USC Music recently conducted its first mission trip to Barbados over the Easter weekend, March 28 – April 2, 2018. The trip was planned and coordinated by the School of Education and Humanities’ Music Department.
Months of preparation included several fund-raising efforts, which left the contingent of 90 persons looking forward with anticipation for the five-day trip.
After the hectic packing of equipment, by 6:00 pm on Wednesday, March 28, the first group arrived at the old air terminal for the first departure of five expected flights on the chartered 18-seater aircraft. Sadly, due to logistical issues outside the control of the USC team, only three flights were completed successfully, allowing only 15 of the 35 member choir to arrive in Barbados. Regrettably, the percussion and strings section of the band was affected.
This unfortunate circumstance resulted in some activities being affected. however, the team still conducted its community outreach in the Pinelands area, while several members attended a sit-in session at the state-owned Caribbean Broadcasting Corporation (CBC).
Blessings and Victories
USC Music’s visit coincided with the East Caribbean Conference of Seventh-day Adventists camp meeting, a local conference that is usually held at the end March. The team attended the event and several members provided special music during the Friday devotional segments.
On the Sabbath, there was a national convention. The Choir and Orchestra rendered two items as part of the music offering for the Divine Hour service, both of which were well received by the waiting audience.
On Sunday, April 1, 2018, on a cool but overcast afternoon, the grand concert was held at the Mile and a Quarter Church, St. Peter’s, Barbados. The large edifice was amplified with the great delivery by the USC Music group. Several hours of on-site rehearsing and preparation resulted in
The concert event entitled ‘Behold our God!’ began promptly at 6:00 pm with the National Anthem followed with opening prayer by the church Pastor, Leslie Padmore. The evening’s host, Ms Sherry Legal, of the University’s School of Business got the programme started by introducing the USC Choir and Orchestra members and Music Coordinator, Mr Kerron Hislop.
The music began with a spirited rendition by Barbadian Gary Goodridge of the Grapehall Adventist Church on the sax playing ‘Lord You’re Holy’. This opening piece enraptured the audience and the thunderous applause would continue throughout the evening. Several extra seats had to be provided since the audience grew to beyond capacity during the course of the evening. Eighteen pieces of music were presented by various ensembles including the USC’s Flute Quartet, Brass Quintet, Symphony Orchestra, Chime Choir, Concert band and the University Choir and Orchestra. One of the favourite presentations was ‘Jesus Saves’ as several audience members could be seen swaying to the infectious melody and music of the piece.
This was a memorable ending to the trip that promised much and delivered greatly, in spite of the varied highs and lows. The blessing for patrons and the community were manifested through great Christian music and active youth ministry. For members, blessings were manifested through fellowship, kinship and a reminder that the power of God can work through even the unexpected challenges.
Reflections on this trip provided here.