Georgia-Cumberland Academy (GCA) welcomed approximately 250 elementary school students from across the conference for the annual Choir and Bells Festival on Nov. 2-3, 2017. The students, grades six through eight, had the opportunity to further their musical abilities as they worked with professional clinicians during the two-day event.
Festival participants arrived on campus Thursday evening, Nov. 2. After registering and moving their belongings into the dorm, they enjoyed a worship thought by GCA’s chaplain, Josh Woods. The students then broke away to their respective rehearsals
for an hour before ending the evening with recreation and a GCA student-led worship time. The next day consisted mainly of rehearsal time, interspersed with recreation breaks. The day culminated in the festival concert, held that evening at 7 o’clock.
Mark Becker, choir director at Forest Lake Academy, and Pattie Short, choir and handbell director at Walla Walla Valley Academy, served as the clinicians for the festival. Both Becker and Short have extensive experience gained from long careers in the world of music education and performance. This experience made them highly qualified to prepare their groups for a concert in just two days.
Working with experienced clinicians was an important opportunity for the students attending the festival. It allowed them to be exposed to new musical perspectives.
“I think it’s really important that the kids get to experience professional musicians from all across the country,” said Mark Torsney, GCA instrumental music director. “It’s great that we can bring in specialists that our kids aren’t going to get the chance to work with anywhere else.”
by Jodi Herod Steele, Marketing & Recruiting Assistant, Georgia-Cumberland Academy