Encouragement found in Sisters
September 23, 2009
This weekend, about 75 students from five Corban music ensembles traveled to Eastern Oregon and enjoyed not only a few days of rehearsals and times of group-bonding but also leading worship for their brothers and sisters in Christ at Sisters Community Church in Sisters, Ore.
Senior Elisa Baggenstos said the 10 a.m. worship service was the highlight of the trip for her. “It’s really great to be able to sing praises with people you’ve never met before.”
Director of Choral Activities Matt Strauser has directed the retreat for 10 years. He said Sisters Community Church has hosted the annual event for the last four years. He reported, “The church was packed Sunday. We played, sang, and prayed with the church. They really appreciate the Corban students being there.”
Dan Shuholm, Chair of the Music Department, said, “The relationship building as well as the musical experience was very valuable.”
The student-led itinerary illustrated some intentional times for relationship building, including ensembles taking turns to prepare meals for each other, a block of free time on Saturday to hike, sightsee, or just hang out together, and prayer sessions.
Sophomore Alethea Strauser, Choir Manager, was the main student in charge of keeping the retreat running smoothly, along with Band Manager Sarah Pittock and Orchestra Manager Baggenstos. Strauser said, “I liked seeing it all come together, not just for the choir but also with the band and orchestra.
“I think it was a great time for people of the different groups to meet and get to know each other,” she continued, “especially the freshmen meeting the upperclassmen and vice versa. Today, sitting in class—and in Chapel, too—I recognized a lot more people because I know them from Retreat.”
Another goal of the retreat was to build enthusiasm for music with a ministry focus. Strauser said, “It was fun, too, to hear from all the directors in our Friday night session. Each of the faculty talked about what worship meant to them personally. I think that was very effective.”
Director of Alumni Services, Deleen Wills, said that she, the congregation, alumni, and parent visitors, enjoyed Sunday morning’s worship very much. “I think it’s absolutely amazing what these students accomplish in just three weeks of school, and to see it all come together at this performance is so cool.”
By Jenny Hirschfelder, Staff Writer, Office of Marketing & Communications
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