Sierra del Mar hosts different music camp

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Campers experience music and mime, drama and dance, brass and Bible Bowl.

by Diane O’Brien, Lt. Colonel –

Although the Sierra del Mar Division has held successful music schools for years, there was never enough time for specialized training. So Divisional Music and Gospel Arts Directors Jason and Agnethe Burn decided to make more time! They split the music camp, so that for six days 125 young people took part in a variety of gospel arts, and a few weeks later, 35 youth spent time honing their skills on brass instruments.

The theme for gospel arts was “Creation come alive,” and included classes in drama, dance, hula, mime, art (as in painting), guitar, keyboard, timbrels, and singing. The week included July 4, and staff and students participated in a celebration at the local junior high school, presenting songs, hula and timbrels to the hundreds of people gathered for the town fireworks display.

On the final day, parents and friends gathered to witness the results of all the hard work.

And that’s not the end of the story!

A few weeks later, a smaller group met for concentrated classes in brass playing, with the theme “Heroes of the Bible.” Instrumental classes with small groups allowed for almost individual attention. Two vocal groups concentrated on ear training exercises. Some of the theory classes—held at the picnic tables—had so much laughter coming from them that theory studies could get a whole new reputation! At the week’s end, families attended an informal concert and barbecue at camp, and the next day the students took part in the holiness meeting at San Diego Citadel.

In the space of that week Sierra del Mar saw the rebirth of the divisional youth band. Young people who had barely held a brass instrument were able to read and play music, and some of the young players were formed into a group. Watch for future adventures of the Sierra del Mar divisional youth band!

And that’s not the end of the story!

Since the number of campers at the brass academy was small, we decided to use some of the other camp facilities for adult training. On three successive days, local officers from various corps came to learn about youth work resources, statistics and Bible Bowl ideas. The classes were held in the new area of camp beside the small swimming pool. On a hot day, it’s amazing how effective learning can be with feet cooling in a pool! We had between six and 16 people each day, allowing for individualized help and the sharing of ideas. We are planning to do similar events throughout the year—and not just because the pool was great!

A summer refuge

A summer refuge

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Emergency response vehicle donated by FedEx

Emergency response vehicle donated by FedEx

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