December 7, 2023

Program aims to instruct local youth to impact their community.

In collaboration with the Riverside Arts Academy, California Baptist University is opening a program through the Collinsworth School of Music called Harmony Project: Riverside, which will provide free music education to inner-city children in the Riverside community.

All teaching positions except orchestra director, site coordinator and two assistant directors will be filled by CBU students.

Stephen Posegate, professor of music, primary organizer and site coordinator, said the goal is to benefit the Riverside community.

“We’re talking about raising the arts and music in the whole city,” Posegate said. “It’s amazing to see so many organizations working together. We’re all trying to work together for our city so it’s a city-wide project.”

Students in the program will attend classes and rehearse with the orchestra on Saturday mornings beginning January of next year.

Due to the amount of time and students involved, there will be two different youth orchestras.

Joseph Bolin, dean of the Collinsworth School of Music, said he is looking forward to sharing the institution with Riverside’s youth.

“It’s a win-win for the entire CBU and Riverside community,” Bolin said. “The Saturday morning training times will be opportunities for young people to come get musical training for free and also allow a forum for our music students to invest in and teach these young people from around the community.”

Bolin said he plans to use this time to help further CBU’s mission.

“At CBU our goal is to train up students so they can have an impact in the world, not just the sacred culture but secular as well,” Bolin said. “This is an opportunity to bring young people onto our campus from all different ethnic and religious backgrounds and have them come to the school of music and have us invest in them musically, spiritually and emotionally. That’s a great need for many young people in our culture today.”

Mitchell Collard, junior music performance major, said he is supportive of the project and is excited to share his love for Jesus with the inner-city youth in Riverside.

“I have had the opportunity to work with younger children in similar teaching settings before, and have always enjoyed being able to share the passion I have had for music my entire life with them. I hope these kids will be able to develop a love for playing music and love for Jesus at the same time,” Collard said.

Students who want to help spread the word or support this program can view the program’s GoFundMe page and donate to the cause.

“I ask the students to pray for us,” Bolin said, “because it is an incredible opportunity for our school to fulfill its mission, which is to engage the community as an institution dedicated to the Great Commission.”

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