Students hailing from a school in British Columbia, Canada on Sunday will be performing in Roseburg, hoping to spread some Christmas cheer with a free concert.
The group is known as the Fountainview Academy Orchestra and Singers. It’s a tradition for the performers to travel from British Columbia to California during the holiday season, but this will be the first time the group has had the chance to travel since COVID-19 hit two years ago.
The tour is made up of previous tour stops who had been requesting the group return, while the rest are new locations that had made contact with the school.
Some of those stops, such as Roseburg, are chosen because they are the hometown of students. Joshua Wiley, concertmaster, first violinist and Douglas County native, is just one of the reasons the group will be stopping here.
Josh is a 17-year-old who really likes music, electronics and the outdoors. He followed in his siblings footsteps by attending Fountainview, drawn in by the way they described it. This is his second year with the orchestra and choir. Along with being first violinist, he also performs in the mixed choir group.
“Being concertmaster this year has taught me the importance of making sure everyone in the violin section is on the same page — literally and metaphorically,” Josh said with a laugh. “And that every member of the group is able to work affectively together.”
Fellow senior Reagan Goodman is also an American attending Fountainview. She hails from California. She plays both the cello and ukulele.
“The orchestra sounded amazing,” 17-year-old Reagan said as to why she chose to attend Fountainview. “I have been playing the cello for about nine years and I really wanted to continue playing cello. ... Musical instruments don’t really come to me naturally, I’m not a super musical person, but I fell in love with playing the cello and I wanted to continue doing it.”
Reagan is also a member of the mixed chorus, giving her the opportunity to grow beyond the cello. She has been a member for three years and feels being a part of this group has really taught her the value of teamwork.
“At my old orchestra, I was just kind of in the back and I could do my own thing. I knew I was part of the group, but I wasn’t an important part because there were so many other people,” Reagan explained. “Here, I’m one of six cellos. What you play affects everyone else around you. You have to be all together. And listen. And follow.”
In total, 55 of the 65 students enrolled in the choir and orchestra will perform Sunday.
Director James Cleveland said patrons can expect a lot of movement, group performances and solos at the concert. He described the group as “dynamic.”
“Orchestra members sing, choir members play, it’s a very active group.”
Fountainview Academy Orchestra and Singers are set apart from other school performance groups because they are an orchestra and choir in one, Cleveland said.
“The authenticity and obvious engagement that the students have in the music, it really shows and encourages people,” Cleveland added. “We are highly professional in what we try to do, especially for a high school level group.”
Fountainview Academy is a Seventh-day Adventist school, though it is not ran or funded by the denomination. It is not a music school, but places a heavy importance on music. Students, of which about one third are American, must be willing to participate in either choir or orchestra.
The concert, titled “Come Let us Adore Him,” will begin at 7 p.m. Sunday at the Roseburg Seventh-day Adventist Church, 1109 NW Garden Valley Blvd. Entry is free and there are chances to win a variety of door prizes, but seating maybe limited. Guests are encouraged to join the performers by singing along.
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