Propelling vision and mission through celebration, connection, education, and inspiration.

MasterWorks Festival Featured in WORLD

Aug 2, 2004

The July 31, 2004 issue of WORLD magazine carries a very expansive (2,055 word) four-page article on the MasterWorks Festival recently held in Winona Lake, Indiana, in conjunction with Grace College.

Founded by Patrick Kavanaugh, who will join the college music department faculty this fall, the festival drew brilliant young musicians and dedicated Christian professional music faculty from all over the world.

The article may be found on page 30 of the July 31 issue, and was written by Gene Edward Veith, cultural editor for the magazine and a college professor in Wisconsin. It contains a number of photos, several taken in Rodeheaver Auditorium the night of the recent Fourth of July patriotic concert.

Here is a brief excerpt, taken from the middle of the article:

The Christian Performing Arts Fellowship (CPAF), a group of professional musicians scattered throughout the world’s orchestras and ensembles, is among the ministries that work to overcome both kinds of isolation. The group has started MasterWorks, a program designed to help young musicians grow in their art and in their faith and to help them realize that the two can go together, hand in hand.

Patrick Kavanaugh – composer, conductor, and author of The Spiritual Lives of the Great Composers – founded CPAF in 1984, along with his wife, Barbara, and some fellow musicians.

Local CPAF chapters hold Bible studies for orchestra members, drawing in non-Christian colleagues with bulletin board invitations to studies of issues artists struggle with (e.g., “What does the Bible say about stage fright?”). CPAF members have put together “evangelistic concerts” for the public, performing in Washington, D.C., Russia, and the Middle East for both Jewish and Muslim audiences.

These Christian musicians began to see the importance of building up the next generation of Christian artists. So in 1997, CPAF started MasterWorks, a four-week music festival designed to give young musicians intensive, high-level training in their craft and in their Christian callings.

Students from high schools, colleges, and conservatories must pass rigorous auditions. Those selected study with CPAF faculty and guest instructors, all of whom are committed Christians who have found success in their fields. These include some big names: Stephen Clapp, the dean of Juilliard; Midori, the virtuoso violinist; Jahja Ling, the international conductor; Christopher Parkening, the classical guitarist; and other performers from America’s greatest orchestras and artistic companies.

MasterWorks students take lessons on their instruments from these masters; they play in orchestras and chamber ensembles; they put on operas; and they study the Bible.

During its first years, MasterWorks was held at Houghton College in upstate New York, but for the last three years, it has found a home at Winona Lake, Ind., site of the old Billy Sunday “Christian Chautauqua” cultural programs. Local businessmen working to revive the community’s cultural heritage invited CPAF and the festival to come to Winona Lake, where Grace College contributes the facilities and members of the local community crowd into the concerts.

This year, 185 students studied at MasterWorks, taught by 70 faculty. Another MasterWorks Festival, which has been attracting more and more international students, will be held later this summer in London.