Professors play rock n’ roll at “The Profs” concert

By Abigail Meredith, Assistant Arts Editor

theprofsalenablakley
Some of OBU’s most revered educators took to the stage last Saturday. / Alena Blakley, The Bison 

Saturday evening students gathered in the GC to watch The Profs concert. Members of the band were, as the name implies, OBU faculty.

University Concert Series (UCS) organized the event.

“The Profs is a group of six OBU professors who like to get together and play some rock/pop from the 1970’s to today,” Dr. James Vernon, professor of music and keyboardist for the band, said.

“All of these people are experts in their field of study – they also happen to be great musicians,” Vernon said.

Dr. Brad Jett is a professor of Biology and the lead guitarist for the band.

“We are six OBU professors,” Jett said.

The Profs members incudeDr. Canaan Crane, Dr. John McWilliams, Professor Corey Fuller, Dr. Brad Jett, Dr. D.H. Dilbeck, and Dr. James Vernon.

“With the exception of Dr. Vernon, we are not professional musicians, we’re just a bunch of “profs” playing music we love,” Jett said.

“It’s a little unusual for our students to even imagine us in this role.  It lets them see a side of us they may not know about.”

The effort the professors put into the concert played a large part in what makes the band so unique.

“I’m the only trained musician in the group – and I’m not trained as a rock keyboard player, but as a classical composer,” Vernon said.

“That means its six guys who have learned all this on their own.  Each bring their own talents to the group to make it a coherent whole. ”

Practice was a key element to preparing for the concert.

“It took many practices together,” Vernon said.

“Dr. Canaan Crane did most of the heavy lifting, choosing the music and figuring out all the logistics.”

Nate Shipman is a Junior Bible Major and a member of UCS.

“We [UCS] set up the stage, helped set up the surroundings, decorations and moved the equipment as well,” Shipman said.

“We [got] to stay and watch, then break it down.”

For UCS, it was a relatively easy event to set up for.

“Our primary job is to suggest artists to visit our campus to play a show once a semester,” Shipman said.

“Our secondary job is to help with on-campus events that involve art in some way, usually music,” he said. “We’re there to sponsor it, advertise it, and help with any practical event needs. That said, just to be able to help artists, to paint a picture and be that background to help them share their art is really cool.”

For many students, it was a unique opportunity to see faculty outside of the classroom.

“I think the students who attended just enjoyed listening to the music and seeing their professors performing,” Shipman said.“Hopefully they got to see something they haven’t seen before.”

While students enjoyed watching the concert, The Profs were excited for students to enjoy themselves, according to Vernon.

“[The concert] gave students a chance to see their professors doing something outside their normal activities, and allows us to share some of the music we think is important to us,” Vernon said.

Part of OBU’s culture is the quality of relationship between professors and students.

“We became professors at OBU because we care about students, and to be a part of something that lets them blow off some steam, laugh, sing …etc. It’s very rewarding,” Jett said.

“My favorite comment I hear from a student after the concert was, ‘I had no idea what to expect, but that was a lot of fun.’”

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