Almost ten years ago, a group of young men attending Palm Beach Atlantic University in Florida moved into student housing on a street named Tenth Avenue North. Today, this contemporary Christian band is touring the country, sharing the message of God’s love.
On Sunday, Oct. 26, Tenth Avenue North will perform at Northwestern. Joining it is California native Phil Wickham. Known for his modern twist on melodic hymns, Wickham brings a different sound to worship songs. His latest song, “This is Amazing Grace,” demonstrates just that. Wickham’s songs, much like those of Tenth Avenue North, speak of God’s remarkable grace and His unfailing love.
Hosting a big-name concerts is a rare occurrence at NW. In the past, NW has held concerts for groups such as Newsboys and Jars of Clay. In the last five years, however, there have been no major headline acts on campus.
Aaron Beadner, Director of Student Programs, explained the process and time put into bringing a concert to NW. Beadner acted as a liaison between the college and purchaser, Echo Ministries. Echo Ministries served as the promoters for the “From Islands to Cathedrals” tour in the Midwest region.
Beadner had spoken with Echo Ministries in the past and had often talked about bringing in a group to NW. The idea was delayed due to scheduling conflicts and finding a tour that students would be excited to attend.
Finally, Beadner and Echo Ministries discovered The “From Islands to Cathedrals” tour, which included groups that would appeal to students at NW.
“Facilities were available, and it lined up with our campus calendar,” Beadner said. “We talked and said, ‘let’s move forward with it’. All it took was a conversation with them, and we offered our facilities.”
Conversations to bring the tour to campus began in June and July. The main issue was determining chapel availability was available and if Campus Ministries would allow the concert to replace Praise and Worship. After thinking things through, the concert was confirmed in August.
Recently, the concert’s location was moved from chapel to the RSC. Although the chapel could hold 896 people, ticket sales soared and the need for a larger space became necessary. Due to NW’s sponsorship of the concert, students were given a special rate, $10 for a regular admission ticket and $25 for the deluxe, which includes a Q&A with the band and early seating.
So far, over 1,200 tickets have been sold between students, faculty and staff and the local community. About 110 prospective students will also be attending the concert.
“I think it will be an awesome night of great music and worship,” Beadner said. “We aren’t offering our usual Sunday Praise and Worship, but in a way the concert will. I think our students will be enriched by it.”
Alexis Graves is co-leader of the Student Activities Council Stage and Concerts Committee and is helping oversee the setup of the concert.
“We had a concert last year, so it’s something similar, but more people have bought tickets,” Graves said.
Graves thinks the reason behind the increase in ticket purchases is due to the concert being held the same weekend as homecoming, allowing parents to join their children on campus for the concert. This concert will be beneficial to both students and non-students.
“It brings them together,” Graves said. “I’ll use that buzzword, ‘community. ‘People can talk about it, whether they go or not.”
Students will worship together, along with friends, family and members of the community.