Christian concert committee brings McDonald to campus

by Andrew Goodell

Organized about more than just their religion, several Christian students are working to put together a spiritually themed concert.

As part of the RLC network of student groups, the Christian Concert Committee was able to book singer/songwriter Shawn McDonald for a concert on Feb. 18 in Hopper Gymnasium. Tickets are free for Simpson students and the doors open at 7:45 p.m.

“We brought it up to CAB and decided what would be most appropriate for students,” said junior RLC President Jon Bailey.

Both acts on the bill, McDonald and senior Greg Dolmage, are purely acoustic. Their minimalist style of music is the kind most enjoyed by the concert organizers. Bailey likes the music made by McDonald enough to call it transcendent.

“Even if Christian music is not your thing, secular people can enjoy Shawn McDonald’s music,” Bailey said. “Our number one goal is to meet student needs. They can take advantage of the money we receive if they see this.”

Sophomore Jason Kramme, president of the CCC, said McDonald’s music could be compared to well-known singer/songwriters with a twist.

“Shawn McDonald is influenced by hip hop, Jack Johnson and Ben Harper,” Kramme said.

According to McDonald’s Web site,, his music can be described as “genre-bending soulish-folk.”

Honesty is a big part of McDonald’s music, according to the biography on his Web site.

“I get up there and I talk about my life and my struggles and my experiences, good and bad,” McDonald said. “I sing and talk about it all. I talk about the grime of life. I can’t understand a version of Christianity that would deny all that.”

Bailey and Kramme are both excited about the concert because Simpson does not host Christian concerts regularly.

“This is the first opportunity to have a Christian band on campus in a few years,” Bailey said. “The last one was in 1999, I think.”

The CCC has been hard at work using a substantial advertising plan to promote the event. Most of the advertising methods are conventional and include putting posters up around campus.

“We’re working with CAB, but we’ve gone to Kinko’s for the posters,” Kramme said.

They also secured minute-long advertisements on the Des Moines-based radio station 105.1 KCCQ.

A unique form of advertising employed by the CCC involved bringing news of the concert directly to their target audience.

“We’ve gone to local churches and invited youth groups,” Kramme said. “High school youth groups with prospective students can be exposed to this facet of Simpson life.”

According to Kramme, the CCC invited youth group members from Assembly of God, First United Methodist and Lutheran Church of Hope in West Des Moines to help fulfill the overall goal of the concert.

“They’ll get to meet more people within the Christian community,” Kramme said.