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UMSL College of Optometry's Power Cross Band

Power Cross delivers messages of faith and vision through music.

 The time one spends in optometry school is typically spent on classroom learning, studying, clinic and attending meetings for student organizations.  One of the defining characteristics of UMSL College of Optometry is the relationships that develop in short periods of time. 

While the curriculum is rigorous and your free time is limited, a group of four students joined together and began talking about creating a band.  These four individuals from various  backgrounds and each had a different musical ability--created the band Power Cross. 

In August 2011 the four founding members, Aaron Peterson (lead vocals/guitar), Daniel Ethakoti (drums/vocals), Greg Steimel (bass) and Dustin Hetke (guitar) began playing music.   Shortly after the band's first concert Amy Walsh (guitar/vocals) joined  the group.   In August 2013, current first year student Jessica Martin (piano/vocals) joined the band.

In addition to the current members, Cesar Molina the boyfriend of Amy Walsh fills in as the bass player for Steimel who has since moved on from the band.

Power Cross Members;  (left to right)  Daniel Ethakoti, Aaron Peterson, Amy Walsh, Jessica Martin, and Cesar Molina. (Photo by: Kanesha McBee)

The name Power Cross has its own bit of history.

As the band members sat listening to the lecture of Dr.Bassi about the optical cross which is used to measure the power in glasses, the name came to them; Power Cross.  Lead vocalist Aaron Peterson explains, "We had been looking for good names for a christian rock band and realized this had to be our name because our band is a praise/worship christian rock band, whose main goal is to testify through our music about the saving power of Jesus Christ on the cross."  

The band has played several events throughout the last three years and have done fundraisers for an orphanage in India, one for the Student Volunteer Optometric Services to Humanity (SVOSH), and one was for band members Daniel and Aaron to participate in a mission trip to Haiti.

A Loud Message.

Every person has a message. Every song has a meaning and Power Cross strives to deliver the band's motto is to provide physical and spiritual sight to our listeners.    The band which is made up on optometry students all have a common goal, "to become optometrist and fixing people's eyes," said Peterson.   The second message of the band is to give a spiritual vision to its listeners--one that expresses the message of the Gospel through christian music.   "Our aim is to simply tell people about Jesus and his gift of salvation through personal faith," Peterson said.   

Power Cross recently participated in a campus event, "Battle of the Bands" which took place on Wednesday, April 23, 2014 at the Pilot House on North Campus.  They along with 6 other campus bands took part in the event to raise money for the Ronald McDonald Foundation in St. Louis.   The winner of the event was chosen by monetary donations dropped in the respective bands jar.  "We didn't win the battle of the bands, but we were told that we came in second out of six" said Peterson.

Members of Power Cross performing at the 2014 Battle of the Bands on April 23, 2014  (Photo by: Kanesha McBee)

As the current school year comes to an end it also marks the moment with Daniel, Aaron and Amy will begin externship rotations--this also means the band will be more limited on performances for the upcoming year.  They are planning a reunion concert or two in October when they return to campus for Practice Management Week.

The creation of Power Cross demonstrates not only the faith that exists in the students, but also the family feel atmosphere and cohesiveness the classes in the college have the moment they step foot in the classroom their first year of school.

As the band goes on hiatus the music and the impact the band has made the last three years will play on in the hearts of the members and in the ears of the band's listeners.

Rock on Power Cross.

Nick Palisch
Photos by: Kanesha McBee



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