One Thousand Days Transformed - The Campaign for Cedarville

by Grant McCurdy, Simon Yeh, Kyle Darwin, Courtney (Potter) Nicholl, and Sean Kisch

Like students in other artistic disciplines, music majors are often asked the question, “What do you want to do with your degree?" At Cedarville, the Department of Music and Worship answers: “What can't you do?" From worship leadership to music pedagogy, from soundtrack composition to performance in recording groups, bands, and orchestras, Cedarville music and worship graduates are working within the music profession and shining a light for the Lord in powerful ways. Read on to see what five of Cedarville's recent music and worship graduates are doing today and how Cedarville equipped them to live out their callings with excellence.


Grant McCurdy ’14

I currently serve as the Senior Director of Worship and Production at The Village Church in Flower Mound, Texas, where I have the privilege of overseeing an incredible team of staff and volunteers and planning services from both liturgical and technical perspectives.

My relationships, experiences, and education from Cedarville University are inseparable from the worship leader and person I am today. Cedarville's staff, classes, and culture have left an incredible mark on my life which I continue to be so, so grateful for. I gained an enormous amount of practical experience from chapel bands and HeartSong, personal mentorship from great men like Jim Cato ’83 and Brandon Waltz ’87, and invaluable biblical teaching throughout my four years on campus.

It's difficult to quantify just how much formation and growth took place over that time. The Lord led me to transfer from another school mere days before my freshman year began, and I can't imagine what a loss it would have been to ignore His voice at that time. I am quick to recommend Cedarville as a wonderful institution full of people I love and respect to anyone who is considering their next steps in higher education.


Simon Yeh ’15

I am performing as both a live and studio musician (saxophone/ woodwinds) and have been the saxophonist for Danny Gokey since 2017. I’ve also been working as an adjunct professor of saxophone and jazz studies since 2019, directing the jazz band and teaching ear training and music technology classes.

I’m also a producer, composer, and orchestrator. I go by Chris Yeh (Christopher is my middle name) and produce music primarily for film and TV that can be found on Spotify, Apple Music, and other streaming platforms. In this capacity, I’m also the producer and orchestrator for HEATHER, an up-and-coming Christian artist.

As a student at Cedarville, I had so many opportunities to grow as a musician. I played lead tenor in the big band, principal clarinet in the symphonic band and orchestra, as well as flute in many composition recitals. I was also student director of the jazz band for a year, which helped prepare me for when I stepped into a jazz band director role years later.

On top of all of these great playing opportunities was an amazing faculty who both cared about my musical growth as well as my personal and spiritual development. The longer I have been out of school, the more I see and appreciate how important that was to my development. When I look back, there are direct ties and connections from Cedarville that God orchestrated which led me to the amazing career in music that I currently have. It's been an amazing ride so far, and I look forward to what the future holds! In closing, I'll say this: God is good, and all we have to do is rely on Him fully, then give Him all the credit in all that we do.


Kyle Darwin ’16

I’ve been a saxophonist in the U.S. Army for more than seven years. I’m currently stationed at Fort Moore in Columbus, Georgia. I play in our woodwind sextet, ceremonial band, and marching band. A few times a year, we also put together a show as a full band where I often play in a big-band-style setting. I regularly play baritone saxophone and alto saxophone and perform in a wide variety of scenarios for audiences ranging from 10 people to just over 20,000.

My transformative journey at Cedarville University deeply shaped my identity as a soldier and leader. I underwent significant spiritual growth, discovering what it meant to devote myself to Christ and to love sacrificially. The institution's ethos, “For the Word of God and the Testimony of Jesus Christ,” resonated with me from the start, affirming my decision to attend. It felt like God calling me, positioning me precisely where I needed to be.

Collaborating with a fellow saxophonist for both my first duo recital and subsequent performances taught me invaluable lessons in resilience and stage presence. I owe much of my musical development to Dr. Chet Jenkins, whose unwavering patience, kindness, and high expectations propelled me forward. His mentorship not only honed my skills but also paved the way for my acceptance into the prestigious Army Band field. Cedarville University was not just an academic institution to me; it was a crucible of spiritual growth, development of my relationship with Christ, and preparation for the path ahead.


Courtney (Potter) Nicholl ’06, MEd ’16

I live and teach in Kettering, Ohio. I am married to Andrew Nicholl ’05 (BA in church music). We have two kids, Romey (13) and Paisley (11). We serve at Waynesville Community Church.

I teach about 400 students a week in grades kindergarten through fifth grade. We teach integrated classes that have mainstreamed students who have autism. During the school year, I also direct a volunteer choir of 100 third through fifth grade students. My students participate in concerts at my school as well as around our Kettering community.

I will always cherish my time attending Cedarville University. The education I received from both the music and worship department and the education department set me up to be a successful educator. The professors in the music department molded me into the musician that I am today. They instilled a lifelong love for music in me and invested in me as a student. As an educator in the public school system, I am thankful to Cedarville University for helping me grow in my faith in Christ that is unwavering in my classroom.


Sean Kisch ’17

I am a music copyist and librarian at JoAnn Kane Music Services (JKMS) in Los Angeles.

JKMS works side by side with film composers to help them get their music ready for recording sessions. My primary role now is coordinating our Live-In-Concert library, which creates and ships shows like Harry Potter, Jurassic Park, How to Train Your Dragon, Elf, and many others.

I could not do my job today if it were not for the training I received at Cedarville. The music technology classes gave me skills that I use every day in notation software and digital audio workstations. But most of all, I’m grateful for the personal investments of faculty such as Dr. Austin Jaquith, who helped me score my first feature film. Relationships like that helped me build my credit list and taught me life skills like how to be a disciplined writer and how to sabbath well. Those same relationships fostered deep conversations about how I should reflect Christ in my work.

Even though most of my day-to-day work involves serving other composers rather than my own creative writing, I see all of my daily tasks — organizing notes on the page, creating mockups, or preparing live performances — as worthy of the highest level of excellence. I love that the word “service” is in the name JoAnn Kane Music Service. My time at Cedarville inspired me to lean into that calling — to see every cue and every concert as an opportunity to exhibit Christ’s servant-hear


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