Walla Walla Valley's Music Program Draws Crowds

Walla Walla Valley Academy's string orchestra uses music to minister to and serve others. This year, the 24-member group learned "music washes away from the soul the dust of everyday life."

In February, they toured the Seattle/Tacoma/Olympia, Wash. area. State representatives from the Walla Walla Valley welcomed them to the State Capitol where they performed in the rotunda. Strains of classical music bounced from marble floor to stone and tile ceiling, prompting busy lawmakers to pause and listen. The highlight of the visit was playing the National Anthem in the House chamber just before the opening of the legislative session.

Early in April they were in Seattle again, and played on Sabbath morning at the Bellevue (Wash.) Church. Following lunch they headed to downtown Seattle, set up stands and chairs and proceeded to minister for an hour, in blustery winds, to those coming and going as well as those who stopped to listen.

Sunday morning, April 6, amidst wind and rain, they played for shoppers in the Pike Street Market area. Key Arena, center court, just prior to the start of the Sonics basketball game, was their next appointment. With houselights dimmed and the glare of spotlights reflecting from their polished instruments, Benjamin Gish, director, led them in a flawless rendition of the National Anthem. The appreciation of those in attendance was evident in the prolonged applause following the performance.

It's true. There are many ways to serve. This year WWVA's string orchestra has again discovered music can make a "dusty life" a bit cleaner and lighter.