Open house showcases recording studio



Book publishing, letter writing, crime, shopping, ordering a taxi, law enforcement, entertainment, and more elements of society than you can imagine—all changed forever—thanks to the pervasive presence of the Internet.
If you are a Brian Doerksen and a forward-thinking school like Prairie gives you free rein to design a modern worship arts program, your blueprint is a sleek smartphone, not a rotary dial clunker on the kitchen wall.
Doerksen, 49, with the help of enthusiastic volunteers, is in the second year of designing, building, and strengthening the college's music and worship arts program, a two-year diploma.
Last year's program startup welcomed 10 students; another 10 joined this fall.
If a long journey has many steps, so too does the process of re-inventing church music education. One of those many steps is an event like last week's open house.
This open house showcased the program's new mini recording studio, let students talk about and demonstrate their love of music and songwriting, and provided opportunity for a capacity crowd to appreciate Prairie's effort of repurposing an unused faculty building into a music teaching facility.
While extolling his vision for excellence in modern worship arts, Doerksen recalled his recruiting conversation in BC more than two years ago with college president Mark Maxwell. At that time, Doerksen said, "If you want a traditional music program of playing and singing other people's music, I am not interested."
The Doerksen model of mixing technology with creativity and quality not only caught Maxwell's attention but that of Steve Rendall, Ed Yourk, and a host of other volunteers who saw the future of church music through Doerksen's lens: "I want to teach the next generation to write and produce their own music—music that speaks to issues of faith, justice, and life in the church, in the community, and elsewhere."