WMI-Fastened to the Rock

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Western Music Institute challenges 127 delegates.

by Joy Lee –

Brandon Toy and Natalie Poirier rehearse a song from “Les Miserables” at WMI. [Photo by Terron Craig]

Western Music Institute 2009 (WMI) hosted the leaders of both the International Staff Band—Bandmaster Dr. Stephen Cobb—and the International Staff Songsters—Songster Leader Dorothy Nancekievill—who challenged and inspired the 127 delegates to excellence with their positive leadership styles. Cobb led the WMI Band and Brass Instruction elective and Nancekievill led the Girls’ Chorus, WMI Chorus and Vocal Ensemble elective.

The delegates, along with 47 staff, arrived at Camp Mt. Crags in Southern California for a 10-day intensive music training and spiritual development under the leadership of Neil Smith, territorial secretary of Music and Worship Development. The theme “Fastened to the Rock” focused small group studies and devotional thoughts around the foundations of Christian faith and Salvationism. Chaplain Major Kelly Pontsler based her topics of study on eight of the 11 Salvation Army doctrines.

WMI welcomed musical guests at camp: the Western Territorial Songsters and cellist Sarah Koo (Tustin Ranch Corps) joined in concert for the delegates and about 150 friends from three of the surrounding adult rehabilitation centers.

On Monday, just three days after camp commenced, WMI delegates made their fifth visit to the Bell Shelter to share their music ministry. To accommodate the growing number of delegates, this was the first year that the equal vocal groups performed in three choruses.

During the semi-formal Candlelight Dinner, William Gordon was recognized for his 27 years of service at WMI. “I go back home every year invigorated by the energy and passion of the students at WMI…thank you,” said Gordon as he accepted the honor.

WMI concluded its week with a final music festival at the Tustin Ranch Corps. Highlights included the WMI Band’s performance of Steven Ponsford’s “Turris Fortissimo” and the WMI Chorus’s presentation of George Marshall’s “My Treasure” and Mozart’s “The Magic Flute.”

Courtney Stennett (Torrance) received the $1000 Watt Scholarship. Nick Helms (Pasadena Tabernacle) received the Stillwell Award, with Daniel Summers (Salem Citadel) in 2nd place and James Allen (Pasadena Tabernacle) and Laura Foley (Pasadena Tabernacle) in 3rd place. The Crestmont Award went to Pasadena Tabernacle with Torrance Corps in 2nd place and Seattle Temple Corps in 3rd place. Receiving WMI Pins were: Cornet Pin—Nick Helms, Daniel Summers; Euphonium Pin—Adam Fyn (Montclair Citadel); Horn Pin—Ashley Stillson (Pasadena Tabernacle), Trombone Pin—James Allen (Pasadena Tabernacle), Amanda Wennstig (Seattle Temple); Percussion Pin—Katie Steinhauer (Long Beach Corps); Soprano Pin—Laura Foley (Pasadena Tabernacle); Alto Pin—Katie Steinhauer; Tenor Pin—Jordan Allen (Pasadena Tabernacle); Bass Pin—Israel Doria (Pasadena Tabernacle); and Praise and Worship—Tyler Fagerstrom (Asian American Yerba Buena).


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