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Artist Preview: Christian Showcase 2017

The 2017 Christian Showcase will kick off at 7 p.m. in the Curb Event Center Saturday, with performances from Lauren Yaffe, Thy Kingdom Come, David Dennis and Taylor Zebracki.

Lauren Yaffe Written by Sara Scannell with contributing reporting from Sydney Kamm

Junior Lauren Yaffe has grown up around worship music, but will be making her debut live performance at Christian Showcase Saturday.

Yaffe was inspired seeing her friend Alyssa Newton win Christian Showcase in 2016 and felt called to audition this year.

“I just felt the Lord tell me to just try. And I said OK and I tried,” said Yaffe. “So I just want people to hear my music and to feel how I’m feeling in my walk with Jesus, because I know there is power in testimonies and my testimony is through my music.”

After doing a number in internships in her home state of Colorado, Yaffe was inspired to start writing her own worship music. Now, she is excited to share this with an audience for the first time.

“I haven’t really even been able to do shows by myself, so this is basically my first time doing live music. It’s kind of nerve racking but I don’t know, I made it to Christian Showcase.”

One of Yaffe’s influences is Nicole Serrano, who led worship at Yaffe’s home church and tours with Chris Tomlin.

“She loves the Lord, and she just writes music. Her relationship with God so comes out in the music that she writes, so it’s been really cool to work under her at the church.”

Yaffe’s faith will be the foundation of her showcase performance.

“Just that fact that God can move through those things and your music does have power to people,” said Yaffe. “If God does put that music in your heart, why wouldn’t you share that with people?”

Thy Kingdom Come Written by Sara Scannell 

Jenna Nicholson and Zoë Morris have both known for a long time that they wanted to pursue Christian music.

Both commercial music majors, the duo met in a seminar class. After singing background vocals for each other in class, Nicholson asked Morris to accompany her on a worship night that Nicholson didn’t want to do alone.

“I just thought it would something fun to do, but toward the end of the worship night we had an overwhelming response from the people there,” said Nicholson. “They were telling us it was an anointed partnership and asked us if we’d been singing together for years. That was kind of our assurance that we are supposed to be singing together and it was more than just a one time thing.”

The duo has felt the presence of God throughout their time together, said Nicholson.

“I knew we couldn’t do music if it didn’t have something to do with the Lord,” said Morris. “It just wasn’t in the cards for me to do music if it wasn’t Christian music. I think the heart behind the music that we do is really the most important part about it.”

Nicholson also feels she has found her calling in worship music.

“I’ve known for most of my life that I was called to some sort of ministry, and music is what I’m good at,” said Nicholson. “So where music and ministry meet is worship and it’s definitely where all of my passions lie. My whole life I’ve known I wanted to be a worshiper.”

Thy Kingdom Come is excited to share this passion to the Christian Showcase audience Saturday.

“I’m just most excited about the fact that all of the work that goes into this big showcase has the purpose of glorifying the lord and that is so special.”

David Dennis Written by Lindsey Falgoust

Senior commercial music major David Dennis plans to bring his combination of soul, gospel and worship music to the stage Saturday for Christian Showcase.

This will be Dennis’ second showcase, after performing in the2015 Urban Pop Showcase.

For Dennis, music started in church. A background of gospel choirs and praise teams sparked Dennis’ passion for music and has influenced his work since then.

“The passion for music and for the Lord and singing for him kind of all sailed from church,” Dennis said.

Taking inspiration from artists such as Tasha Cobbs, Travis Greene and Bethel, Dennis’ faith has inspired his music and ultimately his decision to pursue this showcase.

For Dennis, worship is a priority.

“I wanted to take advantage of an opportunity to worship, because I feel like it’s not too common to have those opportunities,” said Dennis. “Anytime there’s an opportunity to do something with worship, I want to be a part of it.”

For his performance Saturday, Dennis plans to bring intimate worship to the Curb Event Center.

“You can also expect some jumping and some liberation in the room – a little Pentecostal side of it.”

Moving forward, Dennis hopes to focus on his music as a Christian artist and leader.

“Just touring around the world singing about Jesus – that’s my long-term goal.”

Taylor Zebracki Written by Lindsey Falgoust

After an incredible experience at last year’s Christian Showcase, songwriting major Taylor Zebracki is looking forward to taking the stage again this Saturday.

Zebracki first fell in love with singing in middle school choir. Throughout her school years, her passion for singing became an increasingly important part of her life.

“I just knew in the sixth grade during my first solo – I remember this so vividly – I was standing on the cafeteria stage, and I just remember thinking ‘I want to do this for the rest of my life,’” said Zebracki.

Drawing from musical inspirations Francesca Battistelli, Sara Bareilles, Amanda Cook and Bethel, Zebracki is a singer, songwriter and multi-instrumentalist. For her performance Saturday, she promises a lot of worship and plenty of energy, which parallels her spirited personality.

Moving forward, Zebracki is focused on pursuing a music career, specifically working toward being signed as a Christian artist and writer. Currently, she is concentrating on releasing some singles.

For now, Zebracki is just excited to be a part of her second Christian showcase.

“It was my favorite thing ever. I made my best friends out of it. I had so much fun, so I wasn’t going to pass up the opportunity to go for it again.”

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Photos courtesy of CEMB Showcase Series

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