Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Mokale Kaopeng rehearses Bawo

Originally uploaded by oamcsinger
Here's a short video clip of renowned South African conductor Mokale Kaopeng rehearsing Bawo Thixo Somandhla, along with a few other photos of Monday's rehearsal.

God’s Hand at Work, Appeal for Support of Africans

Tuesday, July 30, 2012

We’ve been here for only a few days, and we’ve already seen God’s hand at work guiding the development of this mission. 

We’ve had a wonderful two days meeting and rehearsing with our African brothers on Sunday and Monday.

Our first rehearsal with all the groups – men of Africa, Botswana, Romania, Lesotho and America – on Sunday was such a wonderful experience. The men sang with conviction and power. Lou said it was the best first-day rehearsal he’d ever heard: “It was inspired music.” How encouraging! Men of both choruses are well prepared.

After our first run-through of “The Midnight Cry,” one of the South African women cooks couldn’t contain herself and burst out with an exclamation and applause of joy! 

Surely the Spirit of the Lord was with us as we sang, shared and prayed together. 

We shared two meals, had opportunity to become acquainted with one another, to learn new names. Between 150 and 200 men must have been present.

We shared how the Lord had led to this mission, how doors had been opened, how blessings and God’s hand was already being seen in people’s lives because of this mission.

As we began our Tuesday morning rehearsal, Ngaka Tsagae of the Orlando West Male Chorale and the man who invited OAMC to South Africa, gave us a follow-up report to our visit on Sabbath at Moruleng church near Rustenburg. 

During the church service, about 12 people came forward to give their hearts to the Lord. He shared further that later the same day, two older women came to the pastor saying they had decided to give their lives to Christ because of the testimonies they had heard that morning from academy students Sterling Cornwell and Dallas Amen. Praise the Lord!

Renowned South African composer and conductor Mokale Koapeng led our Tuesday rehearsal of our South African repertoire and Beethoven’s “Hallelujah.” It was quite a treat to see his versatility in conducting these contrasting pieces.

On Wednesday we depart for Cape Town on the first leg of our tour. 

Appeal for Support

We’re often asked whether the South Africans will be traveling with us. Yes and no. A number of Africans will be traveling with us, but there’s also a number who have the time and availability, but do not have the funds. 

Already OAMC members here have donated enough from their spending money to sponsor four Africans at $700 each. However, a number of others do not have the means to join us on the tour.

Your continued partnership is urgently needed at this time. We know there are four number of Botswana singers who would join us if the funds were available. Many of them can pay part of their expenses. In addition to their personal funds, we need a minimum $2,800 to help fund their further participation. 

We need them. They add so much to the Arise O Man chorus. 

If the Holy Spirit is impressing you to make a gift, now is the time to act.

You may make your gift online at www.wallawalla.edu, click “Make a payment,” check Other and add “South Africa” in the text box. 

Thank you for your thoughtful and prayerful participation in this ministry. 

Pictures from Monday the 30th

Hello Everyone,

Here are some more great pictures from Rick Pummel from Monday the 30th. Just click the picture below to be taken to the Facebook album.

Monday, July 30, 2012

Sunday the 29th - First Practice

More pictures from Rick Pummel.

"Sunday was our first rehearsal together for the groups."

Pictures Here

Friday the 27th - Pics and Worship

Greetings Everyone,

Rick has been taking lots of pictures and sharing them via his Facebook pages. Here are some great pics of activities on Friday the 27th and worship on Friday evening.

"The Friday pictures document the planning team meeting where we all crammed into Connie's room, as well as the evening worship where we first rubbed shoulders with some of the South African men."

Pictures Here

Sunday, July 29, 2012

OAMC South Africa - 1st Sabbath

Hello Everyone,

Here are some great pictures Rick Pummel has shared on his Facebook page of OAMC's first Sabbath in South Africa.

1st Sabbath

OAMC members in South Africa visit game preserve

While out and about in South Africa the other day, OAMC members had an opportunity to visit
Pilanesberg Game Preserve. Rick Pummel is sharing his photos.

South Africa - 1st rehearsal with full group


A few photos of the first full day rehearsal with all the combined groups - OAMC, Orlando West, men from Botswana, and others.

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Arise O Man tour featured in radio interview

Received from Richard Crowley on Sabbath afternoon Pacific time.

