Recording Artist Visits Cedarville

By Madeleine Mosher

Singer, songwriter, and novelist Andrew Peterson gave a free concert Tuesday night in Cedarville’s Dixon Ministry Center.

Earlier that day, he spoke in chapel, and then he spoke again Wednesday morning, and finally gave a Q&A session afterward that lasted about an hour.

Peterson has been working as an artist for 20 years, recording songs infused with his faith in Christ.

During Peterson’s concert, much of the lower level of the Jeremiah Chapel was filled, with some of the audience also sitting in the waterfall sections.

A lone guitar and a single keyboard comprised the setup, behind which a large projection screen was filled with pink, orange, blue and purple colors in a tie-dye-like pattern.

Soon after Peterson took the stage, he said, “I love thinking about that out of all the places on planet earth that you could be tonight and that I could be tonight, we ended up here in a small town in Ohio.”

Then he played “Many Roads,” one of his songs that encompasses that very idea.

Throughout the show, the colors on the screen would change, sometimes directly reflecting the theme of a song. During “We Will Survive,” which he wrote for his wife Jamie, the colors on the screen deepened into orange, possibly reflecting the love between the two.

Peterson performed another song for Jamie that he wrote around the time of their fifteenth wedding anniversary, called “Dancing in the Minefields.”

He also played songs for his children. “You’ll Find Your Way,” was written for his son Asher when Asher turned 13, and “Be Kind to Yourself,” was written to his daughter, Skye.

In a few of his songs, like “The Rain Keeps Falling,” “Maybe Next Year,” and “Is He Worthy?”, he taught the audience part of the song so they could sing along.

He played his guitar for most of the show, accompanied by his friend Thomas on the keyboard. However, during “Is He Worthy?”, Peterson played the keyboard. As people responded in song Peterson’s singing, they also responded with action. Almost the entire audience was standing by the end of the song.

Peterson’s final song was “The Burning Edge of Dawn,” which is about Christ’s return.

When he finished, the audience stood to applaud him as he walked offstage. Before he got very far, however, he ran back, put his mouth to the microphone, and began singing the Doxology. He left as soon as the audience began to sing, and left them singing to an empty stage, the room filling with the harmonies and lyrics of that poem put to music.

After the concert, Cedarville graduates Adam Cole and Aaron Reuben said that though they didn’t know very much about Peterson before coming to that, they enjoyed the music because of its depth.

“I’m definitely more of fan [now],” Cole said. “I liked how he told a story through his music.”

Aaron talked about the meaning that Peterson injected into his songs. “He was substantive,” he said.

After Cedarville, Peterson will travel to Marion, IL for a concert on Feb. 16.

Madeleine Mosher is a sophomore journalism major and a Campus News Co-editor for Cedars. When she’s not complaining about homework or having a snack, she enjoys coffee, words, and rock ‘n’ roll.

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