At the end of May, the UNW Symphonic Band experienced life on the other side of the world during a 14-day music tour in Australia. Whether they were performing at churches and schools, eating real Australian food or learning some “Aussie” slang, the students had an experience of a lifetime.
But the band members viewed the tour as much more than a chance to see the sights; they saw it as an opportunity to minister. One band member said of the tour, “We didn’t want to go simply as performers—we wanted to be the hands and feet of Christ.”
One of the ways the band reaches out when on tour or simply on a weekend retreat is to do a service project. Despite the packed tour schedule, the band set aside a day to volunteer at different Salvation Army locations throughout Melbourne.
One group of students volunteered at an emergency crisis center for victims of domestic violence, while another group spent the day with the homeless on the streets. Meanwhile, the trombone quintet had a special service project—they played arrangements of hymns and jazz at a Salvation Army care center for the elderly.
Spending a day in service is nothing unusual for this group of students; ministry is what the band is all about. Their prayer during the Australia tour was that God would use them to impact lives for Christ, whether they were playing a concert, sharing with host families or just enjoying the life Down Under.
Written by Sarah S. Lysaker '10. Sarah is an English literature and writing major from Pelican Rapids, Minn. She plays flute in the Symphonic Band.