Symphony of Purpose: A Life of Music and Inspiration

June 11, 2024

KEENE, TEX. – During high school, I had no intention of attending college and little interest in music. My plan was to follow in the footsteps of my family by assuming responsibilities on our family farm. Yet, we all know what happens when we make our own plans—God steps in and reminds us of His plans.

Now, it’s surreal to believe that during the 2024 Meyerson Music Festival, I stood on the stage as an alumnus of Southwestern Adventist University.

It all started when Southwestern’s vocal ensemble, the University Singers, stumbled into my world. During my senior year at Campion Academy, they performed for us while on tour in Colorado. Tears filled my eyes when I heard them sing. This was not only the first time that I had felt music, but it was also one of the first times that I truly felt the presence of God. Immediately, I knew that I needed to be a part of that choir. Yet, I hadn’t saved any money or applied for scholarships. I had no financial ability to attend Southwestern.

Following the performance, I spoke with Jonathan Wall, director of the University Singers. I told him about the impact their music had on my soul and I expressed my desire to be a part of the program. Despite my lack of financial preparedness, Wall highlighted a pathway during our discussion.

Each year, the music department presents scholarship opportunities through the annual Music Festival. High school applicants must audition and perform in a showcase recital on Southwestern’s campus to be awarded. Embracing the opportunity with excitement, I auditioned and was chosen to receive a scholarship.

As a result, I jumped on a plane that spring to attend my very first Southwestern Music Festival. That visit solidified my calling to pursue music and attend the university. Not only did the incredible vocal experience draw me in, but the warmth of Texas hospitality and the allure of Southwestern made me feel right at home.

I began my academic journey as a vocal performance major, but quickly realized, with the help of mentors and inspirational teachers, that it wasn’t singing that I desperately wanted to be a part of, although it was an absolute thrill. I wanted to be a part of creating the experience that I had felt when I first heard the University Singers perform. I desired to direct ensembles with a passion for Jesus and share that passion with the world.

Thus, I transitioned my focus to music education and never looked back. Walking across the graduation stage in May of 2023 not only marked the culmination of my academic success but also the stepping stone to my next chapter.

Today, I proudly serve as the K-8th grade music teacher at Burleson Adventist School, alongside my role as music department assistant at Southwestern. Each day, I enter the classroom with a sense of purpose: to impart my God given gift of music to others. I hope to ignite within others the same inspiration that sparked my journey.

None of this would have been possible without the help of generous people, just like you, who make the Southwestern scholarship program possible. Without these scholarships, my dreams would not have been achievable. I aspire to reciprocate this generosity in the future, mirroring the profound impact it has had on me. Likewise, I urge others to consider what lives might be transformed by their willingness to give.

By Remington Hill