“From a Christian worldview, music is about reflecting the image of God in us as creators.” Andrew Huish, Bob Jones University’s new director of choral activities, sees his role as an opportunity to glorify God.
Huish began teaching at BJU this fall, following Dr. Warren Cook’s retirement from the position in the spring. Huish has taken up Cook’s legacy of leading BJU’s choral groups.
Huish brings his own unique personality to the BJU music program. He is a travel and craft coffee enthusiast who enjoys riding unicycles. “I actually rode a unicycle in one of the Shakespeare plays here on campus on Rodeheaver stage when I was an undergrad,” he said.
Huish and his wife Stephanie met each other at BJU as undergraduate students in freshmen choir. They did not start dating until their junior year and were engaged the summer after their senior year while they were both working on graduate degrees. They got married in 2013 and stayed at BJU together until 2016.
Huish and his wife are now preparing for the birth of their first child, expecting him or her this month. “We decided to leave [the gender] as a surprise,” he said.
Huish had a busy five years before arriving back at BJU after leaving in 2016. “I taught for three years in Charlotte at a Christian school there,” he said. “And then I knew that I wanted to get back into teaching in higher education, so I applied at doctoral programs all across the country and ended up going to Texas Tech University in Lubbock, Texas.”
Huish is still working on his doctoral degree. “I’m currently in a three-year program called the Doctor of Musical Arts Degree,” he said. “I had two years of coursework where I had to be a resident at the school, so I just completed that. In the middle of last year, Dr. Moore from the Division of Music [at BJU] called me and told me that Dr. Cook was retiring and asked me if I would consider coming on as the director of choral activities.”
Huish and his wife were surprised at the speed at which an opportunity to teach in higher education was presented to them.
“My wife and I prayed about it, and we weren’t sure at first because it was a bit of a surprise,” he said. After praying and seeking advice, Huish and his wife decided to consider the offer.
“We came in March for an official campus visit and worked with the choir and met with faculty members, and everybody was very welcoming to us,” he said. “We know a lot of people from when we were students. It is kind of a unique situation that I came back to teach with some of my own teachers.”
Huish grew up in the suburbs of Chicago in a Christian home but struggled with eternal security. “Both of my parents are professing believers,” he said. “I grew up going to church and made a profession of faith when I was a kid, but I struggled a lot with doubt—as I’m sure a lot of people do—about my relationship with God.”
“During my high school senior year, the Lord gave me peace through a program that I attended on the life of Spurgeon, in which Spurgeon’s salvation account was being discussed, and the passage that was quoted was from Isaiah, ‘Look to me and be ye saved, all the ends of the earth, for I am God and there is no other,’” Huish said. “And it was at that moment that a light bulb went on in my head that my security as a believer is not based on how I feel, but it’s based on who I’m looking to—I’m looking to Christ. And at that moment I realized that’s the simplicity of the Gospel.”
Huish said he’s excited about his new role at BJU, especially directing the BJU Chorale. “Music is a very powerful means of communication,” he said. “And its total effect is greater than the sum of its parts. When you add 30 singers in a room and you add music and text, there’s something that seems magical about the effect that it has on people.”
“Being able to create beauty and share that beauty with others as a means of giving glory to God, using the gifts that he’s given to us,” Huish said.