by Lt. Betsy Clark

Teens and young adults gathered over 10 days at Camp Wonderland for Central Music Institute 2016.  Under the new leadership of Dr. Harold Burgmayer, the camp saw new and exciting changes that prove that CMI is still the place to be.  This year, the camp offered 5 intensive tracks for students to develop their skills in drama, dance, leadership, praise band, or media production.  The tracks allowed the students to devote extra time and in depth instruction to one of these specialties in addition to their band or vocal ensemble. 

Special guest instructors came from across the globe to supplement the tracks as well as the band and chorus ensembles.

Jonathan and Louisa Corry, from the UK, challenged the band and chorus.

Amerika Outlaw, from the Southern Territory, specialized in dance.

Phil Laeger, from Australia and now New York, provided expertise in praise band.

But most importantly, all three sets of guests taught students how music and arts can be a special expression of our faith and help lead others to Christ.

Known for its devotion to discipline in music, CMI continued to challenge young musicians in technique, theory, and music instruction.  A new emphasis on choral ensembles allowed instrumentalists to develop their vocal skills, while advanced theory electives asked students to attempt composition and conducting.  Solo competitions showcased students demonstrating their individual proficiencies and pushing the bar on musical performance.

However, CMI is not just the place to be for music instruction; campers are asked to grow spiritually as well.  This year, the CMI chaplains, Lts. Mike & Kelly Hanton, guided CMI through an exploration of spiritual disciplines.  Each day, students were given one spiritual discipline to reflect on during Sealed Orders, a time of personal meditation and reflection.  Then in the evenings, a new small group model allowed students to share their reflections with peers and faculty, as they encouraged and challenged one another, to grow in their faith and develop the spiritual disciplines discussed.

CMI ended with a passing of the baton from the faculty to the students, with Sunday morning worship being led by the students through dance, drama, and music.  A mass chorus of Psalm 150 perfectly reflected the body of Christ and the coming together of young people across the territory to bring glory and honor to the name of Jesus.

The many changes, challenges, and commitments made at CMI 2016 reminded the territory that our young people are still committed to using their talents for the glory of God.  Their commitment to excellence demonstrates their sincere faith and willingness to allow the Holy Spirit to move through them as they minister through their music.  Most of all, CMI 2016 reflected a community of believers seeking after the Lord through the spiritual disciplines – a community dedicated to growing in their faith.  It is their faith that made CMI a place filled with the Holy Spirit, a place characterized by love for Jesus.  CMI truly is the place to be.


Tags: Contemporary Music, News