By: Hannah Stafford, Staff Writer

One of the foremost goals of Asbury is to reach the world with the message of Christ. This spring, March 4-6, the Concert Band and Jazz Band will be travelling to Muskegon, Mich. to do just that for their ministry tour. Recently, the band has been touring every other year, though further in the past, they toured every year.

“Last year we had a wonderful trip to Georgia planned,” said concert and jazz band director Dr. Flanigan, “and we unfortunately encountered a very snowy weekend here in Kentucky, so that one had to be cancelled. However, this year’s is currently ‘all systems go.’” The group also ran into trouble two years ago when they reached their destination, only to be snowed-in there.

The bands will be giving two separate services at Community United Methodist Church of North Muskegon. One will feature the jazz band and one will feature the concert band playing mostly sacred pieces. Even though it will be a lot of time on the road, many students are still very excited about what the weekend will hold. “I usually look forward to band trips because it’s an effective way of building community within the two groups,” said junior Fred Mbesi. “The Jazz Ensemble and Concert Band have two entirely different group dynamics, and I’m sure we will have a great time sharing our musical offerings to the Lord.”

Freshman Abby Irwin is looking forward to visiting the different churches. “I’m probably most excited for the chance to minister to these churches, but also to receive the word from them as well,” said Irwin. “It’s really cool, we are all going to bring what we can for the Lord’s glory. I can’t think of a better form of fellowship than bringing our best and sharing it to praise Him.”

The band plans to leave early on Friday morning, rehearse and then perform the rest of the weekend before returning to school.

Sophomore Andrea Wilson said, “I really am looking forward to hanging with the youth of the church. The band seemed to have a positive impact on them on their last visit there, and I hope to be a part of that this time.”

Dr. Flanigan summarized with, “These trips are an effective ministry. Oftentimes we can go into these churches and schools and minister to them, but it’s also an opportunity to build a strong corps among our band members and we tend to have a wonderful bonding experience on these weekends.”