APU School of Music is relaunching their summer small groups.
Back in the day (pull up a rocking chair and a glass of lemonade, you youngsters), APU used to put together groups of singers and instrumentalists, pack them into vans, and send them off across this great nation to sing in churches, schools, camps, wherever they could get a concert booked.
As the school of music grew, and started to outgrow some of the constraints of its church-music roots, the budget for summer small groups got redirected to other scholarships, projects, and ensembles that fell more in line with the core disciplines of the school. The small groups eventually faded away into the stuff of legend.
Well, they’re back. With a vengeance. With a President-of-the-University mandate, and the sweaty wad of cash that comes along with it. Seems that somewhere along the line, the administration realized that summer small groups were one of the strongest recruiting tools around, and that it might be in the University’s interest to start funding them.
So, for the first time in about 5 years or so, two summer small groups will be out this year, canvasing the states, playing in churches and schools and camps.
I’m posting this here because a lot of the old APU gang that hangs out around here spent time in those vans, doing those concerts, and you brought back stories. We used to talk about things we would do differently if we were in charge of small groups, or things we wished that the booking agent, or the faculty adviser, knew about what it was like to be on the road.
Well, I’m on the flip-side now. I’m not in charge of the new small groups (as far as I know – I’m junior faculty, I don’t always know what I’m being volunteered for), but I am going to be involved in the process. And, I want to bring the experience of having been on the road in that van back to inform the way the new small groups are constructed.
So, help me out. Give me memories, regrets, ideas you had that you wish had been implemented, complaints, best-things-ever, worst-things-ever, what you would do if you had the keys to the kingdom, that sort of thing. This isn’t just limited to former small group members, by the way, or even just to APU-ites. If you have $.02 to throw in, throw it in! It would be great to hear from some people who are in church ministry, involved in booking artists or school groups, and to get your perspective on things you wish people knew.
Get your groupthink on!