Cornerstone’s community is filled with a multitude of incredible students. Among them is Amanda Rohling, a current senior pursuing a degree in commercial music with a vocal emphasis.
Amanda has been actively involved on campus since she first came here, participating in various musical ensembles, serving as a resident assistant (R.A.) and working in the Admissions Office to recruit incoming students.
Amanda has not always wanted to pursue music even though it has been part of her life from a young age.
“My mom tells me that I’ve been singing since I was three,” Amanda said, “but for a very long time, I really wanted to be a children’s eye doctor.”
It wasn’t until high school that she really began to explore the field of music. As a high school sophomore, Amanda auditioned for the TV show The Voice, making it into the top 100 out of 40,000 people. This was a point in which she fully realized that the talent she had was more than she had thought–it was part of God’s calling on her life.
When the time came to go to college, Amanda found that not many colleges offered a commercial music major like she wanted. She was pleasantly surprised to find Cornerstone, a university in her home state of Michigan, did offer it.
It was the phone call Amanda had with her admissions counselor that really sold her on Cornerstone.
“I deposited before I even visited just based on the phone call I had with my admissions counselor,” she said. “I felt so pursued for the person that I was rather than what I brought to the college.”
When she visited campus later on, it felt like a place she could call home.
During her time here, Cornerstone has been able to teach her many valuable lessons inside and outside of the classroom. Her professors have played a huge part in this, as she feels they truly want her to succeed. Amanda has also grown in her spiritual walk, and has found her calling to further the kingdom of God through the gifts she was given.
“I wasn’t in the best place spiritually when I came to Cornerstone. I was waiting for this moment where I could feel okay with God.”
Her moment came when she went on a retreat with the chorale choir. They had sat down at the end of the night to hear from Dr. Kent Walters, professor of music and director of choral studies, and it became a huge moment for Amanda.
Dr. Walters shared a message about kintsugi, the Japanese art of repairing broken pottery by mending the cracks with gold. This idea of beauty in brokenness had a profound impact on Amanda.
“It was exactly what I needed to hear,” Rohling said. “That was a huge turning point for me in my spiritual walk because that is when it felt like I was 100% giving myself to living for God. I still get chills when I think about it.”
It is still something she thinks back on fondly, and holds as an important moment in her faith story.
In addition to her professors, there have been a number of incredible people Amanda said she has met at Cornerstone, including her fiancé.
Rohling was pleased to say she will be bringing some amazing friendships into the future: “The people and the relationships that I have from Cornerstone go past my four years here.”
As the future is drawing ever closer and her time at Cornerstone is coming to an end, Amanda has felt God pushing her to stay in Grand Rapids. Though not her original plan, she is answering the call. She has been putting her time into making connections with people in her industry, so she is as prepared as she can be.
Rohling is a friend, performer and mentor. Throughout her time here, people have poured into her, and she has been able to pour into others. Her love for others was fostered here, and it will be a great asset to her in the years to come.
If you are interested in exploring music majors, or any degree Cornerstone offers, take a look at our webpage Majors and Minors, which has a comprehensive list of what we offer. If you already know what you want to pursue, take a moment to apply!