The Sound of Music: Arts at Concordia3 min read

Some mornings, before it becomes too warm outside, it is nice to open the windows in my office on campus and let in some fresh air. Because there are trees near my windows, it is not unusual to hear the birds singing their praises. Thankfully, none have chosen to fly in through the window and sing in my office.

The Lord’s Church has a long history of incorporating song into worship and there is no reason to think that this will change in the future. In fact we can all look forward to that eternal chorus of praise when Christ gathers us into His Kingdom. For now, music stirs our souls and is a wonderful part of our worship here on earth.

CUAA and the Arts

Because of the important role that music plays in the Church, Concordia University Ann Arbor (CUAA) has always worked to prepare men and women in this area. With the addition of the Worship Arts program, supported by the Michigan District and many generous donors, CUAA is building on its reputation as an important source of church musicians.

In addition to music, other performing and visual arts enhance the life of the Church and can be found at CUAA. Gathered under the roof of the Kreft Center for the Arts, students from throughout the Michigan District and surrounding region learn how to apply their gifts to bless others. For nearly 25 years, the Kreft Center for the Arts has helped enrich our students, the community, and the Church.

At the May meeting of the Board of Regents, it was agreed that the time had come to update the Kreft Center in anticipation of the next 25 years of service. This is a major renovation and is expected to call for an investment of close to $4 million.

What changes can be expected from this? Perhaps the most noticeable will be the new entrance via the chapel courtyard. From the heart of the campus, students will be welcomed into the world of the arts. Walking down the main corridor, visitors will see the work of our students on display in the hallway gallery. With a vaulted ceiling and enhanced lighting, this will be a space where students have ready access to their professors as well as the many resources of the facility. Updated heating and cooling systems will not only create a pleasant atmosphere for the students, but also a protected environment for their instruments and art work.

In the lower level of the building, student practice rooms will be renewed and two new studios added. Two rooms that overlook the river will be repurposed and updated for classroom use and other student functions. In addition, above the new studios, a rooftop terrace is being planned that will serve our students as well as friends and supporters of the University.

Help Prepare Students for Service to Christ

In describing these renovations, notice the word that appears over and over again: STUDENTS! This project, like so much of what we do at CUAA, is about our students and helping prepare them for service to Christ in the Church and the world. This significant investment in the Kreft Center for the Arts will allow our students to be better prepared for the service into which God will call them. If God is leading you to help support this work, please contact Rev. John Bush at He will be available to share the many ways that you can help prepare the next generation of church musicians and artists.

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About the Author

Rev. Dr. Roy Peterson is the Vice President of Advancement for Concordia University Ann Arbor, Mich.

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