UCA Fox Concert Creates Memorable Opportunities
For the fourth year, the Upper Columbia Academy band, string and choral groups performed a Christmas musical concert in the Fox Theater in downtown Spokane, Wash. The Dec. 18 event was held as a gift to the community and opportunity for students to perform professionally.
"This was by far the best academy performance I have ever heard. I absolutely loved it,” says Chelsea English, a youth pastor attending the concert for the first time. “Academy bands don't usually do it for me, but this was different.”
“I was incredibly proud of how sensitively and professionally the students performed,” says Dean Kravig, UCA band director. “After the concert, I had a college-level music teacher tell me she was impressed by how highly polished they sounded. She said it was hard to believe she was listening to a high-school band. That says a lot about how hard the students worked.”
The Fox Theater, home of the Spokane Symphony, is a 1930s-era well-respected art venue in the community. UCA's performances have been positive for the school and church.
“Our main purpose and the original idea came about eight years ago,” says Curtis Anderson, UCA music department chairman. “The idea was to use the music program as an evangelistic tool. Gerald Haeger, Upper Columbia Conference ministerial director, suggested we take our Christmas program, which we were performing in the gym, into the community and use it as an outreach. Not only has it opened the eyes of Spokane about who Seventh-day Adventists are, but it has also given us a purpose other than just having a nice concert at school.”
“I meet people all over town that know us because of the Fox concert,” says Kravig. “When I'm wearing my UCA music-department shirt people just start talking to me about the Fox concert. The day after the concert this year, I was at the Costco optical department and talked to a lady who said she was just driving by the Fox and saw it advertised on the sign so she decided to come.”
“I invite a Sunday church choir to come to the concert each year, and they think our students are amazing,” says Anderson. “And the staff at the Fox are continually impressed with our group ... I think doing this concert each year plants seeds in these people's hearts that will have an effect in the end time.”