Newsletters from the last few weeks of Music Studio Class!
Grace Anna Randall
The Maker of Illusions, by Seymour Barab, was put on by Dr. Christopher Shelt and the vocalists of Belhaven University on January 23 and 24, 2015.
A Children’s Opera, it brought humor, excitement, and virtue to the Concert Hall stage at the Center for the Arts.
Please join us in January 2016 for the Music Department’s next opera!
Here’s today’s Newsletter from our Departmental Music Studio Class.
To see some of our student performers in action, we’ll be posting some videos on youtube! Links will be supplied here when those occur.
Happy Friday! (Here’s last week’s newsletter from our Music Department here at Belhaven University.) Today’s will be going up soon!
Hello, everyone! Sorry these first two posts are a little behind in the times but here we go! This was our first newsletter from the first week of school two weeks ago. I’ll be posting the new one every Friday, so, stay tuned!
Should you have any questions about anything on there OR if you would like more info on shows, etc, please ask me! My number is 601.974.6494 and my email is firstname.lastname@example.org. Thanks, everyone!
August 22, 2013
Press Release: Five Belhaven University Students Participate in a Summer Ministry Tour to Northeastern US Correctional Facilities
In spring 2013, five students from Belhaven University were among thirty students from across the United States chosen by Shining Light Ministries to be a part of a select performing arts ministry team for their summer Impact Tour. Shining Light’s mission is to expand perspective and impact lives by taking a high-quality performing arts production to people in correctional facilities. This year’s itinerary included Rikers Island in New York City, Riverside Women’s Correctional Facility in Philadelphia, Maine State Prison and 6 other youth and adult facilities throughout the Northeastern US. The three-week tour had a dual purpose of bringing hope through Jesus Christ to residents in these facilities and expanding the student participants’ perspective of the world, themselves, and God.
Shining Light received excellent audience responses at all the facilities. Comments from inmates such as, “Your coming here meant a lot to us; it meant hope, strength and encouragement,” “It’s comforting to know I’m not by myself, and to know that other people are praying and thinking about us…God makes sure we know He remembers us,” “…you’ll never truly realize what a difference it makes to us…,” are an indication of the impact Shining Light events had among the 1,500+ people seen in audiences. Facility staffs are also affected through these events. After the performance for nearly 300 women at Philadelphia’s Riverside Correctional Facility, Warden Terence Clark stated, “I find it amazing that we have kids of that age to actually come inside and be willing to help another person. It’s very inspiring…”
Equally importantly is how the college students who prepare and present these programs are impacted. As they meet and sometimes shake hands with inmates in maximum security prisons or youth in juvenile facilities, they discover the humanity of every person there. Here are some participants’ responses to this unique opportunity to visit a part of our society that is often ignored or forgotten:
“(I’ve learned) we’re all people, it doesn’t matter what side we’re on… I’ve been completely transformed by the people I’ve been able to meet in these facilities.”
“I came into this experience thinking that I was gonna do the population of inmates a favor, or do God a favor by gracing people with my talent, and quickly God humbled me… Literally every day God opened my eyes to new things, about me, about my relationship with Him and about His grace.”
Recent Belhaven graduate Roddy Merritt ‘13 commented, “As a lead singer, this has been training for a future in music… It has redirected my focus in how I use my music and who my music reaches.” Dance major Melody Stowe ’16, found that the experience reinforced her career goals, “I’ve known for a while that I want to use dance to minister, or go into dance therapy. This Tour affirmed that.” Another participant, Stephanie Morales, had long desired to be a part of Belhaven’s dance program but doubted her ability to measure up to Belhaven’s high standards. With a new confidence gained on the tour, in July she applied to Belhaven and was accepted as a dance major.
Shining Light Ministries began in 1996 and has done presentations in 54 correctional facilities in 23 states. In the past, students were only recruited from schools in Pennsylvania. This was the first tour done with students recruited nationally, with participants from 15 colleges and universities in 9 states. The need for performing arts mission opportunities to enable students to put their skills to use in ministry has Shining Light planning more tours of this kind in the future and seeking opportunities to work more closely with colleges with performing arts program.
Students participating from Belhaven University included:
Roddy Merritt ’13 Music Ministries & Biblical Studies
Stephanie Morales ’16 Dance
Justin Nipper ’16 Music Ministries
Melody Stowe ’16 Dance
Travis White Biblical Studies ’15
Colleges and universities with participants in the 2013 Northeastern Impact Tour:
Abilene Christian University, Abilene, Texas
Anderson University, Anderson, Indiana
Azusa Pacific University, Azusa, California
Belhaven University, Jackson, Mississippi
Capital University, Columbus, Ohio
Clarion University, Clarion, Pennsylvania
Eastern University, St. Davids, Pennsylvania
East Stroudsburg University, East Stroudsburg, Pennsylvania
Hinds Community College, Rankin, Mississippi
Houghton College, Houghton, New York
The Julliard School, New York City, New York
Lebanon Valley College, Annville, Pennsylvania
Messiah College, Grantham, Pennsylvania
North Park University, Chicago, Illinois
Palm Beach Atlantic University, West Palm Beach, Florida
Long Creek Youth Development Center, South Portland, Maine
Maine State Prison, Warren, Maine
Mountain View Youth Development Center, Charleston, Maine
Charleston Correctional Facility, Charleston, Maine
Sununu Youth Services Center, Manchester, New Hampshire
Metropolitan Youth Services, Dorchester, Massachusetts
George Motcham Detention Center, Rikers Island, New York
Robert N. Davoren Center, Rikers Island, New York
Riverside Correctional Facility, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Glen Mills School, Glen Mills, Pennsylvania
Approximate number of inmates/facility residents seen: 1,535
Average Community Service Hours volunteered by participants: 180
Total Community Service Hours: 7,280
Cost per Student: $7,485
Each Student’s Financial Responsibility: $750 plus travel expenses to and from the tour start & finish
Primary Sources of Funding for the Ministry: Individual and Corporate Contributors, Grants
All Participants Received “President’s Volunteer Service Awards” for their community service, including awards, certificates of service, and congratulatory letters from President Obama.
Shining Light Ministries
1600 North State Route 934
Annville, Pennsylvania 17003
1) Jocelyn Zhu, a BU senior violin student (5th year), has been awarded an apprentice position—–a paid student leader position at the Orchestra program of The Masterworks Festival in Indiana.
2) Jocelyn Zhu was a finalist in the College/Post-College Concerto Competition at Masterworks Festival performing the Prokofiev Violin Concerto magnificently. Jocelyn shared “finalist status” with other top college/graduate students from many of the best schools in the nation including the New England Conservatory of Music) . There was no string student selected as a winner from this year’s competition. Jocelyn represented Belhaven wonderfully.
3) Shellie Brown, a BU Music graduate, Spring 2012) and Jocelyn Zhu were accepted by audition to the prestigious Aspen Summer Music Festival in CO this summer.
Congratulations to these fine violinists and their professor, Mr. Song Xie.