by Andrea Towns

CLEVELAND, Ga. (TMNews) – Members of Truett-McConnell College’s Chorale attended REEL Fest (Refocusing Energy on Exalting the Lord), an event planned by the Georgia Baptist Convention’s Worship and Music Ministry to draw in middle and high school age students involved in youth choirs across the state, in Marietta, Ga., January 23-24.

There is no sweeter sound than congregational worship. When the body gathers with the united purpose of worshiping, whether through prayer, the study of scripture, or through song, those who join in receive the slightest and most beautiful taste of the glory which awaits those who call on the name of the Lord.

Both TMC’s and Shorter University’s Chorale were invited to attend, recruit, sing, and stand with state music missionaries for the sake of investing in the lives of youth, both musically and spiritually.

Judy Crumley, one of Georgia Baptist’s faithful staff members, explained the purpose of REEL Fest and the passion that motivates their department’s collective preparation. “Why REEL Fest? It is important to offer something for youth who can join with other like-minded students from all over Georgia, to exalt the Lord through singing or playing their instruments!”

“Students truly are renewed spiritually and musically,” Crumley continued “This renewal is taken home to their own churches where it influences others to worship the Lord.”

Writer, arranger and producer Cliff Duren led music and offered his reflection of the weekend and said: “I could not be more pleased with this year’s REEL Fest…great choir, great times of worship, and great fellowship with middle school, high school, and college students from all over the state.” He added, “Keith Chandler and his team do such a great job bringing in great speakers and musical guests (including the amazing Truett-McConnell Chorale) to help us all fix our eyes on Jesus throughout the weekend. I really sensed that God was in our time together.”

Truett-McConnell’s choral director and music division chair, Dr. Ben Caston, stated that “[f]or the college student, REEL Fest is a chance to present choral and instrumental music as an artistic expression of their faith, singing and playing skillfully unto the Lord as commanded in Psalm 33:3.”

In their last moment of worship the students offered up a prayer of praise through the song ‘Open up the Heavens,’ the theme for REEL Fest 2015:

Open up the Heavens
We want to see you.
Open up the floodgates,
A mighty river
Flowing from your heart,
Filling every part of our praise…

Andrea is a junior English Major and a freelance writer for the college.

Photo/Hailey Rosser

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