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  • Writer's pictureAbby Ackerman

Music, Learning, and Joy: Highlights from the Mount Pisgah Academy Music Fest 2023

After a three-year hiatus due to COVID-19, the Carolina Conference Music Festival is back, bigger and better than ever! On Thursday, March 2, more than 250 students and their sponsors converged on the campus of Mount Pisgah Academy for a two-day music clinic culminating in a performance on Friday evening. Students in 5th-12th grade joined us from all over the Carolina Conference, with some students and teachers driving over five hours. Throughout the event, visitors had the opportunity to learn from three incredible clinicians: Shawn Betchley, Katherine Bowes, and Steven Green.

Shawn Betchley, who led the handbell clinic, has vast experience directing numerous groups throughout the Carolina Conference. She currently serves as the handbell director for the Arden SDA Church. Katherine Bowes, who led the choir clinic, stepped in at the last minute when our original clinician was no longer able to join us. She is a performer, composer, and Christian recording artist who currently serves as the Director of Human Resources for the Gulf States Conference. Finally, Steven Green, who led the band clinic, has a passion for music and sharing God with others. He is the music teacher for Asheville Pisgah Christian School and Mount Pisgah Academy. These three clinicians were an incredible blessing to our visitors, instructing them and imparting musical wisdom during practices.

When not in rehearsals, the visitors had an opportunity to explore the Mount Pisgah Academy campus. Visitors stayed in the dorms and ate in the cafeteria with our current students. They also participated in team-building activities in the gymnasium and a Family Feud game in the auditorium. While on campus, our visitors definitely stayed busy. The two-day clinic closed with a performance in the MPA gymnasium. Each group performed four beautiful songs for the in-person audience and those watching on the livestream. The program is now archived on our YouTube page. Just search "Mount Pisgah Academy Music Fest 2023."

— Abby Ackerman

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