Salutations from Nebraska! After spending numerous hours in the van, we arrived to Gene Eppley Camp and met with Peter Haslett (Western’s Divisional Music Director) to discuss our responsibilities for the week. We have been hard at work as the special guests and faculty members for Western’s Music Academy (WMA). We have taught elective and technique classes, sang in choruses, participated in evening programs and spent time with some of the coolest kids on this side of the Mississippi.Salutations from Nebraska! After spending numerous hours in the van, we arrived to Gene Eppley Camp and met with Peter Haslett (Western’s Divisional Music Director) to discuss our responsibilities for the week. We have been hard at work as the special guests and faculty members for Western’s Music Academy (WMA). We have taught elective and technique classes, sang in choruses, participated in evening programs and spent time with some of the coolest kids on this side of the Mississippi.
For the Sunday Morning meeting, Kish and Mitchell shared a dance piece, Sandy and Jacob shared a short drama, and we all sang with the Faculty Chorus. In the afternoon, we went to our assigned tracks. Sandy was one of the conductors for the Larsson Chorus (ages 9 to 11). Georice assisted in the Larsson Chorus while Jacob and Mitchell assisted in the Epply Chorus (ages 12-17). Kish was the assistant leader for the Meacky Guitars. In the evening, we assisted with their water carnival games. The evening culminated in the Parade of Wetness. Members of the faculty band proudly marched into the pool to play some old CMI favorites, much to the delight of the children.
On Monday, we begin to lead electives. Mitchell took the lead on the drama elective, Kish worked with the beginner guitar elective and Jacob assisted with the ukulele elective. The drama elective prepared a very entertaining bit of readers’ theatre; describing the message of the Gospel. The guitar and ukulele electives performed pieces of music with multiple chord changes for Elect-fest. Our Tuesday was a brand new adventure as we took a field trip with the campers to the Omaha Zoo. Omaha native and zoo veteran Matt Walters accompanied us and was our guide at the zoo. We walked through a desert dome, the aquarium, and even took the zoo train for a spin. The grand highlight of the day was getting to feed and pet the giraffes, and avoiding their large tongues. On Wednesday night, all the main tracks performed two musical selections. Once again we were able to share 3 short dramas during the evening program. On Thursday night, we went to teens afterglow event. We are extremely thankful for traveling mercies since that night we got caught in a severe thunderstorm while heading back to camp.
On Friday, we did our final performance but first time presentation of “The Wordless Book”. (The main scripture reference for this piece is John 1:1-4.) Using seven different colored fabrics, we told the gospel story in a way that every person, from the youngest to the oldest, could easily understand and sense the power behind each word. Several of the campers came up to us afterwards telling us how several times we made them cry because of what they had seen or felt during the evening. We also had several faculty and staff members share how powerful the presentation had been and that it was perfect timing. One group of young adults, some brand new believers, shared they were pretty impressed and touched, having never seen, or even imagined the message of the gospel presented in that way, how much power was in The Word. The story made a lot of sense to them and they were extremely thankful that we had shared this piece with them.
Following the Saturday Final concert we realized how much we learned by spending time with the campers. We have been blessed this past week to be a part of such a wonderful group of musicians. We cannot wait to reunite with several of them at CMI in August. Please pray for the campers so they may put to practice everything they have learned in their own corps.
On our way to Wichita, we were able to visit with a couple family members of Captain Shannon Thies’ (our previous host). We enjoyed sharing with her family through music and prayer. We ask that you please pray for Byron and Mary Baldwin. Also pray for the community outreach events that we will be doing at the Wichita Citadel Corps and our partnership with their corps ministry. We cannot wait to share with you what we do next week!
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