Western Music Institute 2012

A brass ensemble practices at WMI. Photo Courtesy of Territorial Music Department

Annual music event sees increase in attendance.

By Neil Smith

The Western Music Institute (WMI) had a record number of delegates attend its annual event. In total 200 staff, staff kids and delegates were present at the occasion. While the numbers were good, we were at capacity and finding space for all of our classes was a challenge.

Our guests included Richard and Lyn Phillips, from Kettering, U.K., and Vanessa and Jeremiah Gamble, from Minneapolis, Minn., who created rapport with delegates from the start.

This year we offered—for the first time—dance and drama major tracks, along with band, girls vocal and praise and worship. Interest in both subjects was high and we even received audition tapes prior to WMI starting.

For the third year in a row, Sunday morning consisted of assisting local corps with its worship service. This year we visited Glendale, Burbank, Santa Monica and the young people who were attending Camp Gilmore.

Despite seriously high temperatures for most of the week, we all worked hard to maintain the high standard of music-making that is expected at WMI.

Many varied styles of music were rehearsed and presented, from Katy Perry’s “Firework” to music from “The Wizard of Oz,” as well as music from Ivor Bosanko, Andrew Mackereth, Bramwell Coles and Richard Phillips.

Richard Phillips presented a special evening for us. Being a gifted pianist, he captured our interest with an excellent concert. However, it was much more than just a concert: It was a worship experience wherein he shared about himself and his experiences with God. He used the song “Somebody Prayed for Me” to illustrate that when things are not going well in your own life and you can’t pray, someone is right there lifting you up to the throne of heaven.

Melodies from Barry Manilow and “The Sound of Music” also made it a memorable evening.

Captain Erica Helton was our chaplain, guiding us through morning chapels, sealed orders and devotions. Taking her theme from Ezekiel 36:26, she explained we can turn a heart of stone into a heart of flesh, then told us how.

The soloist recital and mid-week concert were inspiring events, not only showing the considerable talent gathered together, but also the true love and praise for God that our young people have.

After an elective night and our final worship time together, we took a brief rest before heading out for our final festival at Pasadena Tabernacle Corps. The corps’ hall was filled to capacity and, by the indication, may not be large enough to hold us in 2013.

Cabinet members and Territorial Leaders Commissioner Jim and Carolyn Knaggs, were on site to support and encourage us and lended strongly to the success of the week.

Already, WMI seems a distant memory and plans for 2013 are underway. We accomplished our purpose to give the young people in attendance the tools and encouragement to do these things at their own corps and, by so doing, bring honor and glory to God.

 

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