Graduation Day for 2005 Summer Music Conservatory

Saturday, 16 July 2005, marked the graduation ceremonies for the annual summer Music Conservatory, sponsored by The Salvation Army National Capital and Virginia Division and held at the division's Camp Happyland, located in near Culpeper, Virginia. This year, 48 students spent three weeks at the camp, involved in brass, vocal, music theory and other classes. The Divisional Music Director, Bandmaster James Anderson, was the director of the conservatory, assisted by his wife, Christina, who is the Divisional Gospel Arts Director, and Wendy Hopper, who served as Program Director and Head Counselor for the conservatory. Special guests for this year were Marjory and Stuart Watson, from the Regent Hall corps in central London, England, and Kathy “Kas” Sipe, Territorial Piano Ministries Specialist for the USA Southern Territory. The remainder of the staff was made up of counselor/instructors Kevin Affum, Tim Anderson, Abigail Jo Miller, and Rebecca Hall; and junior counselor/instructors Danielle Ashton, Carlandos Finney, Karen Miller, Lindsay Waiksnoris, and James Williams.

The students participated in brass and percussion instrumentals, vocals, music theory classes and a variety of elective classes. For instrumental instruction, three bands were formed, named for US Presidents: Lincoln, for beginning students; Jefferson, for intermediate students; and Washington, for advanced students. Two choruses were also formed, named for rivers in the area: Potomac and Shenandoah.

The graduation festival, held in the Chapel at Camp Happyland at 10:00 a.m. on 16 July 2005, began with a congregational song accompanied by the Washington Band, under the direction of Bandmaster James Anderson. Following an invocation and words of welcome from the Divisional Youth Secretary, Major Algerome Newsome, the Jefferson Band, conducted by Bandmaster Tim Anderson, performed two items. Presentations by some of the elective classes followed, including Sacred Dance, “Fish Sticks” (an innovative form of expressive movement), and Drama.

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Following these elective presentations, band, chorus and theory awards were given. These awards are presented to one delegate from each band and chorus and one outstanding theory student, based on participation, willingness to learn and behavior, with a cumulative weekly score given by each instructor.

  • Lincoln Band: Tobyas Smith
  • Jefferson Band: Ann Li
  • Washington Band: Elizabeth Schramm
  • Potomac Chorus: Michael King
  • Shenandoah Chorus: Emily Phillips
  • Theory: Josh Sears

The Lincoln Band, directed by Wendy Hopper, was next to perform. This group consisted mainly of students who had little or no previous experience with brass instruments (unlike some of the previous conservatory programs, this year brass was a required element for all delegates). Awards for elective and recreational classes were distributed next.

  • Praise & Worship: Rebekah Schramm
  • Art: Edward Davis
  • Sacred Dance: Brandi Migkins
  • Dance: Yona Robertson
  • Timbrels/Fish Sticks: Shaqueria Hobbs
  • Piano: Jason Powell
  • Drama: Nigel George
  • Sports (3rd): Tobyas Smith
  • Sports (2nd): Tony Malord
  • Sports (1st): Emily Thompson, Nigel George

More elective performances, including a piano solo by Tony Malord, timbrels, dance and three songs from the praise and worship elective, followed. The next performance was by a delegate soloist, Kevin Downing, who played the trombone solo Sonata in F, accompanied by Christina Anderson on piano.

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The choruses were next up for performance. The Potomac Chorus, conducted by Wendy Hopper, was comprised of the less-experienced vocalists. More advanced delegates were in the Shanandoah Chorus, conducted for this performance by one of the special guests for the conservatory, Marjory Watson, who is the Songster Leader at the famous central London corps, Regent Hall. Between the chorus performances, Kevin Downing was given an award as the outstanding soloist for this year's conservatory.

As with all Salvation Army music instruction, Biblical teaching and learning is included. Delegates this year were challenged to memorize Scripture passages, and an award for this was given to Nigel George, who then provided the Scripture reading for the festival entirely from memory – five passages, including two complete Psalms, over forty verses in total.

The final band performance of the festival was the Washington Band, this time conducted by special guest Stuart Watson. Following their items, the final awards of the day were given. The Happyland Honor Delegate award is givento one of the less experienced delegates who has proven to be a dedicated student and shown diligence and determination in learning. The recipient is given a full scholarship to the next summer's Music Conservatory. This year, the Honor Delegate was Tony Malord, who attends the corps in Winchester, Virginia.

The top award at each year's Music Conservatory is the Divisional Commander's Scholarship, given to the outstanding male and female students each year. Delegates receiving this award must excel at all aspects of the conservatory program, including band, theory, chorus, Bible, and in their cabin. The awards are based on cumulative weekly scores from all of the instructors and counselors. Recipients are given full scholarships to the USA Southern Territorial Music Institute camp. This years Divisional Commander's Scholarships were awarded to Heather Shannon, who attends the Williamsburg, Virgina corps, and Josh Sears, who attends the Fairfax, Virginia corps.

Following the presentation of the final awards, the Shenandoah Chorus returned, this time under the direction of James Anderson, and presented Handel's eternal classic The Hallelujah Chorus, a fitting finale to the 2005 NCV Music Conservatory. The congregation was sent off with a final song, Our God Reigns, accompanied by the Washington Band.

Brass Crest Staff Report

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