Driven by a love for worship and a dream of performing, Senior Jared Mitchell is making the most of his last few months at Belmonts count, taking the stage Saturday night in the Curb College of Entertainment and Music Business’s 2015 Christian Music Showcase.
The commercial music major describes his sound as “contemporary Christian pop and worship with a soulful gospel edge,” using the mix of genres as an invitation for people from different backgrounds and tastes to join in the worship.
“The driving force behind my music is Jesus Christ,” Mitchell said. “I believe that we are created by God for a purpose and that He has a plan for us on this earth. He has given me the gift of music so that I can share the message of His love with the world.”
Mitchell first realized the power of music as a child, discovering that he felt called to music ministry after the loss of his grandfather to lung cancer when Mitchell was only 10 years old.
“I sang his favorite song ‘I Can Only Imagine’ at his funeral in front of a large crowd, and from then on I knew that was what I was supposed to do with my life, minister to people through music,” Mitchell said. “The music not only brought peace and comfort to the grieving family and friends that day, but it brought peace and a fulfillment to me that nothing else has since then.”
Friends and bandmates Mitchell Steele, Alex Kaptain, Kailey Miller, Chris Perdue, Damian Malnar and Megan Rasmussen will join Mitchell onstage during the showcase on guitars, keyboard, bass and cello and background vocals respectively.
Mitchell said he sees the amount of preparation necessary to compete in the showcase as an opportunity for growth as he schedules practices for the band, plans visuals for the show, thinks of exciting ways to interact with the audience and does photo and video shoots to promote the upcoming event.
“I would say the biggest challenge that has stretched me the most is making production decisions that I think will appeal to the audience the most while maintaining true to who I am as an artist and person. You have to make that connection between the two, and when you do, that’s when the magic happens,” Mitchell said.
And while he wants people to enjoy the music and think the band played well, Mitchell said that the most important thing is the “heart and soul” that the band brings to the performance and that people are moved by the message behind the music.
“I want people to leave with an experience way beyond my music. If they leave with nothing else but knowing that they are loved by Jesus and that He has an amazing plan for their life, that’s a win for me,” he said.
Mitchell will perform alongside other Belmont student acts The Orchardist, The Many and Tanner Azzinnaro.
The 2015 Christian Showcase will be held at 7 p.m. Saturday in the Curb Event Center. Admission is free.
Photo by Chloe Hall