As the clarinet soloist finishes playing his piece on Rodeheaver Auditorium’s stage, the audience jumps in surprise at a sudden sound behind them—a 50-person choir singing in the balcony.
This would be something to expect from the aptly named Kaleidoscope Concert, which, much like the instrument of mirrors and glass, is a constant rotation of the talents within BJU’s Division of Music. The concert will be held in Rodeheaver Auditorium on Nov. 5 at 7 p.m.
This will be the fourth year BJU will hold the Kaleidoscope Concert in honor of the High School Festival and Preaching Conference, a high school competition BJU hosts from Nov. 4 to 7.
Paul Jantz, the director of musical activities, is in charge of all the music events and the public programs for the event. Jantz said the acts pop up in different sections of the building and range from the University Orchestra and University Singers to solo performers and instrumental ensembles.
Jantz said this fast-paced, energetic concert is meant to showcase the individuals and groups within the BJU’s music program. The diversity in the performances is meant to showcase what high school students attending the competition could be a part of if they were to attend BJU.
When in high school, Daniel Fuller, a sophomore majoring in biblical studies, attended what is now the High School Festival and Preaching Conference and participated in the preaching competition. Until this semester, there was a competitive element to the preaching part of the event, but that has since been removed, and the event has become a conference for high schoolers to preach and be critiqued.
Though Fuller did not come to competition for music, he attended concerts like the Kaleidoscope Concert and found that he liked the brass performances. “I always liked the choirs that would play, like the brass choir, trombone choir [and] trumpet choir,” Fuller said. “I’m in the trombone choir now.”
Halsey Kessler, sophomore majoring in keyboard performance, also attended the Kaleidoscope Concert when she competed in the festival as a high schooler. “It’s a fun concert to attend if you’re a high schooler or if you’re not,” Kessler said. “It’s just the coolest pieces that you can think of, and they put them all in [the] same concert.”
Kessler said that even though it was scary to compete at High School Festival sometimes, she enjoyed the competing as well as meeting college students and other high school students who might attend BJU with her.
While at the High School Festival, Kessler got to meet most of the piano faulty, which was important to Kessler since it is her major now. Kessler said that since the faculty were the judges, their comments on her performance were especially helpful because it gave her an idea of what the faculty was looking for and how they taught.
Anne Smith, a sophomore majoring in cello performance, also attended the competition before she came to BJU as a student. Smith said part of the reason she chose to attend BJU was because of her interactions with both the University’s students and faculty in BJU’s Division of Music.
Since the faculty judge the competitions, Smith heard what her now current cello teacher thought of her playing when she competed. She also had the opportunity to participate in side-by-side orchestra, a program in the High School Festival and Preaching Conference which allows high school students to practice and perform alongside the BJU orchestra for a concert.
“I was a part of the side-by-side orchestra, and I got to sit right alongside the [BJU] students,” Smith said. “They got to talk to you about what’s great about the music program and extracurriculars. It was fun getting to know other college students that I knew were going to be here when I came.”
High School Festival and Preaching Conference is not just an opportunity for high school students to compete in a competition. It is also a time for high school students to see if BJU is a part of what God has for them in their futures.