On March 31, 2016, Music Fest at Maplewood Academy began. As students and sponsors from a variety of schools near and far arrived, the registration process began. In total, 122 students and 29 sponsors from 17 Adventist schools/churches (as well as several students who are homeschooled) registered and attended Music Fest. Although a small group lodged off campus, most stayed in the dorms.
Shortly after registration, the rehearsals began to prepare for the main event that weekend: a concert. The students patiently sang (and stood) through a total of 6 hours and 30 minutes of rehearsals over 3 days (the final rehearsal being right before the concert). For some of the rehearsals, they were split off into sectionals in different buildings, individually by voice practicing the parts. Several of the songs had two parts while the others had four. Everyone worked very hard to learn their parts. Sometimes the parts were confusing, the timing was weird, or one voice sang another answered, causing chaos as to who sang what and when, but through much hard work and effort put out by the students, the songs were mastered.
Mass rehearsals were not always fun, as the rehearsal area was packed. Two additional rows of chairs had to be added to the stage to fit all of the students. This resulted in very little elbow room and hot, sweaty conditions. The students didn’t complain though, and kept up their hard work.
A group of fourteen Maplewood Academy Choraliers (including two pianists) assisted with Music Fest, running sectionals and singing with the mass choir. This required making up all missed class work and putting in extra practice prior to Music Fest to strive to learn the songs better than the students coming so that they could adequately aid in teaching the songs.
Two soloists were chosen for Music Fest. Dasha Kobzeva (from Minnetonka Christian School) sang a solo for “Let Virture Garnish All My Thoughts” (by Sally Deford), and soloist Lauren McIver (from Southview Christian School) sang “Bow the Knee” (by Chris Machen, Robert Sterling, and Mike Harland). Both soloists sang their solos very well. Both put hard work into making sure they were ready to sing for the final concert on Sabbath, and they were successful.
Of the six songs that were sung for the concert, the overall favorite was a song titled “Bow the Knee” (by Chris Machen, Robert Sterling, and Mike Harland). The lyrics are beautiful, stating that when we don’t understand why things are happening to us and why God is letting these things happen, we simply need to turn to Him, fall to our knees, and trust Him.
Maplewood Academy would like to thank all of the sponsors who took the time to teach their students the songs, bringing them to music fest, and sitting through the long practices themselves. We would also like to thank all of the students for all of their hard work and dedication to the music that had to be learned in a fairly short amount of time. We would like to thank all of the academy students that worked on planning the weekend for the visiting elementary students, and the choraliers who helped with music fest, for practicing hard and singing well. We would also like to extend thanks to the two very talented soloists and commend them for the amazing job they did in singing their solos.
Maplewood Academy would also like to thank our very own music director, David Ballesteros, for supporting music fest, putting work into the programs, and making sure everyone had the music that they needed every practice. Most of all, we would like to thank Cheryl Saunders, the special director brought in for this year’s music festival. She put lots of hard work into making sure the songs sounded good, the order of the service was just right, and the students knew what to sing when.
Thank you to all the parents who let their kids come to Maplewood Academy’s Music Festival 2016. We couldn’t have done it without them.
Hannah Dow, Maplewood Academy Student
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