“Weekend of Music” by Dr. Philip Miller

November 4, 2013, 2:00 pm
Concert band workday2 Oct 2013

The weekend of Oct. 25-27 was a big one for the NNU Department of Music with the Concert Band engaging in its annual service project and the Crusader Choir and Orchestra heading to Yakima and Spokane for performances.

For Concert Band, each October they put away saxophones, tubas, and marimbas in exchange for shovels, saws, and wheelbarrows.  They leave the college campus behind and travel toward a church, campground, or Christian school. And each year, they give away a weekend, carrying forward a 15-year tradition that has become deeply rooted in the heart of the NNU Concert Band. This year the project was located at Intermountain Christian Camp, Fairfield, Idaho.

The first morning the students left the warmth of the cabin to face the projects that Swenson, the camp’s director, and Dr. Casey Christopher, the band’s director, had listed for them: one field on the property had gradually become swampy in the wet weather and needed reshaping for better drainage;  another field needed complete transformation from a quiet meadow in the shadow of a tall grove of aspen into a paintball course complete with barricades, trenches, and other battlements; and, lastly, there were piles and piles of brush and rotting wood that needed collecting and burning.

By sunset, when the ashes of the burn piles were glowing in the cool evening, Intermountain Christian Camp boasted a new paintball course, a new (and hopefully drier) topography, and lots of tired and dirty workers with grins on their faces and a deep sense of satisfaction in their souls. The NNU Concert Band had left its mark on yet another property. God’s blessings had spilled over here, and these bandits were glad to be a part of it. After showers, dinner, and a good night’s sleep, a bus would return them to the campus, and life would find its dizzy academic pace again.

Meanwhile, the 75-member Crusader Choir and Orchestra loaded buses early Friday morning and headed off to connect with NNU constituents in Yakima and Spokane. Being on the road provides ample opportunity for group bonding, and it showed in their best concert yet at West Valley Church, Yakima, on Friday night. Several standing ovations highlighted the performance. On trips such as these, the students are hosted in the church member’s homes for the evening, and great stories and touching memories are always a part of these home stays.

Saturday, the CCO performed a private concert for prospective students and alumni at Spokane Valley Church of the Nazarene. Prospects from the area along with alumni engaged with the choir in an informal concert setting and then a time of fellowship. After another evening of home stays and great morning services at the church, the group returned to NNU to begin preparation for homecoming and Christmas.

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