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Voctave returns to perform Christmas concert on campus

Voctave returned to Bob Jones University a second time on Dec. 1 with a Christmas-themed concert for the last Concert, Opera & Drama Series event of the year. The a cappella group performed for the first time at the University in November 2020 with a Disney-inspired repertoire.

Darren Lawson, dean of the School of Fine Arts and Communication, wanted the BJU community to enjoy the Voctave experience when he first heard the group several years ago. “I remember saying to myself, ‘We’ve got to have them come and sing for the students at BJU.’ The rest is history,” Lawson said.

Although the group had already visited the University, this second experience was much different. The first time Voctave performed, the University was under COVID restrictions. “We couldn’t have anybody from town come, and the students had to spread out every other seat,” Lawson said. But in this year’s concert, hundreds of community members joined the students to hear the group.

Lawson intentionally chose a date close to the end of the semester to help the campus community relax. “I planned this one because I knew it was going to be the end of the semester and everybody’s stressed out,” Lawson said.

The a cappella group sang well-known Christmas songs such as “Where Are You Christmas,” “O Holy Night” and “Jingle Bells.” Between songs the group surprised the audience with comedy interludes which kept the crowd laughing.

Students appreciated the group’s performance and effort to entertain the public. “For me, it was really impressive to hear, like, all of those singers showing their talents,” said Diego Leon, a junior business administration major. “I also liked a lot the connection they did with the public, like saying funny jokes, making the crowd laugh.”

Frank Castillo, a sophomore business administration major, was also impressed by the program and thankful he got to see it as part of his experience at BJU. “I was surprised because I didn’t know that they were so talented,” Castillo said.

Lawson knew the experience would be valuable for students since Voctave is an internationally known singing group that has already built a notable following. “It’s one thing to listen to them on your phone; it’s another thing to be in the hall live,” he said.

BJU has offered opportunities for artistic influence since its beginning as part of its educational program. “We take these very seriously, and they end up shaping you in ways that you don’t even realize maybe until 10 years from now,” Lawson said.

“It makes you a better accountant, it makes you a better doctor, it makes you a better journalist.”