Every other year Calvin College hosts a conference brimming with plenaries, breakout sessions, and concerts that explores the dynamic intersection of music and faith, culture and gospel. This is not your normal “Christian music” event, and if you are looking for that, two things come to mind. First, why in the world would you look for that? And second, go to The Festival of Faith & Music instead.
This year the Festival is scheduled for April 7-9, 2011 on the campus of Calvin College, Grand Rapids, MI.
Worth noting: if people get a group of 4 or more to register together, they get a discount ($75 instead of $125), which is a great deal. Check it out online here (http://www.calvin.edu/go/ffm).
Speakers and performers this year include:
Tom Beaudoin (professor of theology at Fordham University) and director of the Rock and Theology Project, gathering together academic theologians who are also practicing rock musicians and fans to explore the traffic between rock cultures and theological cultures, and the implications of these interchanges for faith and culture today.
David Dark, author of The Sacredness of Questioning Everything and Everyday Apocalypse: The Sacred Revealed in Radiohead, The Simpsons and Other Pop Culture Icons.
Jon Foreman, lead singer, guitarist, and songwriter of the band Switchfoot.
David Fuentes, Professor of Composition and Theory at Calvin College, and author Figuring Out Melody (available on his web page) is a step-by-step manual for composition.
Ken Heffner is the director of Student Activities at Calvin College and the director of the Festival of Faith & Music. Among others, the concert season he founded at Calvin has featured Dave Matthews Band, the Indigo Girls, Lupe Fiaso, Joanna Newsom, Iron and Wine, Sufjan Stevens, Mavis Staples and the Decemberists.
Sarah Masen, musician and songwriter (www.sarahmasen.com).
Jessica Misener, music critic and journalist for Relevant Magazine.
Mwenda Ntarangwi, cultural anthropologist and author of East African Hip Hop: Youth Culture and Globalization (Illinois, 2009).
Daniel White Hodge, a hip hop scholar, focuses on race relations, film, cultural trends and spirituality and has written, The Soul Of Hip Hop: Rims, Timbs, & The Soul of A Culture.
Gregory Wolfe is Writer in Residence at Seattle Pacific University and the founder and editor of Image.
Shara Worden studied opera at the University of North Texas, and after moving to New York, has focused on arranging and composition.