Music festivals for students in grades five through twelve have been held for a number of years in our conference. Music festivals emphasize music clinics by leading experts, and lots of practice in preparation for a concert on Sabbath, in addition to a devotional speaker. The first music festival for which a record has been found took place at the Baton Rouge church from February 28 to March 1, 1980. Prior to this, Southwestern Adventist College held an annual music festival for these grade levels. In 1981, the Arkansas-Louisiana conference sponsored its first “Annual Music Festival and Workshop” the last weekend of March. It was held at the Shreveport First church and was not just for youth, but also adults with an emphasis on how to start a choir in your church (Correa, 1981).
1980 Music Festival
1983 Music Festival
April 14-16, 1983, a conference-wide elementary music festival was held at Little Rock Adventist Academy. Josephine Cunnington Edwards, an Adventist missionary and one of the best-loved story tellers in the church, was the featured guest, speaking Friday night, Sabbath morning, and Sabbath afternoon. John Read, music coordinator for the Texas Conference and formerly head of the music department at Southwestern Adventist College, directed the 150-voice mass choir. The choir was comprised of students from twenty-three of Arkansas-Louisiana’s church schools, along with their teachers and sponsors. They presented two sacred concerts, one Sabbath morning and one in the afternoon, and a secular concert Saturday night (Record, 1983).
1985 Music Festival
Ozark Adventist Academy Hosts Music Festivals
Beginning December 3-7, 2008, Ozark Adventist Academy began hosting an annual conference-wide music festival for grades five through ten. Between musical workshops and numerous daily practices, students find time to tour the campus, visit classrooms, and join in sports and games. A large variety of music options are available with choir, handbells, praise and worship teams, and an assortment of instruments, giving everyone a chance to find their musical niche (Burton, 2009). The annual event is open to students from Adventist and public schools, along with home schools. The concert has traditionally been held on the first Sabbath of December each year (Dale, 2011).
(1983, Apr. 14). Southwestern Union Record, p. 12E.
Burton, Kevin. (2009, Jan. 1). Ibid. p. 21.
Correa, Joseph L. (1981, Mar. 19). Ibid., p. 12F.
Dale, Mike. (2011, Sep. 1). 2011 Annual Ozark Music Festival. Arkansas-Louisiana Conference of Seventh-day Adventists Newsletter, p. 7.