Jul 2, 2024

Galloway Walks to His Own Tune

A senior music major writes the organ processional for the class of 2024 commencement ceremony.

Associate Professor of Music Dr. Carrie Groenewold ('06) has been impressed with Aaron Galloway since he took her classes on music theory and ear training.

“Aaron is a naturally gifted musician and quiet leader,” she says. “A composer at heart, he continually found new ways to employ harmonic progressions and chord structures into his course work.”

As Groenewold and others made plans for the class of 2024 commencement ceremony, she immediately thought of Galloway.

“I knew that Aaron’s compositional talent could be used well in an organ processional, and his gifts deserved to be heard in a public setting such as commencement.”

Groenewold reached out to Galloway about the idea of writing a processional for the commencement ceremony. "I thought it sounded fun and decided to give it a try," says Galloway, a senior from Pella, Iowa.

He took inspiration from organ music he heard while attending Dordt, including works from Felix Mendelssohn, Johannes Brahms, and Richard Wagner. He also managed to weave in the melody of Dordt’s alma mater.

As Galloway processed into the the B.J. Haan Auditorium with his fellow graduates, he could hear “Processional for Organ” played on Dordt’s Cassavant organ by Groenewold. “Taking part in a commencement ceremony that features one's own music does not happen often,” he says. “It was a nice culmination of my years at Dordt studying music.”

Groenewold, for her part, felt privileged to play Galloway’s music. “Adding to the festivity of the day, the processional celebrated Aaron’s compositional accomplishments and gave his music exposure to a large Dordt audience. I am excited to see how God will use Aaron’s gifts for His glory!”

After moving to western Wisconsin this summer, Galloway plans to continue to keep performing music. And “Processional for Organ” will not be his last composition. “I already have a few new projects in the works,” he adds.

Sarah Moss ('10)

A picture of campus behind yellow prairie flowers