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Christian Union

Fellowship Will Enable Lind ’18 to Record Album

by catherine elvy, staff writer

A Princeton University senior recently landed a prestigious fellowship that will allow the musician to record an album of songs inspired by his service to hospice patients.

In April, David Lind ’18 received a Martin A. Dale ’53 Fellowship for a yearlong project that includes a recording session in Nashville.

“I’ve always loved music,” said Lind, who was active in Christian Union’s ministry at Princeton.

The fellowship provides $35,000 for a senior to spend a year following graduation on an “independent project of extraordinary merit that will widen the recipient’s experience of the world and significantly enhance the recipient’s growth and intellectual development.”

Lind, a philosophy major who also earned a certificate in cognitive science, envisions an album with stories and reflections from his experiences as a volunteer with hospice. His project, entitled Surviving Death: Songs from Hospice, will reflect the art of storytelling at the heart of folk music.

“Some of the songs will be in the third-person, narrating a particular event or memory from a patient’s life—a specific hardship, adventure, or achievement,” Lind wrote in his proposal. “Others will be more personal, centering on my own reflections on life and the dying process—the value of medicine, the shortness of life, the transformation of our values.”


Beyond his fellowship, Lind is considering medical or graduate school and is mulling options to incorporate his twin passions of music and mental health into his overall vocational masterplan. One strategy may involve attending Vanderbilt University School of Medicine, where some medical students and scholars are known to be involved in the music industry.

{tweetme}While at Princeton, Lind played guitar for worship times on behalf of Christian Union’s campus ministry. In February, he spoke as part of the ministry’s META initiative, a lecture series which aims to foster conversations on Christianity and culture.{tweetme}

James Fields, Christian Union’s ministry director at Princeton, called Lind a “forerunner in understanding how the Gospel relates to our surrounding culture.”

Lind’s META presentation probed the meaning and importance of pop music in culture. The Phoenix native, who has been writing and performing since his youth, said he simply tries to serve where needed.  

Lind also credited Christian Union for providing the mentorship that inspired many of his notable efforts. Ministry Fellow Kevin Antlitz met with him on a weekly basis, and Christian Union provided a tight-knit Christian community.

Likewise, Fields lauded Lind for his “heart to serve others with his gifts, talents, and abilities.” 

“His heart and passion are centered on Jesus and serving Him through his love and commitment toward others,” Fields said.

Also during his years at Princeton, Lind performed as the frontman for Valley Academy, an alternative rock band that won Princeton’s first Battle of the Bands in spring 2015. The group opened at Lawnparties for the Grammy-nominated artist  Big Sean.

As for the near term, Lind plans to spend part of the summer writing the dozen or so songs for his project from a cabin in Northern Arizona. In the autumn, he will relocate to Nashville, where he will record songs and coordinate with a promotional team in preparation for a spring tour.

During his undergraduate studies, Lind served as a project leader with the Pace Center for Civic Engagement for Ascend Hospice and Princeton Music Outreach.

As part of an effort to establish personal connections between students and patients, Lind coordinated student volunteers and drivers for ongoing visits, and also staged regular musical performances at nursing homes.

During summer 2017, Lind interned at CanSupport, a nonprofit hospice in India, via Princeton’s International Internship Program. In summer 2016, he interned with the Siloam Family Health Center, a Christian medical center for refugees in Nashville, via the Princeton Internships in Civic Service program.

“Over the years, I’ve documented these stories and experiences, noting particular memories and conversations, as well as my own reflections on life, death, and dying,” Lind wrote in his proposal to Princeton.

During challenging times within his own family, music provided therapeutic reprieve. Additionally, “many of my best memories are tied to music,” Lind said.

When Lind enters recording studios in the fall he will not arrive as a novice. In 2016, he recorded a debut solo album entitled I Don’t Know. In fall 2017, Lind returned to Nashville to record the singles Flood and Garden. During a semester at the University of Oxford in spring 2017, he appeared regularly across the area’s vibrant, historic pub circuit.

As he prepares for his musical adventures in Nashville, Lind is deeply grateful for the hospice patients who shared their powerful life lessons and determined to rely on his faith in Jesus Christ.

“My music is faith-saturated,” Lind said.