Do you remember the television series The A-Team? The show was an action-adventure series starring George Peppard as John “Hannibal” Smith. This is the show that also boosted the fame of “Mr T” during the 1980’s.
There was a line that Hannibal used often in the series, do you remember it? “I love it when a plan comes together.” That line is so appropriate for what I experienced this past Saturday night at the S.E. Belcher Jr. Chapel and Performance Center at LeTourneau University in Longview.
The event was the Longview Symphony Orchestra Concert Series presenting “Freedom Rings A Celebration of America.” The concert also featured the choirs of East Texas Baptist University and Wiley College.
The guest conductor was ETBU’s Dean of the School of Fine Arts Dr. Thomas R. Webster with special guests Dr. Justin Hodges, ETBU Director of Choral Activities and Wiley College Choir Director Professor Stephen L. Hayes.
The first part of the program featured the symphony as they played American Salute, Hymn to the Fallen, Fanfare for the Common Man, Variations on America and Stars and Stripes Forever. Following an intermission, the choirs joined the performance. The second half of the program included Overture to Candide, Dry Your Tears, A`frika, Shout for Joy and America the Beautiful.
The ETBU choir program invited all alumni to sing in the performance as well as they held a reunion event before the performance. I saw and said hello to former Miss ETBU Kelly Mills (2007), Rachel “Farley” Massey, Amanda “Bean” Thompson and Ashley “Bean” Sterrett, all past members of the ETBU Choir.
The evening of music and song was wonderful. I personally enjoyed before the concert the acappella performances of both choirs in the foyer of The Belcher Center. The choirs were up on the walkways of the second and third floors singing to those below in the foyer. The voices were sweetness to the ears below.
After the performance I was on stage and witnessed Dr. Webster, Dr. Hodges and Professor Hayes celebrate together. Dr. Webster told his two colleagues, “Thank you for your hard work, I could not have done this without you.”
What a great showing of team work between the Longview Symphony League and Orchestra, East Texas Baptist University, Wiley College and the staff of The Belcher Center to provide the East Texas community with an event that was encouraging and inspiring.
“I love it when a plan comes together.”
(The column was published in the Marshall News Messenger. Mike Midkiff is the Director of Public Relations at ETBU)