By Jessa Parette Eldridge '11
Wednesday, November 10, 2010
Senior and Cathedral Choir alto Shannon Quintanilla says she can't wait to sing the praises for (and in) the under construction Bill and Donna Berry Performing Arts Center.
"I'm excited about having an actual stage for our performances-not only for the choir, but also for recitals, lyceums, and music theater productions," says Quintanilla. "The choir will have its own practice room in the new center. I will also be holding my senior recital there, which will give me a better feel for what it is like to perform in a professional auditorium."
The Bill and Donna Berry Performing Arts Center is a key initiative of the Keeping Faith $110M Capital Campaign. The 28,000 square-foot facility will provide much-needed space for JBU Cathedral Choir concerts, theater productions, music recitals and performances, small chapel programs, and other special campus events.
Quintanilla anticipates that the center, which is scheduled for completion in summer 2010, will enable JBU to increase its positive impact within the local community as well.
"By having a larger space, local schools will be able to use the center," says Quintanilla. "The center will allow JBU to open more doors and involve Siloam Springs and the surrounding community even more."
Quintanilla says that as a senior in high school she had made plans to attend another university, but a visit to JBU changed her mind.
"I chose JBU because of the community I sensed from just one visit," says Quintanilla. "I also came to realize that my educational needs would be served much better at JBU, and they truly have. My professors are good at letting me know that I can talk with them whenever I need to. They seem to be more like mentors than professors."
When asked about her most memorable moment as part of the Cathedral Choir, Quintanilla's answer is one that many choir alumni share.
"It is such a blessing to be part of the Christmas Candlelight that so many people attend, not only from JBU, but also the Siloam Springs community and beyond," says Quintanilla. "It is so encouraging to see the way members of the community look forward to Candlelight each year and understand it for what it truly is, a worship service not a performance."
Jessa Parette Eldridge '11 is staff editor and writer for university communication