Chandler student included on new Christian album SanTan Sun News

Chandler student included on new Christian album

Chandler student included on new Christian album
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By Kevin Reagan
Staff Writer

A Chandler resident is one of several Grand Canyon University students featured in a new album of Christian worship music.

Bailey Drake, a GCU senior and  Chandler Preparatory Academy graduate, co-wrote and performed the last song featured on “Canyon Worship,” the fourth studio album produced by GCU students.

Despite having a lifelong passion for music, this was Drake’s first year participating in the university’s album project.

She teamed up with Amanda Hauck and Mary Van Vleck on a songwriting night during their worship seminar.

The trio came up with ballad they later called “Chasing After Your Heart,” which Drake hopes will have an inspirational effect on listeners.

“I would almost call it a call-to-action song,” she said. “That’s what it is for me.”

Drake further described the song as an expression of the joy that results from unabashedly pursuing faith.

“We wanted to talk about the freedom that comes with loving after God’s heart and wanting to emulate that love,” she said.

GCU students composed 10 songs for the new album in a recording studio located on campus. The university has a worship arts program which combines ministry and performance by providing a creative outlet for students to articulate their faith.

The new GCU recording studio was designed and built to provide students, staff and artists “every opportunity to find their purpose by creating and sharing their love for music and the Gospel,” the school says on its website.

The studio features two studios and several rehearsal rooms. Studio A includes a recording room, four isolation booths and a control room in addition to a wealth of instruments and amplifiers. All spaces have double-wall construction, two layers of drywall and acoustic paneling to absorb acoustics and prevent sound leakage.

The Center for Worship Arts has been a collaborative effort for Grand Canyon University that involves industry experts, instructors and seasoned worship ministers.

The center provides the following relevant theology degrees to become a worship leader in a contemporary church or ministry setting.

The first couple of albums produced by students had a more contemporary Christian sound. But the new album reverts to more traditional worship music.

“I’m really excited about this album,” said GCU Worship Arts Coordinator Dr. Randall Downs. “Hopefully churches will be able to take in some of these songs and incorporate them into their worship services.”

The first couple of album tracks are a bit more upbeat in rhythm and tone. The middle songs slow down and sound more reflective. Then the album picks back up again by ending with “Chasing After Your Heart.”

“We wanted to sort of tell a story with how the songs progressed throughout the album,” Drake added.

Drake graduated from Chandler Preparatory Academy and has been interning at her old school’s music department. She plans to pursue a career in music education after earning her college degree.

Music has always played an important role in her life, Drake said, and she enjoys seeing the positive impact has on people.

“I want to go and I want to share that with other students,” she said.

“Canyon Worship” is available to download on iTunes, Spotify, Shazam, and Google Play.

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