Briiiiinggg!!! The peal of the bell sent the entirety of my 11th grade class scrambling for the Bible classroom door. Outside, all sorts of vehicles began rolling up to the double glass doors of the school building, and kids of all different ages started streaming to the registration desk. Orchestra seats were assigned; choir uniforms and binders were given out. The next morning, voice coach Rollin Betts strode into the packed auditorium of eager, restless teenagers. “Good morning everybody!” He enthusiastically boomed. Masterclass 2018 had officially begun.

***

“Yo-oh. Yo-oh. Yo-oh.” Fifty choir members clutched their jaws and tried not to look tired. It had been a long day of practice, practice, and more practice. “Remember Brömhilda, ze big lady opera singer? You must sound like her.” Coach Rollin explained in a fake accent. Stifling a chuckle and shifting to the edge of our seats, we held our jaws, and once again tried the vocal exercise. Slowly, almost imperceptibly at first, our voices began to blend together in an ever increasing, beautiful one-ness.

***

“Glorious light! See the dawn of salvation…” Day two of filming found the Fountainview orchestra and choir situated at a wheat field blanketed by snow. The frozen wind blasted our faces as we forced a smile for the cameras and tried to abstain from looking like carved ice sculptures. Many takes, bloopers, and hand warmers later, the long-awaited words were spoken: “That’s a wrap, folks!” Cheering, we all headed toward the buses to warm up and begin the ride back to school. *** As the five days of Masterclass unfolded, so did many dilemmas and complications. But the unity that existed in our voices and instruments existed also in our hearts, and, with God’s help, we overcame every difficulty. The memories we made at Fountainview’s Masterclass 2018 will be treasured forever by students and participants alike.

– Julianna De Senna, Grade 11