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The mission of the ACDA is to inspire excellence in choral music through education, performance, composition, and advocacy.

Oasis Chorale

Category: Choirs with Religious Affiliation
Category: Chamber Choirs and Vocal Ensembles
Voicing: Mixed
Location: Pennsylvania, USA
Oasis Chorale is comprised of non-professional volunteers, from US and Canadian conservative Mennonite churches, singing sacred a capella music.
 
 

The mission of Oasis Chorale is to call its singers and its audiences to thoughtful worship of the true God through artistic choral music sung skillfully.

  • Like all high callings, thoughtful worship requires focus and effort. Certainly the call to worship is not exclusive to music, but permeates all areas of life. In the context of church music, however, the call to worship calls participants to give careful attention to both words and music. This can be learned and must be taught, and Oasis is committed to this process.
  • Worship cannot be divorced from a heart tuned to God. Oasis seeks participants eager for fully-orbed spiritual development.
  • Not all artistic music is rapidly attainable for all singers or accessible to all audiences. Artistic music usually requires training to be sung excellently and to be listened to with understanding and appreciation. Oasis intends to provide the necessary training to move singers and audiences forward one step in this process.
  • Experiencing beauty in music is powerful, sometimes leaving us more enamored of the music or the performer than with the author of beauty. Indeed, by design beauty evokes from us a response of delight. But the beauty of music is an expression of true beauty; God himself is the essence of true beauty. Thus the focus of Oasis is not merely on the expression of beauty, the music, but on the essence of beauty, Jesus Christ himself. The process of bringing the music to reflect (as closely as possible within time constraints) the beauty of God, is a lengthy process and requires a great deal of commitment. We maintain that musical excellence is not an end in itself, but is a lens through which we strive to see, understand, and relate to God.

Practical Implications

  • Our goals for our singers include:
    1. That they develop in vocal technique and in their understanding of how to sing choral music skillfully
    2. That they have an opportunity to interact with others of similar interests
    3. That they interact with ideas of music and the Kingdom
    4. That they learn better to understand and worship with choral music, and
    5. That they become better equipped musically to serve their home communities.
  • Our goals for our audiences include:
    1. That they see and participate in worship in the context of choral music, and
    2. That they be exposed to some of the issues surrounding the Kingdom/music/art.
  • Repertoire will include a variety of genres. Our intention is that part of our repertoire will be easily accessible to singers and audiences, and part of our repertoire will be stretching.
  • In rehearsal, there seems to be a natural progression from learning pitches and rhythms, to learning sensitive and accurate musical interpretation, to actually understanding a piece of music and how it relates to the rest of life. It is at this final stage that music most effectively functions as a lens through which to perceive God, and as a medium through which to praise Him. Completing this progression is time-consuming and intense, but we are committed to not aborting the process.