On Friday, Mokale Koapeng, Lou WIldman and Connie Smith went to the 15th floor of the South Africa Broadcasting Company (SABC) to be interviewed by Kutlwano Masote on his nationwide program, “Sunday Choral”. They discussed the OAMC’s mission to South Africa and the “Arise O Man” concert tour around the country. Several selections of OAMC music will be played on the program, and the interview segment is expected to be around 15 minutes during the 1 hour show.
The program will be broadcast at noon on Sunday (South Africa time) and will be available streamed online at:
Choral Music Choral and Vocal Music Repertoire by Kutlwano Masote

Video: South Africans singing a welcome greeting

Hello Everyone,

Rick Pummel was fortunate enough to capture and share a small video with us of the moment of Group 1's arrival and the South African's singing Bawo Thixo Somandla to greet them.

Friday, July 27, 2012

Rick Pummel arrives in ZA and even provides us some of our first pics

Hello Everyone,

And the hits just keep on coming. Rick has some wonderful thoughts about the trip over and the amazing greeting Group1 received in ZA. Rick has also provided us with some amazing pictures via his Facebook page. "Picture link is at the bottom, you have to read his thoughts first. :-)"

On Tuesday, July 24, the first wave of OAMC members and staff, “Group 1,” left PDX bound for Johannesburg! Unfortunately, a group of 5 members flying in on a connecting flight from Boise had their flight canceled, causing them to miss their flight with Group 1. However, they were able to reschedule with the airline and head on to Joburg the following day, arriving Thursday evening, safe and sound!

Group 1’s route took them from PDX to Amsterdam and then on to Joburg, South Africa. Upon arrival in Amsterdam, the plane stopped a ways out from the terminal. After a while, the pilot announced that we were waiting for someone to bring stairs so we could get out, and then they would bus us to the terminal. That was OK, except that the pilot went on to say that they did not currently know where any stairs were, and they were trying to find some. After a very long while, a set of stairs showed up, and we were encouraged. More time passed, then the pilot asked us all to be patient because even though we had stairs, as it turns out, they were too short. Eventually, they figured out a way to raise the stairs, and we were able to get off. By the time we got off the plane, were shuttled to the terminal, gathered all of our group, and walked to the other side of the airport to get on our next plane, they were ready for us to immediately get in line for screening and boarding of our second flight. And, God is good, we made it, and they didn’t even have to wait for us!

Arriving in Johannesburg, all of us in Group 1 were thrilled to collect all of our luggage at baggage claim – all of us except for Virginia! As it turned out in the end, the airline delivered her bag a day later. What happened was that someone had taken her bag by mistake and left their own. One fears this sort of thing if your bag is one of those black, very generic looking suitcases. However, Virginia’s is hot pink! I can just imagine what the person was thinking when they picked up Virginia’s bag by accident: “Look, there is a bright pink bag! Of course, nobody else in the world has such a beautifully pink bag as I do!”  Who would have thought that having such a unique suitcase would actually cause more confusion than having just another clone!

As Group 1 entered the lobby of the Johannesburg airport at around 10 PM on Wednesday night, wearily looking for the ride to our lodging, our ears were greeted with recognition even before our eyes were. Music spontaneously filled the airport lobby as “Bawo Thixo Somandla” rang out, sung by 20+ members of the South African mens chorus who call themselves “Rise O Man.” Lou, Connie and others were among them, and we instantly felt like we were being greeted by family, even though we had never even met most of them before. Hugs ensued, names were exchanged, pictures were taken, and for a while, time was forgotten. We eventually pulled ourselves apart to go get some much needed rest. And so it begins . . .

Rick Pummel

Louise Craig arrives in ZA and coments about the first rehearsal

Hello everyone,

Here are some great thoughts from Louise regarding her experience so far and even some comments on how the first rehearsal went.

25 July 2012

Lou, Connie and Louise rehearsed with the Arise, O Man chorus at the Orlando West SDA Church in Soweto. Like their American counterparts, they were struggling to learn the Hallelujah Chorus. Connie was struggling to play the accompaniment. It’s a challenging piece to play in the best of circumstances but the piano was not only out of tune, several of the keys were sticking.

Rehearsal broke up around 8:45, followed by prayer. Then we hightailed out of the parking lot on our way to the airport to greet Group 1. Fortunately (unfortunately if you’re Virginia Oliver), one of Virginia’s suitcases didn’t show up – or was picked up by someone else as there was a suitcase of similar color left on the carousel. That made them very late entering the terminal.

On our way to the airport, we came upon a very serious accident. Several cars were involved, one of them very badly smashed. We said a quick prayer for those involved and worked our way through the traffic. Because of the luggage issue, we were able to make it into the arrival terminal before they came through.

