On February 20-24, 40 SCCS students and 15 chaperones travelled to Nashville, Tennessee and learned first-hand what it is like to work as a Christian musician in the music industry.
“The choir tour opened my eyes to the real musicality of the whole city of Nashville,” said choir vice president Lucas Pettee. “Just seeing the liveliness of the tons of bands I saw, as well as the people I met, was a really enriching and exciting experience.”
While visiting Nashville, student’s hearts were knitted together through ministry, worship and the study of God’s word while participating in numerous educational and fun activities.
“While in Nashville, we partnered with a local church and the students enjoyed getting to know the church members and the youth group,” said Susi Johnson, SCCS Choir Director. “Choir students broke into small groups with the church kids and got to hear about each other’s walk with the Lord.”
The group also toured the Country Music Hall of Fame and some students had the opportunity to sing in the incredible rotunda. While at the Country Music Hall of Fame, students learned how the constitution has shaped music and participated in a collaborative song writing session where they wrote a song together.
“At Lipscomb University, students attended a fantastic clinic with Dr. Gary Wilson and some were able to attend an upper level theory class to get a taste of the college experience for music majors,” shared Susi.
One of the groups’ most memorable moments was experiencing some of Nashville’s culinary treasures and singing along to some of the best live bands.
“Nashville was definitely unique. The city, the people, the atmosphere, it was living and teeming with music,” added choir chaplain, Ramy Wahba.
“You couldn’t take two steps downtown without hearing a different melody. It was all enriched by the time we spent growing and learning together as a choir, both musically through music history and spiritually through devotions and discussions.”
Other highlights of the tour included a night at the Grand Ole Opry and a tour of the Ryman Auditorium, the original home of the Opry which began with evangelist Sam Jones. “It was incredible to sit in the same pews were thousands of people came to Christ. It then became ‘The Mother Church of country music’,” shared Susi. “On Sunday our most important part of the trip was ministering to First Baptist Church of Joelton and enjoying lunch with their church body.”
Each evening, choir chaplain, Ramy Wahba led the daily devotions. “My favorite time together was when we would return to the hotel and spend some time in devotions,” said Susi. Choir president Shelby Wilson added, “Nashville was an amazing experience! I got so much closer to classmates that I didn’t know before and had an absolute blast singing with them!”
Susi shared, “Trips like this are so valuable because it takes everything that we learn in the classroom and shows our students what it looks like to use this craft in the real world. Whether that means pursuing a music degree, becoming a songwriter or performer or using their musical gifts to minister to the body, music is everywhere and there are thousands of ways to use these music gifts to the glory of Christ.”