July 25, 2024
Cayla Ames--Jharen Haynes leads the seven other members of 'Light' into a new summer.

The Collinsworth School of Music is never at a standstill. From Sunday night concerts to May tours this school is never ceasing.

Even during the summer months, which most consider to be time to rest, the School of Music does not stop. It is during these months they send out the Summer Small Groups to roam the country, ministering, recruiting and praising through their music.

Every year, students of the School of Music are provided with the opportunity to audition for one of two summer small groups, Hope and Light. The selected students then have the opportunity to travel throughout the United States for two months, singing and ministering at various churches, summer camps and other locations.

This year, Light will be traversing the open road all the way to the East Coast, singing along the way in California, New Mexico, Colorado, Nebraska, Missouri, Indiana, Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania, New York, New Jersey, Virginia, Maryland, West Virginia, Tennessee, North Carolina, Georgia, Mississippi, Texas and Arizona.

Hope will stay closer to home and visit California, Oregon, Washington, Nevada and Idaho on the West Coast.

“This will be the fourth year a group is heading all the way to the east coast. Both groups do visit some of the same churches along the route but we also visit many new churches along the way as well. Each year takes a slightly different route,” Becky deVries, Performance Coordinator for the School of Music, said.

As Performance Coordinator, deVries is in charge of scheduling bookings for all of the small groups, which includes the five that perform throughout the year as well as those during the summer. This is her fifth summer tour to work on.

Other than the initial formation of the groups and the booking of concerts, these two groups are completely student-led. This year’s members of Hope are Jeyeon Kim (Pianist), Ashley Green, Ashley Hofer, Anna Wheelock, Kelsey Doolittle, Michael Klein, Chris Hiigel and Ben Halsne as student leader.

Halsne is a senior and Music Education major finishing up his fourth year in the Music Program. Throughout his four years he has participated in Male Chorale, Choral Union and Chamber singers. This will be his first year to be a part of a summer small group.

“My director actually was the one who nudged me to participate this year and I am really glad he did. I am really excited and am looking forward to the summer,” Halsne said.

He also adds that though he does not know what to expect, with this being his first experience, he hopes it will be an opportunity “to be stretched, to grow as a leader and to grow musically as well.”

The members of Light include Eric Belvin (Pianist), Chelsea Alcorn, Lauri Walker, Leah Alford, Daniel Garcia, Evan Lo, Geoff Grant and Jharen Haynes as student leader.

Haynes is a junior and Applied Theology major. He has been on one other summer small group tour with the small group Hope in the summer of 2009.

Throughout his time at CBU, Haynes has participated in several ensembles in the music program. He began his freshman year singing in Male Chorale and is currently singing for the University Choir and Orchestra, Choral Union and leads the small group Joy.

“I am fortunate to lead a group of extraordinary musicians! I anticipate being pushed by these talented brothers and sisters in the faith,” Haynes said.

Hope and Light will begin their journey with a Farewell Concert held in the School of Music on June 3, Hope at 10 a.m. and Light at 1 p.m. They will continue with what deVries so accurately titled their “ministry trips” until they return to CBU on Aug. 8.

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