Music receives national commendation

Dr. Heather Josselyn-Cranson, Northwestern College music professor, and Joseph Barker, a musician with band Hurricane Hearts, have received a special commendation from the national Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival (KCACTF) for their achievement as composers for Terror Texts. The original musical was one of only six shows selected to be showcased at January’s Region V KCACTF festival in Kansas.

Created by Northwestern theatre professor Jeff Barker, Terror Texts is scripted verbatim from macabre biblical stories in Joshua, Judges, II Samuel and II Kings. Lyrics for the show’s music are not verbatim. Barker, who collaborated with the composers, says, “Sometimes the songs reflect a character’s inner monologue; sometimes they are a public speech.”

Joseph Barker composed seven songs, including Devastate Me, which is industrial rock; Prepare Yourself, classic hard rock; City of Palms, folk; and Bring Me Home, gospel.

Josselyn-Cranson composed the show’s choral music, including a choral version of Psalm 120 and an adaptation of Do Lord, which became the musical’s closing number, Do Remember Me.

The KCACTF production of Terror Texts also received six regional certificates of merit and a standing ovation.

Video of Terror Texts music and dancing is available at and The Sacred Stage, a documentary about Barker’s ancient plays of Israel project, which includes Terror Texts, is at