Kate Black, Contributing Writer
While Pope Francis led the world in a vigil of prayer and fasting for peace in Syria, University of Dallas students united their voices in prayer through songs of praise led by Christian music artist Audrey Assad.
A Dove Award nominee for New Artist of the Year in 2011, Assad is currently on tour to promote her second album, “Fortunate Fall,” which was released on Aug. 13. The sold-out concert took place in Lynch auditorium Saturday evening, Sept. 7.
The current issues in Syria strike close to home for Assad, whose father is Syrian. The coincidence of Pope Francis’s call to prayer provided a special theme throughout the concert and brought everyone together in musical prayer with Assad.
“She mentioned that she had a special place for Syria in her heart, so she asked that everyone sing ‘Your Grace is Enough’ as a prayer over them, and everyone knew the song so it was easy for the crowd to participate,” said junior Candance Langsfeld.
“It was a very prayerful concert, which showcased her talent, but also her faith really well,” said Junior Laura Prejean. “She created a great balance between performing her music, but also leading the audience in prayer.”
A great effort was put forth by Campus Ministry and student volunteers to make this event possible. “I went onto the Campus Ministry Facebook page to gauge student interest and it was there,” Director of Campus Ministry Denise Phillips said. UD students weren’t the only ones interested in Assad’s music. The public concert attracted many students from SMU, UTD and Texas A&M as well.
“I saw a lot of UD students there, but it was also really eye-opening because I saw a lot of people that I did not recognize from campus, which I took to mean that there was a lot of involvement by people who simply knew Audrey and loved her music, particularly because of the message of faith and love that it contains,” junior Bradley James said. He added, “Honestly, one of the biggest things I took away was the remarkable power of music to build a community and draw people together, while at the same time speaking to everyone on their own personal level.”
Christian concerts have not been common at UD in the past, but Saturday evening’s turnout may indicate that there is interest for more in the future. “While Christian music may not be for everyone, I personally have seen the effect it can have on someone’s prayer,” said Prejean. “It provides focus and it produces words that a person might not seem to find on their own.”
Assad will continue her tour in Virginia, New Jersey and California in addition to other cities at different churches and universities. More information can be found at her website, audreyassad.com.