Beauty Is a ‘Clue’ that God Exists

| October 14, 2015

Dan Forrest is a composer living in Greenville, South Carolina. Primarily focused on choral music, he also composes instrumental works for wind band, piano, organ, orchestra, and other instruments. Some of his musical influences include John Rutter, Aaron Copland, Ralph Vaughn Williams, Arvo Pärt, and Morten Lauridsen. Forrest’s best-known work is “Requiem for the Living.” (See also his recent article “The Art of Worship: Culture and Style in the Church’s Mission.”)

How do you reconcile church music and concert hall music––the “sacred” and the “secular”?

Both are equally valid and important for Christian composers. I used to keep my concert music and church music separate, but eventually I realized my writing often worked both ways, and conductors were programming my music both ways. I stopped trying to compartmentalize my work and just started writing music in the unique little spot I occupy, and let conductors decide which way my pieces are used. I consider it a high compliment if my concert music is spiritual enough to belong in a worship service, and/or if my church music is artistic and well-crafted enough to belong in a concert hall.

How does your work point to the image of God?

Many Christians would die…

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