Members of the group that attended Sounds Like love include, front l to r, Chasitie Danburg, Kristi Steptoe, Danica Fanning, Macee Fanning, Chelcie Speirs Row 2: Samantha Schilling, Kirstyn Fiala, John Jacobson, director, Brianne Bertsch, Jardy Wasmoen, Cassandra Coss. Row 3: Brooke Fawcett, Ashley Aymar, Marissa Woodring, Megan Fiala, Shae Knox, Tia Pawlowski, Lexy Gimbel, Christina Koeck. Back row, Danae Duxbury, Jeremy Coss, Ben Knippling, Nick Ortmeier, Michael Manning, Clayton Keck, Olivia Knippling and Kari Simons, leader.
The annual Sounds Like Love Music Festival was held November 9-11 at St. Andrew’s Church in Mahtomedi, Minn. Heaven Bound, the 25 area high school youth from a variety of local churches, hopped on a bus and traveled to the event.
The three-day festival brings together approximately 350 youth in grades 9-12 from a six-state region. The youth participate in Bible study, music theater and learn choreography with white gloves and flashlights to the eight songs that are rehearsed before attending the festival weekend. On the final day of the festival the youth participate in two morning worship services and then present two concerts in the afternoon.
The festival is in its 30th year under the direction of guest clinician, John Jacobson. Jacobson is well known for his work with Walt Disney World productions along with the Macy’s Day Parade and the Ronald Reagan inauguration. He is also featured in a Sprint commercial and has appeared on the Ellen DeGeneres Show. He travels the nation conducting seminars for students and music educators.
The festival is hosted by Youth Encounter, a Lutheran-based organization, but the groups of youth attending include many different denominations of the Christian faith. The goal of the festival is to expose today’s young people to a variety of contemporary Christian music and allow them to grow in their relationship with Christ and one another through group discussions and song and dance. This year’s theme centered on Jeremiah 29:11, which declares that God has a plan for each of us. The host church has volunteer families who house the youth for the weekend.
The Miller-Redfield group has six seniors this year. Brianne Bertsch, Cassandra Coss, Danica Fanning, Kirstyn Fiala, Samantha Schilling and Jardy Wasmoen all agree that it is an amazing experience. “It is so much fun to sing and dance with hundreds of kids. It is such an inspiring weekend of strengthening our faith and seeing just how awesome God really is. Each of us is a unique individual and is just what God wants,” said one participant.
The local participants will present a musical performance Wednesday evening, Nov. 28 at 7 p.m. at the United Methodist Church in Miller. The concert is open to the public and every one of all ages is encouraged to attend. There will be a time for fellowship following the concert.