketball team taught her how to be a better servant for others. She said she appreciates the balance between her two passions.

“There’s a lot of stuff that goes on when it comes to leading music and leading worship that doesn’t get seen. The ministry to your bandmates and the prayer that goes behind it is unreal,” Brown said. “Nobody sees that, and that is completely fine. I’ve learned that because of basketball. You don’t need to be thanked, you don’t need to be praised for everything.”

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