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Column: Music program will 'Celebrate America'

By Brenda Matasovsky, Worthington Christian School

WORTHINGTON — Since the beginning of the school year, the junior high students of Worthington Christian School have been busy preparing for the fall music festival of the United Christian Schools. Joined by Chandler Christian, Edgerton Christian, and Hills Christian schools, Worthington Christian School hosts this annual event. This wonderful celebration of music is hosted on the second or third Monday evening each November. This year, we are fortunate enough to hold the festival on Veterans Day, giving us the opportunity to “Celebrate America!” in word and song.

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In just a matter of a few days, the students of these four schools will share their God-given talents and abilities with family, friends and the community as they play and sing a variety of songs that celebrate what it means to live in the land of the free and the home of the brave. The band, directed by guest conductor Jon Loy from Worthington High School, will be presenting a varied repertoire of music, including “The Star-Spangled Banner,” “The Spirit of an Eagle,” “Above and Beyond,” “Rock America!” “Call to the Heroes” and “Civil War Reflections.”

Directed by guest director Eric Kooima from Sioux Falls, S.D., Christian School, the student choir will be singing six selections primarily as a mixed group, with one piece for all girls and one piece for all boys. Song titles have been chosen to include “The Journey,” “Fifty Nifty United States,” “The Crawdad Song,” “Pick a Bale of Cotton,” “Amazing Grace” and “A Patriotic Festival.”

Each year, the band/music teachers of the four United Christian Schools try to bring in outside talent to work with the junior high students at the music festival. Being directed by musicians not also their teachers give students a chance to experience what it’s like to learn from other professionals and to perform as part of a large musical group, and we are delighted to have these gentlemen joining us for the first time.

From presenting many immigrants’ desire for an easier life and the chance to worship freely, to remembering the simpler, carefree times when kids could just be kids, to remembering the heroes who gave of themselves to defend and preserve our freedoms — both past and present — the song stylings presented by nearly 100 students in both band and choir for the 2013 festival echo the same sentiment: how blessed we are as a nation to enjoy so many freedoms and opportunities, ultimately given to us by our Creator. “Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord...” Psalm 33:12.

Join us this Veterans’ Day, Nov. 11, 2013, 7 p.m., at Worthington Christian School, for a great evening of musical celebration in honor of our great nation and its citizens, and in gratitude to God for all His blessings.

Brenda Matasovsky teaches music at Worthington Christian School.