Fifteen students add creative spark to Canyon Worship 2025

The work of 15 student artists are featured on Canyon Worship 2025.

The third time is more than a charm for Kyleigh Almich, who was selected as part of the Center for Worship Arts' annual album for the third time in four years. She's one of 15 student performers in Grand Canyon University's worship arts program whose songs were chosen for a coveted spot on Canyon Worship 2025.

Almich and Shailen Stewart teamed to perform “Treasure,” one of 10 tracks on the album, whose singles are scheduled for release throughout the the 2024-25 academic year. The first single is slated to drop in September as students are starting the fall semester.

Kyleigh Almich's music was selected for Canyon Worship's annual album for the third time in four years.

Almich performed “Heaven is Here” on the 2022 Worship album. She joined Jocelyn Ruassay and Stewart on the “Down the River” track and “My Surrender” as a soloist on the 2024 album.

The Colorado native, who trained as a classical cellist, received recognition in April for participating over the last four years in the Songwriters Showcase, an informal concert in which student songwriters perform their works.

"(Almich) has an amazing talent and a humble personality," said Dr. Randall Downs, Center for Worship Arts director. "She has written so many incredible songs over her years at GCU, and it is no surprise that she has been active in three Canyon Worship albums. Hopefully, fans of the Canyon Worship albums will check out Kyleigh’s songs as she writes and releases new music."

The Center for Worship Arts, a collaborative partnership between the colleges of Theology and Arts and Media, encourages current and prospective students to join their celebration of Christ through the Canyon Worship albums.

Jocelyn Ruassay performs on "Down the River."

The 2025 release marks the ninth Canyon Worship album.

GCU worship arts students are involved in all facets of the production and release of a full-length, original album of worship music, which is recorded on campus at the GCU Recording Studio.

Downs said the blend of returning student artists and newcomers on this new album provides its own "distinctive qualities."

Seven students were selected for the second consecutive year. They include Jonathan Raingruber and Ruassay, whom each teamed with Stewart on “Precious Mystery” this year. Raingruber and Ruassay sang “Just One Look” on the 2024 release.

Maclaren Keffer also is a repeat performer, singing “Dwelling Place” after contributing “Wait” on last year's compilation.

Baraka Shekanena, who displayed his talents as a freshman on “Burdens to Bear” in 2022, returns this time around with “I Can Do All Things.”

The 2025 Canyon Worship album includes nine newcomers, as well as Christian songwriter, recording artist and producer Joel Vaughn.

"This is Joel’s first Canyon Worship album to produce, and his expertise and skill are demonstrated in a big way," Downs said. "In addition to Joel, we have both new and returning student artists associated with the project, and the songs are powerful, God-honoring, and inspirational. It is amazing to witness the congruency of the album, even though the songs are written and performed by different students."

Baraka Shekanena contributes a Canyon Worship track for the second time in four years.

Joelle Roberts, Jenna Maier and Linnea McCrady made a favorable impression during the Songwriters Showcase in December, as their song “All Around” was selected.

So was “Never Runs Dry,” performed by Megan Close and Sarah Renay.

Chloe Christine (“Take Care of Us”), Blake Breitler (“All of You”), Jaylin Hope ("Jesus is the Reason") and Kate Joy (“Refuge”) round out the 2025 Canyon Worship album.

Jaylin Hope makes her Canyon Worship debut with "Jesus is the Reason."

Here are the tentative release dates, subject to change:

  • "Take Care of Us" – Chloe Christine (Sept. 13)
  • "Dwelling Place" – Maclaren Keffer (Oct. 11)
  • "Treasure" – Kyleigh Almich, Shailen Stewart (Nov. 15)
  • "All of You" – Blake Breitler (Jan. 10, 2025)
  • "I Can Do All Things" – Baraka Shekanena (Feb. 14, 2025)
  • "Precious Mystery" – Jonathan Raingruber, Jocelyn Ruassay, Shailen Stewart (March 14, 2025)
  • "Jesus is the Reason" – Jaylin Hope (April 11, 2025)
  • "Never Runs Dry" – Megan Close, Sarah Renay (May 15, 2025)
  • "All Around" – Joelle Roberts, Jenna Maier, Linnea McCrady (June 13, 2025)
  • "Refuge" – Kate Joy (released with the full album on July 18, 2025)

The singles will be distributed to all major platforms, such as Spotify, Apple Music, iTunes and Prime Music.

GCU News Senior Writer Mark Gonzales can be reached at [email protected]

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