Music matters.

More than notes and lyrics, music enriches the heart and soul. For its Music Matters Concert and Lecture Series, Cornerstone University invites accomplished artists and music professionals to perform and present lectures about relevant music-related topics. These artists draw from real-life experiences and from God's word as they share about topics like music performance, education, business and more.

Schedule of Events

The Music Matters Concert and Lecture Series is free and open to the public. Unless otherwise indicated, Music Matters events take place in Gordon Music Building's Recital Hall and last one hour.

  • Oct. 2, 2019 | "BEATBoX SAX" (Derek Brown)
  • Nov. 6, 2019 | Jeremy Verwys
  • Feb. 26, 2020 | Andrew Fritz

"BEATBoX SAX" with Derek Brown

From his 30+ million views across social media to his appearance on international television and NPR's Weekend Edition, Billboard-charting saxophonist/innovator Derek Brown and his one-of-a-kind solo "BEATBoX SAX" project has been exploding across the world music scene.

As described by jazz journalist/historian Scott Yanow, "Brown performs unaccompanied solos that occasionally make one recall Bobby McFerrin in his early prime and the great saxophonist Eddie Harris ... utilizing slap-tonguing, circular breathing, a wide interest in musical styles and dazzling coordination to create rather unique music."

Derek has performed solo concerts in all 50 United States and over 25 countries around the world (almost 200 total international shows)! Known for his boundless energy on stage, creative audience interaction, and musical depth, Derek's live shows always surprise and delight. His ongoing "BEATBoX SAX" music videos and tutorials on YouTube have been enormously popular among saxophonists and music lovers alike (over 100,000 Youtube subscriptions), leading to endorsements with Legere, JodyJazz, P.Mauriat, BG France and AKG.

Previously the director of jazz studies at Abilene Christian University for six years, Derek received his B.M. in Music Performance (Classical and Jazz) from Hope College in 2006 and his M.M. in Jazz Studies at the University of Cincinnati, College-Conservatory of Music in 2008.

Crossing genres from jazz to classical to funk, without looping or electronic effects, saxophone innovator Derek Brown’s unique playing style must be seen in person to be believed!

  • Date: Wednesday, Oct. 2, 2019
  • Time: 12:15-1:15 p.m.
  • Location: Gordon Music Building's Recital Hall, Cornerstone University

Jeremy Verwys

Jeremy Verwys is a local Grand Rapids area musician and teacher. Currently, Verwys is working towards a graduate degree in performance as well as music therapy at Illinois State University where he studies with Dr. Angelo Favis in guitar. Verwys received his Bachelor of Music in Performance from Grand Valley State University, studying with Carlos De la Barrera and his associate degree from Grand Rapids Community College with instructors Andrew Bergeron and Brian Morris.

Verwys has performed with the Grand Rapids Symphony, as well as with the dance faculty at Blue Lake Fine Arts Camp where he was commissioned in 2015 to compose and perform original works. He has participated in master-classes with renowned guitarists Thomas Viloteau, Marcin Dylla, Carlos Perez, Johannes Möller and Jason Vieaux, along with private studies with Goran Ivanovic and Adam Holzman. As a member of the GRCC Guitar Ensemble, he played in several of the annual Mid-America Guitar Ensemble Festivals, one of which afforded a master-class with the Minneapolis Guitar Quartet. Verwys also divides his time teaching and instructing music at Triumph Music Academy in Grand Rapids, Mich. as well as being Adjunct Faculty at Heartland Community College in Normal, Ill.

  • Date: Wednesday, Nov. 6, 2019
  • Time: 12:15-1:15 p.m.
  • Location: Gordon Music Building's Recital Hall, Cornerstone University