Music Festival 2023
“Magnify the Lord!” The voices of more than 200 students rang clear and loud at the Oklahoma music festival on February 5. What an incredible and inspiring night it was! Under the direction of Erwin Nanasi, and with organizers Adam Littell and Carol Thomas in charge, seven schools from around the state gathered at Adventist Fellowship Church in Tulsa for a wonderful evening of praise and worship. This was the first music festival since the 2019 pandemic and there wasn’t an empty seat in the house!
The festival began with a welcome from Elder James Shires, President of the Oklahoma Conference, and a prayer by Adam Littell, Director of Education for the Conference. Annette Park and Caroline Fisher were the heroes of the stage, with Annette managing the logistical side of the production and Caroline accompanying the students on the piano. The schools that participated were Parkview Adventist Academy, Tulsa Adventist Academy, Ardmore Adventist Academy, Bristow Adventist School, Claremore Heritage Adventist School, Pioneer Adventist Christian School, and Muskogee SDA Christian School.
Pastor Nanasi said he “was privileged to conduct the mass choir during the music festival this year! Just to think that the kids are the leaders of tomorrow filled me with joy and awe. The spirit of unity among our conference leadership, teachers, parents, and kids was palpable. God is so awesome! HALLELUJAH!”
The students were truly remarkable to witness at the concert. Each school performed individual pieces ranging from traditional hymns to the Judaic “Shalom Chaverim” before the students assembled for mass choirs. Malachi Speidel from Ardmore directed the Second Advent Medley, a mashup he crafted himself, while Kurt Paden, a student from Muskogee, accompanied his fellow students on the guitar. It was awe-inspiring to see these students take charge of a project and make it their own. The teachers of the Oklahoma Conference deserve immense praise for encouraging their students to explore their creativity through music and for recognizing and nurturing their potential. It takes a special kind of teacher to do this, and the support and encouragement they provide is invaluable and a testament to the power of Christ-centered Education.
Attendee Norma Shepherd remarked that “This was one of the best all-school concerts I’ve been to, and I believe it’s the excitement and direction that Pastor Nanasi brings to the table. He is so full of life and love for music that it spreads to the kids!”
The highlight of the night was when all seven schools joined together to perform the last few songs of the evening, including “Wayfaring Stranger,” “All That I Am,” and “Magnify the Lord.” As the music filled the air and the students’ voices rose in harmony, it was as if the angels in heaven were singing along in unified worship!
Adam Littell added, “This year's Music Festival was a wonderful experience of socializing and praising God through music! Thank you to Pastor Erwin Nanasi for his leadership in getting the large choirs together so quickly. This program is only possible due to the tireless efforts of our dedicated team of teachers both at their school to practice the pieces and at Adventist Fellowship to supervise their students all day. It took a team to make this program happen and we have an amazing team!”
It was an incredible and inspiring evening. The music was uplifting and the camaraderie among the students was truly remarkable. This event will be remembered for years to come.
by :: Ashley Alipoon
photos by :: Romel Fabriga & Bailley Schmidt
About the Photographers
Romel Fabriga, a talented photographer based in Bristow, Oklahoma, knows how to bring your memories to life! With his passion for portraiture and special event coverage, make a great team. Romel and his wife Audrey, a teacher at TAA, have two wonderful kids who enjoy visiting local parks as often as weather permits. Romel has a knack for capturing beautiful moments that will last a lifetime. See what Romel can do for you and your family’s memories by visiting his portfolio.
Bailley Schmidt is an Ardmore, Oklahoma-based jack-of-all-trades, juggling his roles as pastor, husband, and photographer with ease. He's an outdoor enthusiast, runner, and family man who somehow finds time to capture the beauty of life with his lens. His eye for detail ensures that each photo is a masterpiece.
We are grateful for our volunteer photographers and the time they spend capturing and editing photos of our events. Thank you, Romel and Bailley!