A group of singers from the African chorus were on hand, standing apart from us so they wouldn’t be readily identified as belonging to us. Once all of the Americans were through the gate, the African chorus burst into Bawo Thixo Somandla, with all the gusto and passion of those who really understand what the song is about.

The arrival terminal is open vertically to a couple of stories. People were lining the railings on the floors above us, some of the locals joining in.

Judging by the smiles on the American faces, it was a joyous reception.

The wonderful thing about being part of the worldwide Adventist family is just that – a family was clearly welcoming and being welcomed.

Another group arrives tonight, but their reception will be much more subdued. The African group is hosting a fundraising event tonight so the singers will be occupied. Wish those coming tonight could have experienced those amazing moments.

At this moment, a busload of jet-lagged Americans is experiencing a tour of Soweto, the birthplace of the antiapartheid movement in Africa. The Orlando West church is just a couple of blocks from the heart of the events that changed a nation. This country’s recent tumultuous history surrounds the area and deeply affects those singing with us.

Black and white people talking, hugging, working and ultimately singing together is the face of hope and change in South Africa. We can hardly wait for our first joint worship Friday evening.
Louise Craig

Richard Crowley arrives in ZA

Hello Everyone,

There is lots of exciting material coming in from South Africa (ZA) right now so there will be a number of blog posts going up. This first one is from Richard Crowley and his experience of the trip and arrival in ZA.

Thursday morning, Randburg (Johannesburg suburb), South Africa
Group 1 met at the Sunnyside church to collect our baggage and ourselves in preparation for the long journey to South Africa. Alas, because the President was in town, the group of guys from Idaho (Gem State Academy) were delayed and not able to arrive in time to join us. But they were re-scheduled on a later flight. (Editor's Note: delayed do to mechanical problems not the Pres.)

The PAA bus took us and our luggage to PDX where we made it through all the check-in, TSA screening, etc. and relaxed for a while at gate D11 for the first leg to Amsterdam.  The flight was long but bearable. Many of our were seated together and enjoyed getting to know each other better during the flight. We arrived in Amsterdam a bit early, but were significantly delayed while we waited for them to find stairs tall enough to reach our aircraft door. The one they finally found was only 6 inches too short.

After the delay getting off the plane we had just enough time to walk across the large Amsterdam airport to get to our departure gate for the leg to Jo’berg. Another even longer flight due south down the length of the African continent and we finally arrived at O.R.Tambo International Airport, again a bit early due to tailwinds. And again we were delayed for a while, this time by a problem with luggage (somebody else picked up one of our bags and left us theirs). But then we exited the international arrivals area and were greeted by an enthusiastic group of our African brother singers welcoming us to their country.

A long bus ride across Johannesburg late at night took us to the very nice Apollo Hotel in the Randburg suburb north of the city where we checked in and finally got horizontal for the first time in ~24 hours.  Fortunately, the exhaustion helped us start adjusting to the 9 hour difference in time zone. On Thursday morning, we had a great breakfast in the hotel. We had warned them that a large contingent of vegetarians/vegans were coming and they did a great job accommodating us, even proving a good supply of vege-sausage along with all the other tasty breakfast items.

We are planning on leaving the hotel around noon for a sight-seeing trip out to Soweto and then we may be singing this evening for a fund-raiser program to help more of our African brothers join us on the journey singing around their country.  

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Camp Meeting 2012 Rehearsal Pictures

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Camp Meeting 2012, a set on Flickr.

Here are some additional pictures from the evening rehearsal including a couple of shots of the King's Heralds warming up with us.

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Rehearsing for evening program

We've taken the stage for our rehearsal for a run-through with the orchestra. If you can't be with us, you can see tonight's program via live video streaming at 7 pm at http://www.oregonconference.org/

Arise, O Man!

One of OAMC's anthems is a familiar hymn, "Rise Up, O Men of God," a call to which the men of OAMC have chosen to respond. 

The theme of the mission in South Africa has been named "Arise, O Man." 

So far some of the festival concert dates we know are:

  • Cape Town, ArtsCape, August 4 
  • Grahamstown, Guy Butler Theatre, August 7 
  • Durban, University of Durban-Westville, August 9
  • Johannesburg, WITS Great Hall, Witts University, August 11 

Be sure to follow us on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/oamchorus

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Members & families fellowship

Originally uploaded by oamcsinger
After our rehearsal on July 14, many members and their family members enjoyed the potluck picnic on the lawn of Sunnyside SDA Church.

In addition to an African tune or two, we rehearsed a couple of pieces we anticipate singing with the King's Heralds.

Be sure to join us for the Sabbath evening meeting on July 21 at the Gladstone camp meeting.