OC hosts Vanderzee album premiere

OC hosts Vanderzee album premiere

Oklahoma Christian University will host the release party for Brett Vanderzee’s debut album, “On the Low Sky,” on Friday, Dec. 7 in the Adams Recital Hall.

Doors open at 7 p.m. for the free event. CDs and t-shirts will be available for purchase afterward.

Vanderzee is a senior English major at Oklahoma Christian and a frequent performer on OC’s stages. His album of original songs began as an assignment in Dr. Rebecca Briley’s Creative Writing class and developed further as part of his Honors Program Catalyst Project.

Vanderzee used one song as the basis of a proposal for an Honors “Catalyst Grant” project for his Senior Capstone project in Honors and English.

His Catalyst Grant committee, comprised of Dr. Briley, Dr. Allison Garrett and Dr. Scott LaMascus, awarded $1,500 for the project, which Vanderzee parlayed into much more in donations and advance sales through kickstarter.com.

“Brett signed a Catalyst contract and went to work taking things to a higher level than required by our syllabi. In a great OC tradition of overachievers, Brett also took many other steps of unusual initiative,” LaMascus said. “He listens more carefully and learns better than most of us, taking suggestions from many collaborators and incorporating them productively into his own vision for these lyrics and the project. 

The album title comes from a line in T.S. Eliot’s poem “Journey of the Magi.” The album features original artwork by his wife, Laura Bowles Vanderzee, an art major and performer in many OC productions. To preview and order the album and other merchandise, go to www.brettvanderzee.com.

“It doesn’t matter if you live in post-exilic Israel or postmodern America, faith has always been a struggle. These songs are an honest look at what it means to seek God through hardship,” Brett said. “I hope we’ve made an album that will bring a fresh perspective to both people of belief and unbelief.”

A native of Tea, S.D., Brett will graduate from Oklahoma Christian in December. He recently became the worship minister at Quail Springs Church of Christ in Oklahoma City.