Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Stamps-Baxter - Day 3

Today was long, but soooo good!

This morning, Gerald and I had a fantastic meeting at NSAI. We met with 2 of the main coordinators to discuss some of our Toronto plans, and possible ways we could partner with NSAI. I can't reveal any details yet, but let's just say, there was a lot of excitement on both sides.

After lunch at the Pie Wagon, we left Music Row and I headed off to Stamps-Baxter. I'm so happy to see how things are shaping up at school this year. It's been a ton of work to move the school to a new location, but for the most part, the transition has been a smooth one.

This afternoon, I joined Allison Durham Speer in her Performance Training class. One of the things Gerald and I want to do when we get back to Toronto is teach workshops. Gerald will focus primarily on songwriting, and I want to do workshops on leading worship and on 'performing' the Gospel. So for the rest of school, I'll be joining Allison in her class in a kind of assistant teacher role. Mike Allen also assists, so it'll be a fun team.

I was a little nervous going in today. Allison's class was always my favourite part of Stamps-Baxter. I know how much this means to the students; I know how much they want and need this kind of information. After each student would sing, Allison would give her feedback, but she would also invite me to give my thoughts. I tried to be encouraging, honest, and practical.

After the class, a few students made a point of thanking me for my feedback, and that was very encouraging. Allison also had some great encouragement for me, which was awesome. I really think I have the right skills to do this kind of teaching, but I also want to make sure I am well prepared before taking someone's talent in my hands. What we do as ministers of the Gospel is so valuable, and as artists, we are all so sensitive. I pray that I'm a positive force for each student I meet.

This evening, we were treated to an awesome concert by Mike and Kelly Bowling. I just love this group! Awesome songs and big-sing vocals! After they sang "The Lighthouse", they got the audience to sing the chorus acapella. Remember, this is a group that's been singing 4-part harmony all day long. Stunning. I couldn't sing along - I just had to listen and marvel. Mike and Kelly ended with Dad Speer's "I Never Shall Forget the Day", and Ben gave them a standing ovation. What a concert!

I'm really loving the group singing this year. I haven't been able to join in, but during that part of the day, I try to work where I can hear the music. It's just stunning. The CD is going to be amazing!

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