A few weeks ago I had the privilege to be a part of a panel charged with answering questions asked by senior high students on whatever topic they wanted. It was a great experience, filled with insightful, brilliant, and terrifying questions. (Fortunately, most of the inquiries about the book of Revelation were addressed to other panel members.)
In answering one particular question, I mentioned being interested in developing the arts, and artists, from within the church. I mentioned Kalein, the dream and vision to develop a place to encourage and equip gifted artists to discover, develop and discipline their calling. After the q & a was over, a student approached me with questions about Kalein. He was very interested in my thoughts about developing artists from within the church. He shared that he has, for several years, attended the MasterWorks Festival.
This festival…. … is a four-week classical performing arts training program that offers advanced students of music, dance, opera, and theatre the opportunity to learn from professional Christian performing artists in their respective field. … strives to combine the classical performing arts and Christianity so that students from a wide variety of Christian backgrounds can come together to glorify God in their art and grow deeper in their faith, personally and corporately. …features over 40 performances during the festival including two weekly orchestral performances, a full length dance program with orchestra, a fully staged theater production, a full length opera production, chamber music recitals, and more.
I learned more about this festival after the conversation, but what I learned during the conversation astounded me. This student comes from a large family, with siblings and parents who are accomplished musicians. There’s a part of me that always wonders about kids raised in a scenario like that…. are they really choosing their passions? He relayed to me that the MasterWorks Festival is a highlight of his summer, especially because the experience integrates faith and spiritual growth with artistic instruction and performance. I asked him what instrument he plays. French horn, he told me. And then, without a trace of arrogance or embarrassment, this very eloquent, sincere high school guy said this: “I worship most completely when I’m playing the horn. I never want to stop.”
I love that. A 16 year old who completely ‘gets’ artistry and faith. He has much to teach us.
This post is a part of Watercooler Wednesdays, a blog gathering about arts & culture.