As was mentioned before, this year's season was certainly different than we expected it would be. Rather than culminating in a tour, the ensemble finished our time together with two days of shooting video! I will detail the activities of those last two days together below.
After a very relaxed first five days, we met early Monday morning to carpool to our first location, St. Luke's Episcopal Church in Lebanon, PA. We were very grateful to be permitted to film at this wonderful location. What the casual observer may not know is that the sanctuary at this church does not have air conditioning, and while that wasn't enough to keep us away, it was enough to keep us quite warm as we shot video for four of our six upcoming music videos. "Take a minute to dab away the sweat" and "turn the fan this direction" were a few quotes that were heard numerous times. We spent about seven hours total at St. Lukes and enjoyed shooting video inside and out as well as breaking for some much needed lunch provided by the parents of one of our members. At 3:00 PM, we packed up and headed to our second location. Thanks again to the hosts at St. Lukes!
It should be mentioned that this music video endeavor was new to all of us on the ensemble, but thankfully not new to our awesome video team. Our director, Ryan Trenkamp with SkySail Productions, and two additional cameramen, Austin Schrock and Geryll Zehr made our time together efficient and exciting. The Laudate Committee asked these guys to help us shoot six music videos. Looking back, that seems like quite a project for a day and a half. It was probably a little ambitious, but the crew rose to the challenge and made every minute count. As an ensemble member, it was pretty cool to be in the middle of the action where you hear words like "camera's rolling" and "action on the music" and "cut." So, back into the chronology of the day. From St. Lukes, we headed to Hibernia County Park in Chester County, PA to set up for our evening of shooting more video. Already exhausted from the morning, some of us took advantage of the 1 hr drive and caught some sleep! Getting there at 4 o'clock, we avoided the most direct sunlight, but the heat was still pretty relentless. But, we were still doing something new and adventurous, and the heat couldn't keep us from enjoying it! The pictures below should shed some light on what our afternoon looked like. I'll confess that I'm not including all of the best pictures, because I would like to leave a little bit of room for imagination of what might be coming in our videos!
Monday evening, our fearless leader, Ken had to leave for home. Ken always brings so much life to each piece of music through stories, context, humor, and life-experience. We appreciate Ken's musical expertise and his ability to connect what we're singing to the human experience. The group said farewell to Ken with words of thanks and a late-evening rendition of "If I Can Help Somebody" before we headed back to our various places of lodging after a very long day.
Not to be outdone by Monday, Tuesday's start time was 7:00 on set at our third and final location. However, our early morning waking was not in vain because when we showed up, we found that Trina had made iced coffees for all to brighten our tired eyes. Between gulps of the hope-inspiring caffeinated beverage, we shot some video out in the wide open fields where holding our "eyeline" involved struggling not to squint in the morning sunshine and ignoring bugs on our faces or in our ears for a solid verse and chorus of the song we were working on. After spending an hour or so in the field, we returned to Hibernia County Park where we wrapped up the filming on a song or two that we had not gotten to the day before.
After lunch at Cliff and Trina's, we spent some time reflecting on the week and our experiences. Our theme of Healing felt relevant both in the broader world and even very-close home in our own brokenness. As an ensemble, we expressed thanks for God's healing that can come through relationships with each other, and most of all through Jesus. Ending our time together is always bittersweet, but most good things must come to an end. Not quite willing to end it right after lunch, about half the group made a stop at the newly opened Fireside Cafe before finally parting ways.
We are so thankful that our time together in 2020 was not completely hindered by Covid-19's challenges and restrictions. We are thankful that we could have a safe week together. And though cancelling the tour was not preferable, we definitely enjoyed doing the work on the music videos. Stay tuned to our Youtube channel for the release of the music videos that we filmed in these last two days. We pray that our work this year will bring forth fruit in our own lives as well as the lives of any who hear the music. The Lord Heals the Brokenhearted. It's a truth that we believe and that we want to share. Till 2021, "that's a wrap on everything."