On the PRAISE team, and at Concordia, we have a very clear direction and goal, and that goal is to glorify God.
Hannah Cmeyla just graduated from Concordia, having been a member of Concordia’s A Cappella choir, Vocal Jazz choir, bands for Concordia’s contemporary worship night, and a volunteer musician for different churches in Lincoln. However, when she started at Concordia, she wasn’t even sure she wanted to be involved in music.
“When I visited, I talked to Dr. Von Kampen, and he convinced me to do music education. I had always liked music but it wasn’t until we talked that I realized I could turn music into a career.” After some time, Hannah was not certain that she wanted to do music education. “As I worked in the classroom, I realized that there were some things that I wanted to learn on my own. I wasn’t really interested in teaching them to other people,” said Hannah. “On a whim, I registered for a business communication and a marketing class, and I loved it. I’m a very creative person and marketing helps me to use that creativity.”
Hannah began to use this creativity to serve in other spaces on campus. She found this outlet through Concordia’s contemporary worship night, PRAISE. “I first started singing and playing piano in a band my freshman year, and then I started training to be worship organizer, which means I did the tech for worship nights and chapel services.”
Hannah was both a band leader and worship organizer and she served a lot of people through both of those roles, even if it was not in a way people would typically expect. “I’m not a huge people person, but I love working with other people who love the same things I do. On the PRAISE team, we have a clear direction and goal and that goal is to glorify God.”
This path has led Hannah to opportunities she would have never expected her freshman year. She graduated with the class of 2023 and is planning to go to graduate school in Fall of 2024. In her year before graduate school, she is spending her time as the Worship Arts Intern at Our Savior Lutheran Church in Norfolk, Nebraska. Currently, her most prevalent responsibilities are setting up for the weekend services: prepping lights and music, rehearsing with the band, and doing what she can to enhance the worship service.
So far, Hannah is grateful for the opportunity to consider in depth what she has learned already through her time on the PRAISE team. “My favorite part has been the deep dive into everything I had surface knowledge of before. Every part of the technology in the building plays a part in the service.”
For Hannah, “enhancing the worship service” means using the technology available to put the focus on Christ. “It’s not about being the coolest church or having the flashiest tech. That’s not what worship is about. The point is finding what we can do to provide the congregation with the tools necessary to worship together and be in communion with one another and to glorify God.”