Monday, July 9, 2018

A Visit to the Arch in St. Louis

An Evening in St. Louis with the Oasis Chorale

After a long, relaxing day of sight-seeing, we enjoyed dinner together and then several of us headed out to get some rolled ice cream.  

Jeff and I loved the City Museum which was full of secret passageways, tunnels, slides, fountains, swings, artifacts, log cabins, castles, and much more.  

Sunday, July 1, 2018

Oasis Chorale's 2018 Tour Schedule

Oasis Chorale's 2018 Tour Schedule 

Thursday, July 5, 7:00 pm
First Presbyterian Church
201 E. Sherman St.
Hutchinson, KS

Saturday, July 7, 7:00 pm.
Central Christian Church
650 W William St.
Decatur, IL

Sunday, July 8, 4:00 pm
Penn Station
122 E Progress St.
Arthur, IL

Tuesday, July 10, 7:00 pm
First Baptist Church
605 W Mack Rd.
Seymour, MO

Wednesday, July 11, 7:00 pm
First Christian Church
6 East 7th Street
Fulton, MO

Thursday, July 12, 7:30 pm
First United Methodist Church
600 SW Topeka Blvd.
Topeka, KS

Saturday, July 14, 7:00 pm
Pleasant View Activity Center
4823-5307 S Dean Rd.
Hutchinson, KS

Sunday, July 15, 4:00 pm
Eastminster Presbyterian Church
1958 N Webb Rd.
Wichita, KS

Friday, June 29, 2018

What We Learned at the Ohio SCMC Music Camp

We learned that singers can take pretty good group pictures right before it is time to go on stage.

We learned that some people take, "Sing like you've got a big man-beard," very seriously.
We learned that singers can consume massive amounts of pizza after a program.
 And we learned that The Red Mug (Mt. Hope, OH, near Millersburg) has great service and amazing coffee, smoothies, scones and cookies.

Wednesday, June 27, 2018

"Praise His Holy Name"

"Praise His Holy Name" sung by a resident  mixed choir at the SCMC Ohio camp.  Thanks for getting Jeff's head in there, Franko.  

Monday, June 25, 2018

"Monk" Choir in the Lobby

Here is a video of the "Monk" choir having some fun before the SCMC Ohio Choral Festival in the lobby of the Performing Arts Center at Kent State Tuscarawas.
It was referred to as the "Monk" choir because the first song in the set began with five guys singing a Gregorian chant. 
(That begins at 1:40 here on the live stream if you'd like to see that.) 

Monday, June 18, 2018

The First Day of Ohio Music Camp - Franko's Weird Sign and Yummy Chocolate Cake

Franko's weird sign 
 Lloyd leading songs at the community hymn sing
 Jeff teaching sight singing
 And THE most amazing chocolate cake with mocha icing - YUMMY!

Thursday, June 14, 2018

Themes from The Moldau Performed by the Anabaptist Orchestra

Here is a beautiful piece played by the Anabaptist Orchestra's string section.  We were rehearsing our music for the 2018 orchestra camp just yesterday.  It is isn't far away!  Registration will be open for about six more weeks.  

Tuesday, June 12, 2018

Donuts Obese Opossum?

Here is another memory from this past week.  The choir collectively came up with the translation "donut obese opossum" for the song "Dona Nobis Pacem," and here is a visual rendition of this misheard lyric.  

In Loftiest Songs of Sweetest Praise . . . .

We had the privilege of spending the last ten days with these wonderful humans, and it was delightful. We miss you all already!  
(Thanks to Grace Mills for sharing this picture.) 
If you missed the concert on Sunday, it is still available for viewing at

Dona Nobis Pacem 

Wednesday, June 6, 2018

Happy Campers!

Music Camp is underway here in sunny (sometimes)
Harrisonburg, Virginia.  The programs this Sunday, June 10th will be live streamed.  More information on this will be posted here soon.

Friday, June 1, 2018

Eighth Grade Graduation Speech, 2018

My homeroom students had their eighth grade graduation last week, and this was my little speech. 

To my dearest eighth graders,
To a crazy, creative group of humans,
To an incredible eighth grade class which has amazing potential to impact the world for Christ,
I'm going to miss you.

I'm going to miss your smiling faces.  I'm going to miss your creative comments during class.  I'm going to miss your great grammar and history test scores.
I'm going to miss your encouraging words and smiles, and I even think I'm going to miss your driving pigs into my class.

We've been through a lot together.  We've spent over 500 hours together, and that's a lot of time.
We've taken tests, quizzes, and covered over 1,000 pages of history, grammar, vocabulary, and literature together.
We've studied continents and countries from Morocco to Antarctica, and discussed everything from creation to the bombing of the Twin Towers together.

