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Midwinter Musicamp
March 2-4, 2012

Report by Ronda Atwater

After two full days of singing at a frigid Camp Ladore, on Friday evening the Eastern Territorial Songsters (ETS) welcomed Pendel Division’s Midwinter Musicamp delegates with Ride the Chariot and O Happy Day. Songster Leader Bill Rollins led the delegation, together with ETS, in united singing of Len Ballantine’s arrangement of Make His Praise Glorious – an eager challenge in accordance with the weekend’s theme to “play skillfully with a shout of joy” (Psalm 33:3). After a devotional by Lt. Col. Sharon Tillsley, delegates gathered into majors: Midwinter Brass (Bill Rollins and Harold Burgmayer); Worship Team (Gavin Whitehouse); Drama (Chuck Goodin); or Audio & Visual Media (Major Dennis Muir).

Saturday morning at the PARC Pavilion began with majors, united singing, and continuation of tracks specifically designed for children and teens. The children sang, played active games, learned Bible lessons, won prizes, and took walks through the snowy camp paths. The teens participated in united singing and were led in workshops by the Pendel Youth Department and member of the ETS, as well as in brass, dance, and singing.

After-dinner workshops on Saturday, taught by ETS members, were two choices of: Drama in Worship; Creating Dance for Worship; Praise and Worship Teams; Hispanic Contemporary Worship; Variety in Worship Planning; Leading Timbrels; Nurturing Teens as Leaders; Developing Your Voice; and Salvation Army Vocal Repertoire.

An “Evening of Praise” featured ETS with selections that included the upbeat David Danced, Gavin Whitehouse’s Heaven Came Down, and the jazzy melodies of Forever in His Care.  Women’s and men’s selections were a lyrical arrangement of the gospel song Goin’ up Yonder and the spiritual Go Down Moses. With Round Up, Midwinter Brass had delegates line dancing through rows of seats wearing cowboy hats and singing “Blessed Be the Name of the Lord.” The Pendel Brass, also, proclaimed that “Our God is God” and that the “Stranger” from Galilee was indeed Jesus Christ, the Son of God. Lt. Col. Sharon Tillsley led a time of reflection with a challenge to be persistent in using our resources, namely music, to reach out to those who don’t know Christ.

The worship service on Sunday morning was an array of brass music, a drama-major presentation and, with Len Ballantine’s Behold the Tabernacle, the voices of ETS reminded all that they stood on holy ground. Lt. Colonel Donald Lance spoke about how, over the years, it has been the music of worship services, more than anything else, which has made permanent impressions on his heart. He then joined three ETS members in a male quartet rendition of the simple chorus Jesus Loves Me. The message was clear – that music is a powerful tool in leading people to Jesus. This message had also been expressed by three ETS members who shared testimonies over the weekend, and reiterated by Midwinter Brass with a stirring I Know a Fount as many knelt at the altar. The service ended with the entire delegation singing rich, antiphonal layers of “Holy is the Lord of Hosts! He shall reign forever!”

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