Community Is A Quick Google Search Away

August 15, 2023

When applying for colleges, Rachel Huchthausen ’23 knew she wanted to double major in music and English at a Christian university. Following a quick Google search, Rachel was visiting Houghton with her mom.

After taking a piano lesson with Professor William Newbrough during her campus visit, Rachel fell in love with Houghton’s welcoming atmosphere and community.

Houghton invites me to engage our community of faith. This emphasis on community has helped me act increasingly out of trust and confidence in the love and mercy of God shown through community.


As an introvert, engaging with her community can be hard for Rachel. However, primed by her experience in the London Honors Program, Rachel has learned that interacting with the community around her helps her take advantage of experiential learning opportunities, something she now values in her education. “The cohort aspect [of London] was amazing. I really appreciated it because we were able to place what we were learning about in the context of a place, together. We experienced history outside of a lecture or textbook.”

Since then, Rachel has intentionally sought out ways she can combine her love of community and experiential learning. Whether it’s playing in the pit orchestra for a Lyric Theater production or performing the works of student composers, Rachel loves it. “We don’t just learn how we might perform a work; we actually do it.”

Last semester, Rachel had the opportunity to combine her love for music and English when she was asked to write a poem to complement a student composer’s work for the Wind Ensemble’s end-of-the-semester concert. After working with Jonathan Gates, professor of English, and Timothy McGarvey, the Wind Ensemble conductor, Rachel was paired with a student composer and presented her poem after the Ensemble played the composer’s work. Rachel is also the editor for the Lantern and works at the Writing Center on campus, where she helps others work through their writing process.

Next spring, Rachel will return to London as the program’s teaching assistant. “The London program and TA position in particular matched with my sense of vocation. I hope to help the students in the 2024 cohort to grow as whole people in a community that wonders at and applies what they learn toward further love of God and neighbor.”

Houghton University English and Writing major student, Jennifer Page.

Jen Page ’24 worked as a Spring ’23 student intern with Houghton University’s Marketing & Communication department, pursuing a major in English and Writing.

V: Adoramus…

by Rachel Huchthausen

R: Quia per…

Seen, but shouting soldiers make her seem silent; she’s
Asking for the Father’s answer to a mother’s sharp breath,
Needled by nascent heart-rents: the annunciation
Of her child’s cries; she’s coming, cloth, compassion
To tear the veil, to touch tears and thorn-torn temples.
They are Adam’s daughter and another Adam’s
Mother, measuring seemingly mis-made moment and month by marvel.

But care counts not with crowds crying, “Condemn” not “King.”
Rioters rip robes in unrighteous wrath,
Undressing under cruel-tongued authority, using
Crabbing claws and clink of dice, uncovering
Eyes.  Exhaustion ends as exulting earth
Meets a stumbled man’s mouth and mind.

Time and times disjoint and joined: Together, two
Women utter “Unto us, a miracle”—understanding undone
That Adam and shadow may blossom in another also
And mystery might mend us cum meno mosso.

He raises rock-wrinkled knees and red-running rivulets.
Coerced shoulders endure the excruciating edifice.
David’s daughters draw apart the dark: a huddle of faces drip.
Ends of fingers tremble.  Lament echoes embodied.
A hammer pummels mano destra et sinistera. He moans
Because of this nail: an instrument that is his still.
Simon of Cyrene sees, strains, and steadies
This tree teetering with torn tendons and trunk.
Is this immortality inching into infamy?

Morendo.  Time moves.
Unction, ultimate and unutterable.
Niente. Notice
Death dying, done.  They take him down,
Women ululating, murmuring, unfurling, winding, muffling.
Mary makes his make-shift bed until morning.


Similarly to how the congregation responds to the leader of a liturgy, V: Adoramus responds to Citlali Sanches-Acosta’s composition for wind ensemble which in turn responds to the devotional practice of the Stations of the Cross.  This poem incorporates text and episodes from the Stations as grouped and depicted by Sanches-Acosta’s work while drawing on music’s emphasis on sound and it’s descriptive vocabulary.