by Jenni Hodges, Public Relations Writer
An all-female worship band from Cedarville University is filling a niche for women’s conferences on and off campus, says assistant professor of worship Patrick Anderson. Anderson said the students in Rekindle have had far more opportunities this year than any of the music department’s other groups.
Jena Baumer, who leads the band, said it started when several students auditioning to lead worship at a women’s conference on campus in 2011 decided to form a group. Baumer, a senior worship student from Hartville, Mo., said the band’s name, Rekindle, comes from 2 Timothy and refers to women’s ability to influence believers’ lives through their example and encouragement.
Anderson said that when Baumer came to him with the idea, he thought an all-female band might meet a unique need, but didn’t realize how much. “They’ve done a great job and gotten glowing feedback from the places that they’ve gone,” he said.
Baumer said women’s conferences don’t often have live worship music, especially led by other women. “It’s a unique thing to have a stage full of females doing more than singing or playing the piano,” she said.
Rekindle focuses on contemporary Christian music but also plays acoustic arrangements of hymns and ballads. Baumer says the band’s flexibility allows them to reach a wide audience. Still, co-leader Emma Patterson, a junior from Goleta, Calif. said the group isn’t in demand because of the music but because the members are eager to spend time with women attending the conferences. Patterson said the students enjoy the opportunity to build relationships, receive valuable advice and serve women of all generations.
Rekindle includes five other music and worship students: Rachel Moran of Appleton, Wis., Zoe Jamison of New Hampton, N. H., Sarah Sosa of Fort Myers, Fla., Dani McDonald of Belmont, Mich., and Bethany Thompson of Spotsylvania, Va.
The band has played for women’s retreats at Faircreek Church in Fairborn and Twin Lakes Camp and Conference Center in Hillsboro, Ind., as well as the Southeast Ohio Women’s Spring Retreat. The group will continue to lead worship for conferences in Ohio and Indiana throughout the spring semester, as well as several events on campus at Cedarville.
Located in southwest Ohio, Cedarville University attracts 3,400 undergraduate, graduate and online students to more than 100 areas of study. Celebrating 125 years of inspiring greatness, Cedarville is a Christ-centered learning community recognized nationally for rigorous academic programs, strong graduation and retention rates, accredited professional and health science offerings and leading student satisfaction ratings. Visit the University online at www.cedarville.edu.