It has been said that singing is praying twice – music has a unique power to resonate through the soul and send a lasting message to the heart.On Wednesday at the University Covenant Church on Mace Boulevard, contemporary Christian singer and guitarist Shawn McDonald will perform in concert,sponsored in part by the UC Davis student-run organization Athletes in Action.
McDonald’s sound parallels that of John Mayer,Ben Harper and Jack Johnson.His smooth,passionate voice mends seamlessly withthe clear rhythm of his guitar.
The30-year-oldOregon native said that his love of music includes a steep range of orchestra,jazz,folk and oldies.Therefore,his albums perfectly reflect his eclectic,unconventional taste.
“We felt like[McDonald’s] music is something that Christians andnon-Christians can both enjoy,” said Joel Holly,seniorexercisebiology major and member of the AIA leadership team.
Seniorcommunication major and member of the AIA leadership teamJeremy McChesneysaid hosting McDonald inDavis could achieve multiple goals.He hopes the concert may be utilized tonot only spread the message of Christianity,butalsotochallenge stereotypicalviews of fellowship groups,who he said “are notboring and just study the Bible.“
“[McDonald is] very good at acoustics and has a great voice,” Holly said. “He has a great testimony about where he’s been and how it has led him to where he is now.“
Around age15,McDonald raninto some trouble with the law.
“I became a pretty heavy drug addictand sold drugs for a living.“
Fortunately,his grandmother and a collegeneighborintroduced Christianity to a young manwho wasunknowingly eagerto takeownership of his faith.
One night in college,McDonald sat pondering his spirituality,asking himself questions like, “Is God real?” or,“If so,who is he?” He had aBible on his shelf thathis grandmother gave him when he was a child.
“I remember seeking God.I didn’t know whathe was or whohe was.I opened up the Bible and had the mindset that ifhe was real,he was going to speak to me.“
He read a scripture from theBook of Matthew about casting out demons,which scared him enough to rid his life and home of drugs.A few days later,the police arrived at McDonald’s house with a search warrant tolook for marijuana,but to no avail.
“For me,it waseye-opening– that was how God became more than someone I just read about in a book.That’s when my pursuit ofGod really started.“
McDonald’s ardent search for growth keeps his mind and heart continually ready for change and development.His life experiences arouse creativity and emotionthatinspires his lyrics.How McDonald grapples with true life issuesis reflected in his sound and fan support.
The song with which McDonald currently relates most isa previously unreleased trackcalled “Mystery” that he willperform Wednesday.McDonald saidthis song explains that no matter how hard he tries to know God,he will never know everything abouthim.
“The mysteriousness of God means there is no formula tohim,“ hesaid.“I can’t figure it out,which makes me realize even more that I needhim.“
Through his long spiritual journey he has discovered that it is human nature to want answers.Butthe beauty of Christianity,McDonald said,is that God wantshis followers to have faith and accepthim for whohe is.
“All of us are on a journey,” said McDonald, “I have been myself a person seeking to live life to its fullest.… I am hoping[Wednesday’s concert] will be an experience to help people live better and definitely to draw people closer to God.I hope it is deeper than just entertainment and moves people from the inside.“
The concert will be held at University Covenant Church at 315 Mace Blvd.and anticipates about 400 people,according to Holly.
Tickets are$10and$20for the first five rows and can be purchasedat aiaucd.com or the UCC lobby after Sunday service.For more information on the artist,visitshawnmcdonaldmusic.com.
JUNE QUAN can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.