Category: Arts

Music & Worship, Writing, Events that apply, anything creative


The Valley Opera takes over the Square Room

On Friday night, Johnson University’s own student-led band, The Valley Opera, had their headlining show at the Square Room located on Market Square in Downtown Knoxville.

The Square Room nestled in Market Square

The Square Room nestled in Market Square

The band members of The Valley Opera include Tanner Rutherford, MaKenzee Lady, Cord Johnson, Dane Alexander, and Ben Mcgue.


The Valley Opera as they end the evening of music.

Admission for the show was $10. Students and faculty from Johnson University gathered eagerly to see the show.

“I enjoy their style of music and I enjoy seeing my friends perform,” said Maci Hughlett, a sophomore at JUTN.

“I came with my boyfriend, Blake West. We wanted to support our friends,” said Alexis Curts.

The night of music was kicked off by singer/songwriter Grady Milligan. He performed an array of his own songs, starting with “Seasons” and ending with “Dusty Stages.”

Milligan has his music available online on both iTunes and Spotify.

The Valley Opera played a variety of songs throughout the evening, and the audience reacted positively towards them.

Cord Johnson and Tanner Rutherford performing on stage.

Cord Johnson and Tanner Rutherford performing on stage.

The band expressed their gratitude to their supporters for being there and listening to them.

The Valley Opera sold their CDs at the concert for only a suggested donation of $3. Tanner Rutherford also announced that The Valley Opera will be releasing their second CD in the spring of 2016.

The band just recently played at the Square Room three weeks ago for the Harvester’s benefit concert They have been known to perform at various locations throughout the year in Knoxville.

The Valley Opera will be performing next in Raleigh, North Carolina on Nov 6.


French Movie nights at Johnson are Très bien!

Venir à la soirée cinéma Français à Johnson! In other words, ‘come to French movie night at Johnson!’ During the months of October and November, French movies will be shown in room 155 of the Russell Preaching Center every Thursday at 7:30 p.m. with an exception for fall break.27633_ori

The movies are absolutely gratis, ‘free of charge,’ but for fundraising purposes there will be a concession stand for Johnson students to buy some snacks during the movie.

The first French movie night was held on October 2nd.

The first movie to show was Les Choristes, which translates to ‘The Chorus’ in English.

Les Choristes is a 2004 French film directed by Christophe Barratier. The plot involves the successful orchestra conductor, Pierre Morhange, who returns to France after his mother passes away. He and his childhood classmate, Pépinot, reminisce about their childhood and end up reading the diary of Clément Mathieu, their former music teacher.

Pierre Morhange attends the boarding institution, Fond de l’Étang, ran by the abusive and strict warden, Mr. Rachin, who ends up being fired for his treatment of the boys.

concessions for students to enjoy.

concessions for students to enjoy.

Clément Mathieu tries to bring a new opportunity to the boys and assembles a choir within the institution regardless of it being forbidden. Through this choir, Morhange discovers he has a true musical talent and can have a better life after all.

Throughout the movie, Clément Mathieu uses music to have a positive impact on the boys despite their current situations. The movie has an interesting story line and keeps the audience engaged, despite of the language difference.

“After watching the movie for a while I got use to the language difference,” Maci Hughlett said.

If you are a person that is not so fluent in French you can still enjoy the movie because there are English subtitles. For those that find subtitles to be a bit distracting, Zach Griggs found them to not take away from the quality of the movie.

“I didn’t mind the subtitles; the movie was still good with them,” he said.

Overall, Les Choristes was an enjoyable movie that had positive feedback from the Johnson Students that attended.

“I really liked the movie. I thought it was really good,” Katie Reichart said.

French Lecturer at Johnson, Paulette Prinston, is excited for the students at Johnson to experience a culture that might be different from their own.

Sign pointing to movie night location.

Sign pointing to movie night location.

“I’m excited that we have the opportunity to bring French to all Johnson students,” she said. “I would like for all students to come experience this because it shows how other cultures make movies differently and it also gives students a chance to practice the language.”

The upcoming French movie nights will be held on October 8th, 15th, and 29th, and on November 5th, 12th, and 19th.


High school seniors preview the JUFL life

Sophomore Krissy Kent and Junior Jenna Weirda laugh at some of the more comical talent show performances.

Sophomore Krissy Kent and Junior Jenna Weirda laugh at some of the more comical talent show performances.

By Elisabeth Clevenger

and Christian Arnold

KISSIMMEE — Senior Salute gives high school students the opportunity to really experience the excitement and reality of Johnson University Florida campus life. On Thursday and Friday, JUFL housed 29 high school students for Senior Salute, giving them a personalized brief glimpse of college.

Highlights for this two-day event, hosted by the Admissions department, include the annual talent show, a night of worship and a chance to sample university classes.