You've amazed me with your deep thoughts and comments -- about why more Anabaptists aren't missionaries, about how we use technology, about hiding in my attic during World War III, about hypocrisy, and about ethics.

You've caused me to roll my eyes and smile more times than I care to count.
You've made me think, and laugh, and cry.

One of the most exciting parts about teaching eighth graders is that they enter the eighth grade as children and leave almost as adults. 
And I as their teacher get to witness this strange process of events.

I've encouraged them to clean up their desks and pick up after themselves, and I've witnessed their change into young men and ladies who often encourage each other and me, and have good ethical discussions regarding decisions which will affect the rest of their lives.

So, eighth grade class, I leave you with hopes that I'll see you often in the future.  I leave you with each other -- friendships that you've developed and that I hope will continue long after eighth grade graduation and the last day of school tomorrow.

I leave you with incredible potential for the future.  This class has it all-- brains, creativity, diligence, boldness, and a great work ethic.  Individually you can accomplish much, and maybe someday several of you will work together to accomplish much more.

I pray that God will bless you as you continue along life's pathway, that He will lead and guide you into what He has planned for you, and that you will have a strong desire to follow God's will for your lives.

Fare thee well, 8th grade class of 2018.  I can honestly say that I will never forget you.

Tuesday, May 29, 2018

Thursday, May 24, 2018

1 Recital . . . .

1 recital
3 violins and 1 cello
13 poems
3 singing ensembles

4 pianists 

5 recorders 
2 guitars, 1 fiddle, and 1 mandolin

Tuesday, May 22, 2018

Large Scale Treasure Hunt Achievement Party, AKA My Former Students Dress Up in Sweet Costumes and No One Can Figure Out Who They Are

For our last achievement party of the year, we chose a treasure hunt.  First, the students were put into groups and took tests to see which group could score the highest.  The highest scoring group got to leave the school first, followed two minutes later by the second highest scoring group, etc., until all six groups had run to their cars and received their first clue from their teacher/driver.  Each group had already read instructions on safety and politeness which they were to follow the entire night.

Then, they were off.  There were seventeen sets of envelopes at different locations all around our little borough of Terre Hill and East Earl township, including "someone at Martin's Trailside who needed  help with her car."  

My favorite clue was inside the Shady Maple Gift Shop.  They were instructed to go to the chocolate candy counter and ask for "The Best Box of Chocolate That You Have."  Each group received a real box of chocolate with the clue inside.  That clue told them to go upstairs to the foyer of the buffet, and to get their next clue from someone that they knew.  What they didn't know was that the people they knew were dressed up like two old ladies.  It took one group over ten minutes to figure it out.

At Weaver's Store in Fivepointville, they were instructed to buy the "donut special" at the cafe.  As my carload of students drove off to get our next clue, I handed a donut out the window to our principal as our cars passed in the parking lot.  The students were running around and laughing, and we were too.

 Inside Good's Store they also had to find someone they knew to get their clue.  At one point three groups were inside the store and none of the students could find them.  Two of my students from last year were dressed up like Old Order Mennonites ladies.  (We live in a large Anabaptist community with all different flavors of Amish and Mennonites.)   

  One of the clues was under a lilac bush in a huge nursery. 


The hunt ended at the Terre Hill Park where some of my amazing students' amazing parents had a picnic prepared with red and white checkered tablecloths and flowers on the tables.  It was lovely and yummy. 

We played games and enjoyed each others' company for a few hours.  It was a great way to celebrate good grades at the end of the year.   Everyone who helped with the evening was invited to the picnic -- even the old ladies.   

Here is how some of my ninth grade helpers are usually dressed. 
The two old ladies are on the left, and the two Old Order Mennonite ladies are on the right.  
     Thanks to Susanna Nolt, art teacher extraordinaire, for taking most of these pictures and driving, to Miss Fisher and Miss Kaitlyn for driving, and to Sensenig's Auto, Good's Store, Weaver's Store and Cafe, Conestoga Nursery, Eby's General Store, the Terre Hill Restaurant, the Ringlers, the Horsts, Martin's Trailside, and Martin's Flooring for letting us put clues somewhere inside your establishments.  And, I cannot forget our super helpers, Briana Nolt and Sarah Martin (the two old ladies), Maria Martin and Ariana Weaver (the horse and buggy Mennonite ladies), Danon Rutt, Adrik Burkholder, Mary Swanson, Kalynn Burkholder, Angela Sensenig, and Rachel and Earl Martin. 
From the 7th and 8th grade teachers--
Mr. Caleb, principal Mr. Dervin Martin, and me (Deana Swanson)