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Jennifer Knapp, PSU alumni, performs "Straight Road” at Bicknell on Saturday, Feb. 22. Knapp has earned two Dove awards and has two Grammy nominations. Lesly Bocanegra

Grammy-nominated artist performs in Bicknell Center

Music filled the halls of the Bicknell Family Center for the Arts, as PSU alumna and Grammy-nominated artist Jennifer Knapp returned to Pitt State for a concert. 

Artist Jennifer Knapp performed a concert at the Bicknell Family Center for the Arts on Saturday, Feb. 22. at 7:30 p.m.  

Knapp is a Pitt State alumna who grew up in Chanute and is known for her Christian music and her two Grammy nominations.  Knapp taught a masterclass earlier in the day, and students from Knapp’s class came to the concert and met with her before the show. After the show, Knapp met with her fans.  

“Since I was on campus it’s been better than 25 years,” Knapp said. “I was still a kid, figuring out who I was, even though I was still very much an adult. It’s intimidating actually to come back here and have the memories of this place. I never thought I’d be back and playing here. I was quiet, and a student. All my other friends were students, and now all of a sudden, I’m coming back, and I have the stage. It’s really weird.”  

Knapp attended Pitt State in 1992 on a music scholarship. She played the trumpet in band and sang in the choir.  

“Pittsburg State University that gave me a chance and said, ‘Yeah, come on down,’ the scholarships allowed me to keep doing something that I really love,” Knapp said. “I had no imagination it would ever turn into this. I really thought I would be a band conductor or something like that. Now going forward, this is a wild thing. If it wasn’t for the university’s investment that makes the people and the talent that we have in that regard legitimate and something worthwhile for spending our time and our energy on.”  

Students from Knapp’s graduating class came to the show and met with her backstage.  

“When we roomed with her is when she started playing the guitar,” Knapp’s roommate Amy Hugo said. “We’d sit out on the front porch and she’d play when she first started writing her demo tape before she had an album.”  

Earlier in the day Knapp taught a masterclass in the Bicknell Center for performers.  

“We’re basically just talking about performance and about all the things that go into these kinds of performances. I think a lot of the time there’s this idea that, particularly since I just go up with me and my acoustic guitar, people don’t realize how much is going on,” Knapp said.  “Whenever you get in a master class you just get a bunch of people together who know and love what we do, and we all just kind of share the knowledge that we have with each other and what our experiences are.”  

After the concert, Knapp sold copies of her book “Facing the Music: My Story” and met with fans.  

“I genuinely look forward to the kind of conversation that we’ll have because most of the time if I’m lucky I feel like it’s not just me doing a show or doing a performance, it’s me getting the audience talking back to me and getting into a conversation,” Knapp said.  

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