The following is an interview from Hallels.com
Recently, New Hope Christian College has just released their debut worship album via DREAM Records. The New Hope Christian College (NHCC) album is truly an exciting compilation of the entire Creative Arts Department of New Hope Christian College in Eugene, Oregon. The first single off the album “Shine Your Light” is an upbeat, anthemic song that can easily be sung in churches across the nation. “I Will Sing” is another great track off the album and is a powerful worship song that you will want to put on repeat!
Hallels: Thanks so much for your time. Tell us more about New Hope Christian College and its creative arts department?
New Hope Christian College is a small bible college located in Eugene, Oregon. We sit on a hill overlooking the Eugene area and have a panoramic view of the Willamette Valley. We’ve always been about equipping talented people for ministry and in recent years this has grown to include not only worship leading and preaching, but also dance, drama, and even technology and production. Now we can add writing and producing records to the list of things our majors can experience during their time here. It’s a really special place to grow closer to God and develop your gifts for ministry.
Hallels: How did you get to work with DREAM Records for your new album?
I think it began at the Foursquare National Convention in the summer of 2014. DREAM Records and New Hope Christian College had booths next to each other and a conversation began them about the possibility of doing a record together. A couple months later, Dave Hanley visited our campus to teach a series of workshops in songwriting and worship and that really got us going with songwriting. It was in this time where many of the songs appearing on the record were written. Dave return for 12 days in January to record us and the rest is history.
Hallels: Are the people who sing, write and play on this record all students of the college?
The majority of the voices and instruments you hear on our album are the students of New Hope Christian College. With the exception of a few staff contributions, the songs were written and performed by them. We are really proud of the fact that it was such a collective effort. Altogether, 25 singers and instrumentalists from our college are represented on the album, 9 students alone contributed to our single “Shine Your Light”. This is one of the things that makes our record really unique.
Hallels: How are you connected to New Hope Oahu who also have released a couple of stellar worship albums on Dream Records too?
Pastor Wayne Cordeiro assumed the role as Chancellor over the college in 2009, and since then we have always maintained a close bond with New Hope Oahu. Many students who have attended NHCC over the last 6 years are originally from NHO and other New Hope churches. In fact, 2 of our alumni who sang on the album have recently returned to NHO to serve the church there and are actively contributing to the NHO album projects as well. So we definitely feel part of the greater New Hope ohana.
Hallels: I believe in the making of this album you must have received many songs from students, how do you narrow down your song choices? And what do you look out for in a good song?
When Dave Hanley taught the initial series of workshops in October, we announced that we would be recording an album to be released the next Spring. Following this, an explosion of songwriting swept the campus and song ideas started pouring in over the next couple months. We had the difficult job of narrowing the list from 40 down to those that we felt inspired us the most. They had to be original, memorable, and also profound in what they said about God and our relationship to Him. There were many songs that did that, but the final 11 also had flow seamlessly on an album that expressed the unified heart and spirit of our school.
Hallels: Can you give us an example or two of a good song from the album. And tell us why.
Well, all the songs are good and each is good for a different reason, but the most popular ones right now are “Shine Your Light” and “I Will Sing.” Though many people like “Shine Your Light” because it is catchy, upbeat, and fun, it goes way deeper than that. As light-hearted as the song sounds, it expresses something which is so crucial and often very difficult in the Christian life - transformation. “Shine Your Light” is all about letting God illuminate the the things in our lives that need to change so that we can follow him more closely. “I Will Sing” at first sounds like the polar opposite as it is slow and sometimes brooding, but it’s the one that’ll bring me to tears. I thought at first it was the anguish in Cory Emery’s vocals or the sublimity of the cello, but it’s something more. It’s what all of us know at the bottom of our souls, but sometimes need a song to help us get out. It is about utter dependance on God.
Hallels: I believe you are also launching out a tour in support of this album. Tell us more about your tour?
This summer our touring worship team, Momentum, made up of many of the writers and performers on the album will be taking the songs on tour to minister at churches and youth camps across the country. Right now, their tour schedule includes cities in California, Oregon, South Dakota, Idaho, and Iowa.
Hallels: If our readers would like to find out more about you or the new album, where can they go?
Go to newhope.edu/nhccmusic or visit New Hope Christian College Music on Facebook. There you can learn more about the album, how it was made, and have a chance to get your own copy!