Tuning Our Minds, Ears, and Hearts to Sing God's Grace: Reflections of a Conductor

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Pearl Shangkuan

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Pearl Shangkuan is a highly sought-after conductor, lecturer, and clinician. She’s led performances, seminars, and workshops on six continents, and she is a beloved professor and the director of choral activities at Calvin University.

She’s conducted multiple performances at Carnegie Hall and other major concert halls throughout the U.S. She’s served on the jury of several international choir competitions and has led conducting master classes for the ACDA national conference, Chorus America conferences, the University of Michigan, the University of Illinois Choral Conducting Symposium, and many other prominent institutions. She will reflect on many of these experiences, and most importantly, the ways God’s grace was abundant throughout her conducting career.

Pearl plans to retire from Calvin in the spring of 2024 but will continue collaborating with the Calvin Institute of Christian Worship and contributing as the music editor of its choral series. She is the national president-elect of the American Choral Directors Association (ACDA), and she’ll continue to work as the chorus director of the Grand Rapids Symphony and editor of Hinshaw Music.

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The January Series cultivates deep thought and conversations about important issues of the day in order to inspire cultural renewal and make us better global citizens in God's world.


For over 30 years, the January Series of Calvin University has been one of the leading lecture/cultural arts series in the country. The series has been a three-time recipient of the Silver Bowl Award as the “Best Campus Lecture Series in the U.S.A.” by the International Platform Society. The diversity of presenters and topics has changed as the world of ideas has changed.

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Calvin University is a Christian academic community dedicated to rigorous intellectual inquiry. Located in Grand Rapids, Michigan, Calvin has an enrollment of 3,800 curious and inquisitive students. The dynamic liberal arts university has been named a “Best College” by U.S. News & World Report, Forbes, The Fisk Guide, The Princeton Review and Washington Monthly. A Calvin education, marked by scholarly engagement with enduring questions and emerging concerns, prepares students to answer God’s call to live and serve in God’s world as agents of renewal.