In our final KBC Week theme post, we will look at the All-State Youth Choir & Orchestra throught the eyes of John Cashion.
The Kentucky Baptist All-State Youth Choir and Orchestra is an 85-voice choir and orchestra comprised of high school students (those having completed grades 9, 10, 11 or 12 as of June 1) selected by audition. Students should be active in the music ministry of a Kentucky Baptist church.
Each summer, the choir meets for a retreat, followed by a tour throughout the state. In 2012, the dates for the retreat and tour are June 24-July 1.
The cost for the retreat and tour is $425 per student, which includes meals, lodging, travel, concert t-shirt and admission to a theme park.
I have had the privilege for over 15 years of working and traveling with the Kentucky Baptist All-State Youth Choir and Orchestra. More importantly, many students from our church have been involved with these ensembles through the years. I believe those students would join me in affirming the impact those groups have had on the spiritual and musical growth of the participants, particularly in understanding how music can be both an expression of our faith and a means of growing in commitment and character.
They would also affirm that the week of rehearsals and performances are full of hard work, new and deepening friendships, great fun, and a sense of God’s presence throughout a busy schedule.
The ASYCO meets in late June at Campbellsville University for a rehearsal retreat that lasts from Sunday evening through Thursday morning. On Thursday morning, the groups hit the road for several performances at churches, senior living facilities, and other venues. Friday is a fun day–either at an amusement park or some other area where the students can relax and enjoy free time and friendship. The week concludes with worship services on Sunday morning and a final concert on Sunday afternoon.
Although there is a striving for musical excellence, the primary mission of the All-State groups is to nurture spiritual and musical leadership in students that will carry over into their local church ministries and into their future lives and careers. Many of the students have answered the call to vocational ministry, many are providing a Christian witness as school music teachers, and many more continue to serve Christ in their churches and communities. The lives touched by those alumni are the greatest testimony to the value of this event, and I urge my colleagues around the state to encourage and offer support to their musically inclined high school students so they can reap the rewards of the All State Youth Choir and Orchestra.