A young member of the Three Angels Seventh-day Adventist Church in Owasso had a dream of assembling a symphony orchestra and presenting a Christmas concert for the community of Owasso. Seventeen-year-old Daniel Orellana proposed his idea to church leaders. He wanted to present majestic orchestral Christmas music to as many people as possible. The church thought that it was a good outreach idea and approved the project.
The church approved funds from the evangelism budget to purchase the music, start the marketing work, and rent the Mary Glass Performing Arts Center located in the Owasso High School, which has a seating capacity of 1,504 people. The plan was ambitious, but the church stepped out in faith to invite as many community members as possible.
Daniel went all over Tulsa recruiting musicians, including his contacts at Tulsa Community College where he is studying engineering and music. He, along with the youth from the church and some friends, went to businesses all over town posting ads calling for volunteer musicians for a Christmas Concert. The response was fast and bigger than he had ever dreamed! Several of those musicians invited others. Pastor Harvey Gil provided his contacts from the long-running Claremore Adventist Church “Festival of Lights.” In the end, 72 musicians answered the call. They came from all walks of life, and from across Oklahoma and five other states. Oklahoma Academy’s choir joined as well.
Daniel selected the music and led the rehearsals at the church. Other church members began the marketing campaign which included a website, Facebook advertising, posters, and postcards. The church also ordered 500 Born To Die books to give out during the event.
At the beginning of the concert, attendees were drawn to a couple of statements from the Desire of Ages. The concert proceeded with Daniel conducting the orchestra through eight sacred Christmas classic pieces that were majestically arranged. The first piece was “Joy to the World” arranged by Daniel himself.
Around 1,000 people attended the concert and 380 books were distributed. The testimonies from attendees and non-SDA musicians have been amazing! Daniel was even interviewed twice by one TV station in the lead-up to the concert. (See links below.) Plans are already being made to make this an Owasso tradition as the Three Angels Adventist Church continues to reach out to the community.
by :: Alfonso Orellana
picture cred :: James Bokovoy