Shawn McDonald has built a career out of writing songs focused on his personal journey with God. On February 17, he will bring his contemporary Christian style to Union College with a concert at College View Church at 7:30 p.m.
McDonald grew up in Eugene, Ore., where much of his youth was marred with rebellion and drug addiction. At age 20, when his life began to fall apart, he cried out to God and slowly began to turn his life around.
He started to channel his energy into music and writing lyrics, focusing on being authentic and connecting with others. “I feel like I have a voice and can reach people stuck in that kind of lifestyle because I’ve experienced it,” said McDonald, discussing his past in a 2006 interview with Jonathan Dingman. “I went searching and exploring and in the end found that God is the ultimate; He’s the only thing that will last.”
The singer did not set out to make it big in the music industry, but instead wrote songs about his personal walk with God. “Music was part of my healing,” said McDonald in a 2011 interview with Jesus Freak Hideout. “I didn't get into music because I was dreaming about it or felt I had something to say. I was writing songs that were very personal between God and me and when I shared them other people related.”
McDonald’s emphasis on living honestly and authentically is apparent throughout his music. “I really like the lyrics in his songs because they are so genuine,” said Marielle Solis, sophomore medical laboratory science student at Union College. “His words express the way I feel about God and I can connect with his calming, peaceful style.”
“I knew when I asked him to come that he was someone a lot of people liked,” said Tash Copening, director of Union For Christ and coordinator of the event. “I like him because I can really relate to his lyrics. I feel like there are a lot of songs that speak to me and echo my own spiritual journey.”
The College View Seventh-day Adventist Church is located on the corner of 48th and Prescott Streets on the campus of Union College. The concert is free and open to the public—no tickets registration required.