Music at Great Lakes Christian College

by Jaelynn Vert, Great Lakes Christian College Student

How Does Great Lakes Do Music?

Every major at Great Lakes is dedicated to preparing students to be servant leaders in the church and world.  Our music major is no exception.


The program involves two different tracks: performance and worship.

Students can focus on voice, piano, or guitar if they are in the performance track. Worship track students study each of the three for at least 2 semesters.

They receive training in:

  • music history
  • music theory
  • conducting
  • music in worship

This rounds them out to be the best musicians and witnesses they can be.  Solo recitals are opportunities for students to showcase their hard work in front of their friends, family, and peers. Students in choir put on Christmas on Campus during the fall semester and Journey to the Cross during the spring semester.


What Makes the Program What It Is? 

The Students and The Profs.

The best way for me to outline this program was to ask students and professors what they had to say.  I was encouraged to hear that this program is doing so many positive things for my peers. There was so much passion and length in their answers that I had trouble picking and choosing what to include!

The Students

Sierra Baker is in the performance track and for good reason.  Anyone who has heard her sing can attest that this is a good place for her.  She also enjoys playing piano and ukulele. I started by asking her about her favorite classes and went on from there.

“My favorites so far are vocal pedagogy and music in worship.”  She explained that, “teaching voice is very practical and something I could see myself doing (we actually teach two volunteers for 8 weeks.)” Sierra also noted her Music in Worship class and how it connects music with Biblical truths.

She was happy to share that she has always loved music but wasn’t sure how to incorporate it into a career until she begun at Great Lakes with a different major.  Sometimes the right program pulls you in, whether or not it was the initial plan, and that’s always a good thing!

Drew Nyquist is also in the performance track.  He loves to sing, hit the drums, and slap the bass guitar.  You might also catch him strumming an acoustic guitar or tickling the ivories.  When I asked about his classes he was ready with his favorite.

“Probably Music Theory,” he told me, “Most music majors dislike the class because it delves really deep into music composition and requires students to make a four-part arrangement of a hymn. But since I'm a bit of an amateur composer myself, I absolutely had a blast doing the project, and learning about what Baroque and Classical Era composers did to make their music really interested me.”

I asked if there was anything he would like to add, and he jumped at the opportunity to brag about his profs.  His message to anyone reading this is that he “can’t recommend this program enough.” I won’t record all his praises here, but I want to give them the recognition they so aptly deserve.

The Music Professors

Judy Beavers, in addition to her duties as Director of Outreach Ministries, teaches piano.

Ryan Apple teaches Music Theory and guitar, as well as guiding students in the financial side of college as the Financial Aid Director.  Guitar is his primary instrument and he plays classical, electric, acoustic, and bass. He also plays a Zimbabwean instrument called the mbira.  Click here to watch videos of his music.

Dr. Esther Hetrick conducts choir and teaches voice, music appreciation, and a variety of worship classes.  She is also Great Lakes' Registrar.

The professors at Great Lakes participate in so many areas of the college that it is nearly impossible for students to miss opportunities to get to know them, even if they take classes other than the ones they teach.  This is true across the board, but especially shines through with our music profs! We are proud to have them!

Interested in Music at Great Lakes?

 If you have a passion for singing or playing instruments, don’t let the opportunity to get a music degree at Great Lakes pass you by!  You will learn from the very best teachers, alongside the very best peers.


Are you still in high school and not sure what your plans for college are yet?  PROMISE is an auditioned music camp that could help you learn about a career in music (and so much more.)

Dr. Esther Hetrick leads high schoolers who come together at Great Lakes every summer to learn a musical with a message and perform it.  It is a great chance to get to know the community at Great Lakes and to have a fun growing both musically and spiritually.

Many current Great Lakes students and alumni participated in this camp, including Sierra, Drew, and myself!  For more information visit the Facebook page and contact or 800-YES-GLCC!

We can't wait to hear from you! 

If you would like to learn more about Great Lakes on-campus or online classes please click below. 

Request Info from GLCC


By Great Lakes Christian College | December 4th, 2019 |