Kyle Nelson: Music Education major, singer and saxophonist
March 26, 2012
Though Kyle Nelson had not heard of Evangel before his sophomore year of high school, he was quickly captivated by the university’s representation at youth camp and National Fine Arts Festival (NFAF) his last few years of high school. When he had the opportunity to visit the campus for EU:24 and to meet personally with Dr. Michael Kolstad, chair of the Music Department, at the NFAF 2009, Kyle knew Evangel was where he needed to be. Originally from Broken Bow, Oklahoma, Kyle is now a member of the class of 2014. He is pursuing a degree in Music Education while taking part in many of the music ensembles and worship teams Evangel offers.
Why did you choose Evangel?
I chose Evangel because it felt like the right place as soon as I heard about it. I wasn’t an A/G kid until my sophomore year of high school, but throughout the rest of my high school days, I always saw Evangel being represented at Discipleship Camps, Youth Camps and Fine Arts. My senior year I auditioned on my alto sax for Dr. Michael Kolstad and Mr. Jeff Burnett at the National Fine Arts Festival 2009 in Orlando, Florida. Just from the short meeting I had with these gentlemen I knew that they and the rest of the faculty were going to be amazing.
Did you visit Evangel’s campus before you arrived on campus as a student?
I visited Evangel one time for an EU:24 weekend before becoming a student. During that weekend I stayed with some really great guys who made me feel very welcome. We attended a Sanctus Real concert, which was held in Evangel’s chapel, and we made a late night trip to IHOP afterwards. It was awesome.
Did you receive financial aid?
Yes, I did. My music scholarship alone was able to cover my meal plan, books and housing. With other Evangel scholarships, as well as outside scholarships, I have managed to attend Evangel and remain debt free so far.
Were there any obstacles you overcame in coming to Evangel?
The biggest obstacle that I had to face, which I believe is almost everyone else’s biggest obstacle as well, was the monster known as … finances. But after many hours of filling out scholarship applications and with the faithfulness of God, I was able to overcome this hurdle and attend Evangel.
How did you decide on your particular area of study?
In the sixth grade I picked up my first instrument, the alto saxophone. Ever since then, I have been in love with music. It was at that moment that I knew I would be doing something music related to make a living. I didn’t decide on Music Education until the beginning of my 2nd semester. I sat down with my adviser, Dr. Kolstad, and he helped me figure out what I needed to do and encouraged me into Music Education because he thought that I could do well in the Education Department.
What are the benefits of attending a smaller university?
There are many benefits to attending a smaller university, but the most important things are the bonds that you forge with your peers, professors and other faculty. I haven’t attended Evangel for very long, but from the short time I have been here, I know that I have built some friendships that will last the rest of my life.
In what ensembles are you a member? What instrument or vocal part do you play or sing?
I am currently a member of University Band, Marching Band and Jazz Band, for which I play the alto saxophone. I am a member of the Concert Choir as well as Chorale, for which I sing bass. And I am in two different worship teams, for one I play bass guitar and the other lead guitar.
What do you like about being an Evangel student?
The people of Evangel. I have made so many awesome friends and have gained a personal relationship with nearly all of my professors. The music program is great, ministry opportunities are abundant and I love the city of Springfield.
What kind of educational/service/leadership opportunities have you encountered?
Activities Board, Crosswalk, Children’s Ministries, and missions trips are just a few things on a long list of opportunities I am involved in.
What are your personal and career/ministry goals after college?
My personal goal after college is to earn my master’s degree in music education and then my doctorate. I plan on teaching as well as pursuing my dream of film score composition. As far as ministry goals, I plan on settling into a home church wherever I am living and getting plugged in to ministry opportunities through that church.
Why should a prospective student choose Evangel?
I believe that a prospective student should choose Evangel if they desire a quality education with an emphasis on Christian faith. I know that ever since I became an Evangel student my faith, as well as my personal and academic strengths, has grown by leaps and bounds.