Semana de Musica Sacra from Joshua’s Eyes

Orchestra RehearsalThree years ago I was asked to come down to Brasil for three weeks to take part in BMM’s Aventura Brasil program. Although I was interested, I said I wanted to come down for at least six weeks- and maybe even seven- instead of just three. I was told that such an arrangement would be just fine, and during one of those weeks I could help with a music conference that was taking place here. So I brought my violin down and excitedly anticipated the music week that I had heard about but knew almost nothing about.

Well, when I came to the end of that music week, I decided that it was my favourite week of the whole year. I still look back at 2013 and remember the Semana de Musica Sacra as being the best week of that year. Not only did I play in the orchestra, but I was also the official photographer for the week, doing something I absolutely love doing. I cannot say enough about how much I enjoyed that week.

Camera and ViolinFor the past 13 years, Seminario Batista do Cariri has hosted the Semana de Musica Sacra, providing churches with the opportunity to develop their musical abilities. During the week, participants have the opportunity to learn more about music in many different ways. They refine their own techniques for singing or playing, they learn music theory, and they also learn other things related to music. At the end of the week they all put on a couple concerts, both at the seminary and at local churches. It is a wonderful event that would never work in America, and I wish I could do it every year.

Each of the previous two summers I had friends in Brasil ask me if I was coming back down for the Semana de Musica, and I always had to sadly tell them I wasn’t. But this year I got to tell them that I was indeed coming back. It wasn’t the same experience as two years ago since I wasn’t the official photographer. But I still had opportunities to take lots of pictures, and one day I got to work with the first violin section in the orchestra. Playing first violin in the orchestra was also really exciting for me. During my high school years, I played first violin at my public high school and also at our community college. Unfortunately, it has been seven years since I played in that community orchestra, and I have not played first violin in any orchestra setting since that time! So it was so much fun to once again play a little more difficult music as a first violin.

The end of the week came way too fast, and I was not ready for it to be over. On Saturday night during our first concert I cried a little near the end of the program because I wasn’t ready for it to end! But on Sunday night as we played I started tearing up about halfway through the concert, and then I noticed a friend of mine on the other side who was crying a lot more than I was, so that only made me cry more! The theme for the music this year also talked about Christ’s return and eternal life with Him, so that only made it easier to get emotional. Anyway, it was once again an amazing experience.

Orchestra stand partner! – Spherical Image – RICOH THETA

One of the highlights of the week was reconnecting with several friends that I had first met in 2013. It was so good to see people again, especially those who I have kept in contact with via Facebook for the last few years. But Jamie and I also made some new friends, and we met some great people. Jamie didn’t take too long finding all the English speakers, and we soon we’re becoming friends with them. We stayed up past 11pm on most of the nights talking or playing games with people after all the other activities for the day had ceased. But we know that it will be a long time (or never) before we see all these people again, so we wanted to spend as much time as possible with them.

Friends at Semana de Musica Sacra – Spherical Image – RICOH THETA

I don’t know when I will ever get to participate in another Semana de Musica Sacra, but I sure hope it is sooner rather than later! It is such a blessing, not only to be part of it but also just to observe the impact that it has on the people and their churches. God truly has provided a wonderful thing for them! You can learn more about the Semana de Musica Sacra by reading the blog posts I wrote three years ago:

Brazil, Day 20: The Good Ol’ Days

Brazil, Day 21: ALL the Playing!

Brazil, Day 22: July 4th in Brazil

Brazil, Day 23: Pictures, Violin, Pictures, Violin. Stop. Repeat.

Brazil, Day 24: Adrenaline to the Max

Brazil, Day 25: Sweetbitter Ministry

Semana de Musica Sacra Participants