News • September 06, 2021

CBU campus alive again with the sound of music

CBU campus alive again with the sound of music

Riverside, Calif. (Sept. 6, 2021) – The singing from Worship Collective at California Baptist University drifted out of the large tent behind Wallace Theatre on Sept. 2. “Oh Praise (The Only One)” was one of many songs the students would practice that day.

A week before the fall 2021 semester begins at CBU, about 400 students are already on campus for Rehearsal Camp, hosted by the Shelby and Ferne Collinsworth School of Music on Aug. 31-Sept. 3 and Sept. 6.

Dr. Joseph Bolin, dean of the School of Music said Rehearsal Camp welcomes new students, casts vision for the future and gets a head start of the process of music making for the academic year.

“We come together this week to connect to each other, connect with our collective mission and objectives, and connect with the profoundly fulfilling process of creating music in the context of a vibrant community,” Bolin said.

During camp, some of the choirs rehearsed in the tent or at Magnolia Church near the CBU campus. The other vocal and instrument ensembles practiced in the JoAnn Hawkins Music Building. Students wore masks when singing indoors.

For the past 18 months, students have experienced virtual rehearsals and performances due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Being away from making music and worshipping as a community has been one of the most difficult things I have experienced,” said Dr. Gene Peterson, director of choral and vocal studies. “The joy of being community and singing harmony with many voices is an unspeakable blessing and well worth the precautions we are taking to do so safely.”

Dr. Guy Holliday, associate dean of undergraduate studies, conducts the Wind Ensemble, Symphonic Band and the Lancer Pep Band.

During camp “the students experience clinics and workshops from our directors to set the stage for growth in their musical craft, personal character, and their connections to God and each other,” Holliday said. “We are so excited to be making music together in the same space again!”

Melody Vazquez, a music education sophomore, spent her freshman year submitting videos of herself singing. Practicing with others this week reminded her of her high school experience of singing in person.

“Now that I'm in here, it's a whole different level of learning and it's really good to be on campus,” Vazquez said. “Today was kind of really difficult in a sense of blending with other people and unifying with others, but it was also a great experience to come back to.” 

Joseph Greene, a music composition freshman, sings bass with Lancer Chorus and Worship Collective. He said he already learned about technique and form. 

“It was amazing. I've learned so much and it's so wonderful being able to actually collaborate with other singers again and other musicians,” Greene said.