Goshen College’s Parables are making a full fledged comeback this fall after two years without official performances for the community. Now, with a theme of “spread love,” the student-led worship team has resumed almost weekly performances for local churches, high schools, retirement homes and more.“It’s been two years since we have been able to handle Parables as we usually do,” Marcia Yost, professor of music and faculty advisor of the Parables, said in regards to Parables performing off campus again. “I hope we experience that renewed joy of sharing music with congregations and high schools.”
The group also has the unique advantage of being student-led. Parables meets a week before the semester begins to establish a group connection and choose their yearly outreach theme. This gives them the ability to choose their yearly outreach theme, the music they want to perform and the skits they will be developing. Yost says that this student leadership “brings a sense of authenticity” to the group.
“What they are singing is important to them,” she said. “They are able to take ownership of their work.”
“Since we all know each other pretty well, the advantage is that we all get to be truly open,” said Víctor Vegas, a Parables member and sophomore music major. “It gives us a lot of room to communicate. In this setting we get to choose everything we perform…It feels like what music is supposed to make you feel.”
Additionally, each year the group takes special care in choosing their outreach theme. This year, the group has chosen a theme of “spread love.”
“We discussed a variety of themes, but we chose ‘spread love’ because the title track is the most standout song,” said Vegas. “It sums up all the set list well. Everything is about wanting the world to come together, to share more love, have less violence. It is about ‘how can we be silent when all of this is happening.’ We want to spread love, at the end of the day.”
The music that the group is performing reflects this goal of “spreading love.”
“With this group, we have a Stevie Wonder number talking about love as well as several hymns from the new ‘Voices Together’ hymnal book,” Yost said. “It’s a wide variety and a talented group of musicians.”
Aside from the excitement of Parables being able to tour off campus again, the group has many individual hopes for the year.
“I am definitely excited for our tour,” Vegas said. “Our opening and title track gives everyone a solo, it is a chance to showcase our talents but shows how well we work as an ensemble. It showcases everyone’s individuality.”
Yost also expressed her hopes for this year of Parables:
“What I hope for all of us is that there is a sense of satisfaction in providing a service of performance,” Yost said. “I think my own personal kind of feeling is that for those of us that are blessed with talent, being given opportunities to share and give back to others is important… It is important to our development as human beings.”
Parables’ first performance this year will take place on Wednesday at 7:00 p.m. in Rieth Recital Hall. The preview concert is free and all are invited.