PSAA Music Groups Tour Canada
Puget Sound Adventist Academy's (PSAA) 45-voice choir nervously listened to the last-minute instructions of their director, Colleen Brundula, before performing for three music adjudicators at Canada's Rocky Mountain Music Festival in Banff, Alberta. That afternoon, April 26, Doug Spencer, PSAA's band director, repeated the same procedure with the band members.
After the performances, each group met with the adjudicators to hear positive suggestions and feedback on how to make their performances even better. This learning experience and being able to sing alongside some of the premier high school music groups in North America were highlights of PSAA's Canadian music tour.
The music groups traveled more than 2,000 miles in a caravan of cars, vans and RVs. The first stop was Kelowna, British Columbia, hometown of Brundula. Gracious host families fed and housed more than 80 students, faculty and parents for two nights. PSAA's band and choir performed at the Rutland Church during the church service and then again for vespers.
The next two days were spent at the Rocky Mountain Music Festival, where the students were able to observe and listen to outstanding academy and college music groups. The students were also treated to a jazz concert put on by the McGill Jazz Ensemble and the NiteCap Singers.
"Being able to perform at this festival was a miracle in itself," commented Spencer. "We were able to be there only because God worked it out for us." The students performed at their best in spite of the heat and the long day. Senior Tara Henderson performed with both the choir and band before ending up at the hospital that night to be treated for strep throat. By the next day she was her usual energetic self.
Other highlights of the music tour included visiting the Calgary Olympic Park, performing at Chinook Valley Academy and shopping at the world-famous Edmonton Mall, which boasts the world's largest indoor amusement and water parks. Canadian University College, located between Calgary and Edmonton, hosted the group for two nights.
The last concert of the tour was performed back in Kelowna at a local elementary school to enthusiastic students who listened in awe as Spencer had the band members feature their instruments. The choir's sacred songs really touched the public school teachers. The school counselor had tears in her eyes and told of how she, as a Christian, prayed everyday for those children, most of whom do not know Jesus. The principal profusely thanked the choir and band for performing and invited them back anytime.
Summing up the trip, Brundula said, "The important lesson that I wanted the PSAA students to learn was that our choir sounds best when everyone works together and that the real blessing is when we share our music with others."