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Music department encourages community involvement

While many clubs like Planeteers and California Scholarship Federation have straight forward approaches to community service, the music department takes a different, yet effective approach. With many upcoming performances, various groups have eagerly prepared to not only perform to the best of their ability, but to serve their community in a way that best represents FC’s views and ethics.

Recently, the vocal ensemble performed at an assisted living home for a service project, Sept. 30. Music Department Director Michael Odgon says community involvment exemplifies the basis of which FC was founded on.

“Community interaction identifies our school’s message and encourages our determination to live our message out loud,” Ogdon said. “Community needs direct outflow of our hearts to serve, and that is developed by our heart for the Lord Jesus.”

In an upcoming concert, “Hope in Times of Despair,” the choral department will promote the Fresno Rescue Mission, Oct. 27. The choir will feature pieces from the Holocaust and other various sources. Reflecting on history, Ogdon recognized the challenges people have struggled with and related them to today and Fresno.

“There are prisons of all kinds keeping people disheartened,” Ogdon said. “Homelessness, addictions, broken relationships — where does the hope come from? We know that hope comes from the Lord, and he often uses his people to promote his message.”

According to Morgan Childs, ’12, the ability to sing in a way that casues an emotional connection with the audience is the difference between a good group on paper and a great performing group.

“With the music we’re singing, I think we need to connect on a more personal level,” Childs said. “The whole point of music is to connect with your audience, so if we don’t there is no point of performing.”

Ogdon looks forward to working with other local ministries, taking an active role in this year’s school theme, “We are One.”

“There is a determined resolve to push on through hardships,” Ogdon said. “By cooperating with our own Fresno Rescue Mission, we can draw attention to the way God is engaging despairing hearts with the hope that is so desperately needed.”

Besides choral programs, the various bands on campus will also partake in roles throughout the community while striving to improve musically and develope ties throughout the surrounding areas of Fresno.

During the first semester, one way the marching band participates is in the parade community, marching at events including the the Caruthers District Fair, Veteran’s Day and The Big Fresno Fair.

The percussion ensemble has already performed for the local Marriage Mentoring Conference and at a benefit to find the cure for cancer at Woodward Park. Drum Major Eric Cowin, ’14, attributes the ability to perform well at events like these to his group’s strong musical foundation.

“I think we’re going to do really well,” Cowin said. “We have a really good foundation, because our percussion instructor, Gary Smith, is really talented and experienced.”

The marching band’s next performance is at The Big Fresno Fair for their Big Band Review, Oct. 19.

For more information about the music department, read the May 9 article, Music Department concludes year with Heritage Festival (66 PHOTOS). For more features, read the Oct. 4 article, Senior gains musical insight from Beatles tribute band.

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