Michael Davis Arnold (B.S. ’18) is far from your typical business major. He knew coming into Cornerstone that he wanted to use his major to support his true passion: performing. Michael graduated in 2018 with a bachelor’s degree in business management and a minor in music. Since then, he has used his skills in both fields to great effect.

In addition to getting hired on from his internship at a staffing firm called Management Business Solutions, Michael has kept busy performing in plays and musicals ever since he graduated. Michael wants to make it clear that his passion for performing is not being placed to the side.

“I want to make sure I am honing my craft. I want to make sure I’m performing; it is a passion of mine.”

Michael’s passion for performing started from a very young age. He explained that a lot of his musical background stems from his family, but his passion for performing was cultivated by a specific member of his family.

“My biggest drive for theatre came from my great-grandmother who had a strong hand in raising me. She wrote plays for the church and three books; her passion flourished within me.”

After discovering his passion by singing “Swing Low, Sweet Chariot” for a school choir concert and having it cultivated for many years by his family and his great-grandmother, Michael knew it was time to move to higher education to pursue his passion. After visiting Cornerstone, he fell in love with the campus and knew that he could not go anywhere else. This is where Michael first met Dr. Kent Walters, a Cornerstone faculty member who was influential in shaping the person he is today.

“I have never been more spiritually guided to perform than through CU’s chorale,” Michael said. He also mentioned, “Dr. Walters has been one of the best leaders I have ever had since being a part of gospel choirs.”

Michael’s ventures with the University Chorale as well as the tours they took to the East Coast, Florida and Europe taught him invaluable lessons about both himself and how the mission of Christ can be furthered through music.

To continue learning and improving his performance quality, Michael has since been a part of three different musicals. He has also been taking classes, such as his first ballet class, an idea he got while recently playing the dance-heavy character Barnaby in “Hello Dolly.” He is currently beginning his work in Opera Grand Rapids’ production of “The Magic Flute” and hopes to give encouragement to others who wish to follow this path.

Performing is what defines Michael Davis Arnold as a person, and he is thankful to Dr. Kent Walters and the CU University Chorale for teaching him how to worship God through performing. When asked what inspires Michael to perform, Michael stated, “My little sister is a dancer, and the smile on her face when she sees me perform keeps me going.”