Greg Wasden, Brandon Welch, Connor Wood, Dominick Jenkins and Taylor Wood lead worship.

Greg Wasden, Brandon Welch, Connor Wood, Dominick Jenkins and Taylor Wood lead worship.

On Thursday night, the event kicked off with the annual and beloved talent show.

“The talent show is such a great opportunity for potential JUFL students to witness the fun times we have on campus and the supportive atmosphere here at Johnson,” said sophomore Amanda Bolen, one of the judges for this year’s talent show.

This year show included a variety of dancing, spoken word, original songs and cover medleys. O

Winners of this year’s show were Greg Castin, a high school senior who led the crowd in a hymn, and current JUFL student and dancer Maggie Dexter.

After the talent show, more than 90 students gathered for refreshments.

JUFL Senior Ian Daniels brought the message for the Night of Worship session reminding us of practical ways we can love others and share the Gospel message with them.

JUFL Senior Ian Daniels brought the message for the Night of Worship session reminding us of practical ways we can love others and share the Gospel message with them.

Students were served coffee by members of our SGA, and then participated in worship led by a student and alumni band.

Senior Ian Daniels spoke on the importance of loving God and loving others, reminding students that “people take notice when you serve them.”

After getting to know some new faces, visitors got to experience a night of dorm life and, on Friday, had the chance to sit in and attend classes as if they were students.

“Senior Salute is a great way to experience college life and worship God all at the same time,” high school senior Nicole Kubizme said.

One of the classes seniors had the opportunity of attending was Fundamentals of Christian Faith, taught by Professor Joe Gordan.

One of the classes seniors had the opportunity of attending was Fundamentals of Christian Faith, taught by Professor Joe Gordan.

Along with attending classes, high school students had the opportunity to question two different panels about their questions, curiosities and concerns — one panel made of of current JUFL students and the other one of faculty and staff.


Christmas show auditions begin

Hopeful students audition as a group.

Hopeful students audition as a group.

Preparations for the SGA Creative Arts Council’s Christmas play began Monday as hopeful students gathered for the first day of auditions.

Auditions will continue Tuesday and Wednesday in the Old Main Auditorium.

Auditions consisted of cold readings, where each actor read different characters’ lines without prior knowledge of the script. The directors, JU senior Jared Randall and sponsor Tammie Weatherly, oversaw the readings.

Randall said they will present  two one-act plays, The Christmas Movie, by Carrie Varnell, and Nativity on the Square, by Tom Long.

The Christmas Movie is a spoof on four major Christmas movies,”Randall said. “It kind of takes out the value in [the movies] and points out why they’re not the real point of Christmas.”

Randall said The Christmas Movie should be interesting to the audiences with it’s shattering of the fourth wall, which means that actors will speak directly to the audience.

The other half of the show, The Nativity Square, focuses on a nativity scene that comes to life but doesn’t know the meaning of Christmas. In the play, an inebriated homeless woman stumbles upon the scene and recounts her own story as well as the story of Christmas.

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Students showcase talents at Coffee House

Josh Bailey Performs at Coffee House Sept. 14.

Josh Bailey performs at Coffee House Sept. 14.

Johnson University’s Student Government Association kicked off the annual Coffee House series Monday with a load of talent and friendship, and of course — coffee.

Starting at 7 p.m., the student lounge in the Eubanks Activity Center was energized with more than 100 students.

The first Coffee House of the year began festively with a rendition of “God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen.” The song filled the air as students took advantage of the $1 coffee and found seats among the couches and chairs.

“The atmosphere that we strive to create at Coffee House is one that embodies community,” said senior Hope Smyth, executive director of the Major Events Committee for SGA. “We want students to be able to share talents that may be hidden because day-to-day life doesn’t permit them to share their talents.”

Smyth said Coffee House is an opportunity to socialize and for students to take a break from homework and work.

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How we listen: An overview of how we listen to music in the modern age

In October 2001 the world changed forever. This change may not have been widely noticed, but it has dramatically changed the way we interact with the world of audio and music.

The way we listen changed with the release of the first generation iPod.

The radio, the Walkman, and now a device that allowed its user to take it anywhere invited the listener to a world of possibility.

No other music player had ever boasted the mantra, “1,000 songs in your pocket”.

But this small product, released by Apple, was only the first wave in the dramatic storm that was getting ready to smash the recording industry, and music consumers alike.

According to Apple’s press info, in April 2003, iTunes went live and sold one million songs within their first week.

According to Apple, by 2006, iTunes sold its billionth song, proving that iPod had revolutionized the listening experience, and created a consumer demand like no other product before it.

The iPhone arrived in 2007 and offered the capabilities of an iPod, phone and computer in one devise.

