On March 24, the Bryce Jordan Center will welcome Winter Jam, a family-friendly concert series featuring a variety of faith-based musicians that will appeal to every taste, regardless of your favorite genre. From Grammy-nominated pop artist Britt Nicole, to arena-shaking rock band Thousand Foot Krutch, to hip-hop rapper Steven Malcolm, more than 10 musical acts appear on stage over the course of the night.
Starting in 1995 as January Jam, the annual concert series has been going strong since, and has been repeatedly rated a top tour for record attendances. It is the largest annual Christian music tour in the country.
According to one of the featured artists, David Crowder (known simply as Crowder onstage), “It’s like a traveling festival almost.” It’s Crowder’s fourth time joining the tour, having participated in several previous full runs, and also in the newer West Coast run.
For him, personally and as a musician, he finds the experience comparable to none.
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“A lot of times you’re going out to do music, you’re ... only with a couple of bands, which is cool, but to have that many people on the road (is amazing) and ... there’s a big crew that has to put the show up and down every night and they’re just fantastic folks to get to know. All the truck drivers and bus drivers ... it’s just got a good spectrum of all of humanity, all in one place, stuck together for about three to four months. That part fires me up. That’s my favorite part about the whole thing, just getting to know and be around people who have a very similar pace of life as I do.”
That varied spectrum of all humanity extends to the crowds, partially thanks to the affordable ticket prices. All tickets are general admission, pay-at-the-door and $10 for every attendee 2 and up.
“It’s a full spectrum of socioeconomic range,” Crowder said. “The hope was you could have a really engaging evening everybody could come to. You got a deal where the whole family can come, which that’s rare. If you’re a family going out to a show, you’re (normally) paying (a lot). So this is something that everybody can come to and it definitely reflects that. It’s very diverse.”
Despite the diversity, however, there’s one thing drawing the entire audience, artist lineup and crew together.
“The entire point is that you’ll get to connect with God, and that would be, I think, the point for everybody else that goes on the tour, too,” Crowder said. “I get to sing songs that directly allows us to respond to that and my favorite moment of the whole night (is when) there’s this moment where everything’s unplugged and you just get to hear everybody in the room singing together. I hope what’s happening there, is that you feel closer and all the lines that are between us all, right now especially ... those things tend to disappear when you start singing together. It can connect you to conversations that are much grander in scope than most of the things we’re talking about.”
IF YOU GO
- What: Winter Jam
- When: 7 p.m. March 24
- Where: Bryce Jordan Center, University Park
- Info: www.bjc.psu.edu