By Camille Mattish
Another year of GSACS competition has come and gone for the high school and junior high students of Calvary Christian School. February 28 and March 1 of 2019 were two very full days for the students as they competed against other students from different Christian schools across the state of California down in Santa Maria, California, where the competition is held.
This year, the students arrived around lunch time and got a quick bite to eat before the competition began. Those who had art entries, both in photography and drawings, turned their works in to the judges before getting their meal. Our photographic entries were Daniel Brittain and Allyson Butler in Landscape & Architecture and People & Animal, and Camille Mattish in Still Life. Julie Lomeli entered a monochromatic drawing for her piece of art.
After lunch was finished, the competition officially began with the mass choir’s first practice. It is a new tradition that has been started in recent where all the schools join together to learn two choir pieces that will then be performed during the awards ceremony. Immediately after choir practice, the general assembly was held and the competition was off.
The first day was full of musical events and chess competitions. Calvary entered a total of four vocal groups: junior high small ensemble, high school small ensemble,
high school large ensemble, and high school choral group. The first group to perform was the junior high small ensemble singing “Singing I Go,” followed by the high school small ensemble singing “Amazing Grace.” The high school large ensemble was next singing “Nine Hundred Miles,” and the choral group sang last Choral groups are required to perform two pieces, so we sang “The Water Is Wide” and “Who Is the Lamb.”
The Butlers entered a variety of instrumental pieces to fill out the rest of the musical categories: Allyson Butler, clarinet solo; Owynn Butler, oboe solo, Timothy Butler,
classical piano solo; Allyson Butler, sacred piano solo; Melynda Butler, sacred piano solo; Owynn Butler classical piano solo; Melynda and Ownyy Butler, classical piano duet; and Allyson Butler and Timothy Butler, classical piano duet.
All the groups did very well, but competition was steep. The large ensemble and the choral group both won third place in their categories. Owyn Butler took second for his oboe, Allyson took first for clarinet, Melynda took third for sacred piano solo, and both Butler duets took first.
Besides music, chess tournaments were held on the first day. Kayla Deshong, Daniel Brittain, and Mark Flakes competed in chess as well. Sadly, none of the art or photography pieces placed, nor did anyone in chess. Within the academic testing Zachary Snow placed in in both World History/Geography and Political Science/Economics.
The second day shifts gears and focuses on speech and spelling bee. We had three speech entrant this year. Rebecca Zeigler performed her dramatic interpretation “Question of Duty.” Camille Mattish gave her religious reading, “The Touch of God.” William Halbritter performed his declamation, “Tear Down This Wall.” Rebecca won third place in her dramatic interpretation, and Camille won first place in her religious reading. Every time the speeches were performed they got better.
Competition is really beneficial to students. All the students look forward to the opportunity to perform and compete in different categories against other schools. Having a competition each year gives some variety to different learning skills. The students are able to practice art, speaking, musical, and brain skills and see what they can improve after performing and applying these skills in the competition. The judges often give good advice to the kids on what they can improve upon. A verse that the students should keep in mind when preparing for competition is 1 Corinthians 10:31, “Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God.” When competing, the students should always remember that God wants us to do so for His glory.