Milo Sings at Hoover Dam

May 28, 2019 | Education | Aaron Nakamura

Milo Adventist Academy’s top vocal choir, One Voice, went on a weeklong tour in April 2019 through Nevada, performing at churches and schools in Reno and Las Vegas. These 20 students performed at the Sparks, Riverview and Abundant Life Seventh-day Adventist churches. They also spent a day with students at the Riverview Adventist School.

The students also visited one of Riverview’s teachers at home for a private performance. The teacher had been housebound for several weeks after breaking her ankle and was unable to attend the concert otherwise.

The highlight performance was when the group visited the state’s historic Hoover Dam, where they sang "The Star-Spangled Banner" at the American flag posted there. In flash-mob fashion, the students simply showed up unannounced, assembled at the base of the flag, and, under the direction of Alvin Laberinto, the group’s assistant director for the tour, began singing.

“It really was a treat not only for the tourists and bystanders that were there to witness the performance, but for the students to experience that extra thrill of performing on a very public stage in reverent acknowledgement of our country,” says Laberinto. “The students not only got to see and learn about a very historic landmark in our nation’s history, but they also got to make it an even more special experience by sharing something unique with others looking to witness that same history.”

About 50 to 60 tourists standing in the immediate vicinity of the surprise performance stopped in their tracks — some across the street — to listen and then applaud after the students’ last note was sung. Cars driving by slowed in order to get a glimpse of the group and a preview of what they sounded like. As the unexpected performance went along, several bystanders pulled out their cell phones and cameras to record and take pictures. Many asked what school — and subsequently what church — the students were from.

“Sometimes we do great at connecting with our own churches and schools here in Oregon, but there is also a bigger community not too far out there that Milo can step out into in order to serve and do something nice for,” says Randy Thornton, Milo Academy principal.