This year was the first official run of the SNU SAGA CD Project. This unique project was designed as a creative fundraiser which brings together the Music Dept, the Music Business Dept, Spiritual Development, and graphic or musical artists from every class and major on campus. Together, these professors and students gave their time, talent, and passion to put together a collaborative musical anthology, which was sold for $5.00 at the first annual SAGA Release concert held in Herrick Auditorium on Friday, April 27, 2007. The best part is: every dollar will go straight to Blood:Water Mission, a charity devoted to providing clean water and AIDS education to sub-Saharan Africa.
Brain storming for this project began before even the first week of school. SNU’s Dr. Brad Strawn, Vice President for Spiritual Development, had not yet begun his first school year as campus chaplain, and he was more than eager to be involved in the project. “I love the intersection of art and Christian spirituality. If there is anything my office can do to encourage young artists to create I want to be a part of that. In addition, I just love music!” Brad’s department, the Office of Spiritual Development, sponsored this year’s CD so that instead of trying to recover funds from sales, all money raised would go straight to a charity. This year Blood:Water Mission was chosen—ironically, a charity founded by Christian artists Jars of Clay.
Tryouts for the CD were held shortly after Thanksgiving Break with two requirements of those auditioning: their material had to original, and spiritual in nature. The process was nerve racking for judges and auditioning hopefuls. In the end, it was a fun experience that resulted in several talented artists receiving the chance to record.
Artists then filed into the recording department in the spring semester where Ken Rosfeld’s “Recording I” students were responsible for contacting the artists and arranging their studio appointments. “I want it to be just like a professional studio.” Rosfeld said, noting the great learning experience his students would receive from their involvement.
Spring of 2007 also marked the first ever campus-wide vote on the CD’s artistic layout. Three graphic artists submitted proposals for the CD’s layout, with “Stormy Weather” by Patrick Marston winning—by a single vote! While hundreds participated in the voting, we hope that next year we will have dozens of submissions for the CD art.
Speaking of next year, when asked if the Office of Spiritual Development would sponsor another CD, Brad Strawn had this to say: “I am open to sponsoring it again if we can find a way to make it more campus wide. I think if we are really going to raise money for something it needs to become a tradition that all students anticipate and support (not just those that record).”
Already brainstorming to improve the project and encourage involvement is underway, including the proposed faculty-student face-off, wherein a music professor and music major would compete to write the best song for the CD. The catch is that each will be drawing random instruments from a hat (I’d hate to draw the tuba…).
Time will tell what will become of the project.