Story by Heidi Wetmore
The Spencerville Adventist Academy (SAA) Honors Chorus was one of the 71 select musical ensembles recently invited to perform at the 28th annual Music for All National Festival, presented by Yamaha in Indianapolis. The festival showcased America’s finest middle- and high-school student musicians and music ensembles, hailing from 22 states and Puerto Rico.
Under the direction of Robert Martinez, SAA’s choir director, the Honors Chorus performed a concert in one of Indianapolis’ premier halls and received a post-concert clinic for future growth. They also attended master classes and the 3,000-guest Gala Awards Banquet.
SAA students raised $45,000 to cover the cost of the trip. “This national festival was an experience of a lifetime for my students,” states Martinez. “They practiced their craft, as well as their faith, in front of the participants.”
SAA band director and chaperone Lisa Froelich posted on Facebook that the SAA students were “Musicianaries.” Froelich recounts: “I saw God at work in a few different ways. The biggest moment was Friday night. The festival participants are almost entirely from public schools, so they don’t observe Sabbath as we do. They planned an ice cream social for Friday night that gave a very secular vibe and not the atmosphere we were hoping for our students on Sabbath. Wanting to still allow the students to socialize and get to know the other schools, we were conflicted on what to do. We spoke to the organizers about our situation, and they were very understanding and wanted to help make us feel comfortable.
“Three of us sponsors prayed together that God would turn this situation around for His glory and allow our students to be a witness to the others. When we finally entered the room, the secular music/scene had stopped, and two choirs from other schools ... sang a beautiful, a cappella sacred song. It completely changed the previous mood. Then SAA was able to go up to the stage and share one of their praise songs, and several students from the public schools got up and joined them. ... God gave us a huge answer to prayer. I’m thankful for His looking out for our school and students, and for moments like these that bring people from different states, denominations and backgrounds together.”