As the iPhone gained popularity, and with the release of Spotify in 2011, the waves of change continue as products became cheaper and more diverse.

With a unique canvas and opportunities, the music industry continues to grow — as does a unique story.

This is the first installment of “How we listen”, a series that will endeavor to uncover the complexity of modern music and how consumers play into the equation.

This brief timeline is only a glimpse at the story of a generation that came to age inundated with music mobility.

Music is often seen as a business in America. However, the growing impact of a personable approach, where the artist adds more to the artistic process, adds a dimension of complexity.

In contrast to the dominating figures in the music producing industry stand individual musicians who are making a name for themselves, both locally, and nationally.

Even the local music presence is thriving more than ever — artists from anywhere can reach a crowd thanks to music sharing sites like Youtube. The world is becoming smaller and artists are more approachable due to social media.

The way we listen to music is evolving rapidly, and in hopes to discover that process,  “How we listen” will break down and analyze the different aspects of the listening experience.

Music shapes a culture and the way we consume that music is vital to translating culture.

Damon of Athens, understood the impact of music on a culture. According to, Carnes Lord’s, On Damon and Music Education, Damon was a musicologist during the time of Plato, and Plato borrowed some of his ideas in his book, Republic.

“Give me the songs of a nation, and it does not matter who writes its laws,” he said. This has been quoted by many throughout history because it illustrates a strong truth.

Damon was not demeaning the importance of laws or government, rather he was highlighting the importance that music plays in a society.

Yes, laws govern the land but what truly reflects the ideas of generation is the music they listen to and the lyrics they write.

Over the semester, “How we listen” will uncover this very idea. Topics for “How we listen” will include national trends, local music culture, consumerism, the effects of streaming, ethics, history, experience and digital transformation in music.

Examining these topics will hopefully illustrate the aspects of music that frame our everyday lives.

What is more relatable than music?

It’s not just the type of music we listen to. It’s how we listen.


SGA: Past, present, and future

Like every College, Johnson University has gone through many changes since it’s foundation. It has been through three different name changes, old buildings have been repurposed, and new buildings have been built to meet the ever growing needs of both student and administration.

Some of the most recent changes at Johnson, have come from the university’s Student Government Association.

Just last year, the SGA adjusted its constitution so as to become more organized and better suited to be a voice for the student body, to the school administration.

This is not the only change that the SGA has gone through. According to David Legg, the Dean of Students, and current SGA advisor, the SGA has undergone many other changes since it began in May of 1952, as the Student Counsel.

Legg said that the Student Counsel’s role grew over the years, saying that they organized infrequent social events (usually 1 or 2 per semester), and tried to represent the student body to the administration.

“The student counsel operated then from 1952 until I think about 2007, or so,” said Legg. “In 2007, the Student Counsel reconfigured itself as the Student Government Association, and took on more responsibilities.”

For the next seven years, this switch from the Student Counsel to the Student Government Association, was the most notable change in the organization’s long history. However, in April of 2014, the SGA’s constitution underwent further adjustments. In hopes that it would be more organized, and efficient, at acting on the requests and best interests of the student body.

“Within the Student Government Association, we had identified a need for a more organized structure,” said Matthew Shears, the current student body president. “The previous student body president  had a committee formed which was the Constitutional revision committee.”

Shears continued to explain how the change in Johnson, since it officially becoming a university, and continued growth of students over the years lead to the decision to reorganize the SGA. He listed the five standing committees, within the cabinet:

  • The Student life committee deals with student advocacy, leadership development, communication with the school admin, and aiding student organizations.
  • The Social Activities Committee handles all parties and official school social gatherings.
  • The Major Events Committee is tasked with handling events such as Founder’s Day.
  •  The Internal Management Committee deals with the internal working of SGA, such as money, and disciplinary actions.
  •  The Public Relations Committee deals with PR needs, school announcement co-ordination, and other things of a similar nature.

Shears went on to explain, that along with these five standing committees, that a few other major changes are being put to task in SGA.

“The biggest difference, I think, is that we are able to serve and represent the student body better through these committees, and it also takes a lot of stress off of the student body president, and student vice president, and secretary,” Shears said.

Shears also said that another major change in SGA was the formation of a student senate, which helped to move some of the power from the student body president, and stated that even with the changes in SGA that the organization still retains many of the functions that it has had before.

“We are still planning all of the events that we have before, but we are doing them in a more structured way, which helps us to do them better and more efficiently, and more professionally,” said Shears.

Shears listed a few other projects that SGA will be taking on sometime in the near future.

“We have a couple things… on the backburner right now… The TV downstairs that’s broken in the EAC, we’re working on getting that fixed,” Shears said. “We’re also talking about the Washers and Dryer that are in the dorms… those have not been too successful in their operations, within the past couple of years”