Mr. Mark Smallwood, Music Director of Red Bird Christian School led the annual Cardinal Singers Choir Tour on a journey of almost 2,000 miles with performances in Missouri, Arkansas, Oklahoma, Mississippi, and Tennessee. The tour included hour-long programs at four churches; a chapel program at College Heights Christian School in Joplin, Missouri; worship music for two Sunday morning services; and many impromptu selections at church refreshment tables, dinners, restaurants and tourist attractions.
For many RBCS students, the tour was a first chance visit to another state. Seth, a sophomore dorm student and first year member, said the interaction with those that came to each concert was a highlight for him personally. Another sophomore, Theresa, was amazed at the, “incredibly long bus rides and so many people wanting to take pictures with us”.
Other more experienced members of the chorus reflected on the people and relationships made in the various locations. Thomas, a Junior and 4th year member of the Cardinal Singers, said, “I enjoy the interesting people and host families that the group comes in contact with.” Mr. Smallwood’s daughter, Leah, loved seeing people again as a highlight from her years of Cardinal Singers’ performances. Building and growing relationships with God’s people to further His kingdom is a part of what the group is all about.
The trip was not just a long physical journey but a spiritual journey as well. One parent described the experience as a ‘spiritual awakening’ for so many on the trip. Student testimonies included in the full programs gave them an opportunity to tell how they came to salvation and deal with life. Tears flowed after each witness. Many church members expressed how blessed they were by the students’ voices and testimonies, a revelation to some students that they were able to bless others. The culmination of the trip brought mixed emotions for many of the students – desire for the trip to continue, physical exhaustion, bittersweet feeling for senior members at the last concert, but a deepening relationship with God for all that were touched by the Cardinal Singers 2015 tour.