Newspaper Archive of
Arkansas Catholic
Litlte Rock, Arkansas
September 4, 1999     Arkansas Catholic
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September 4, 1999

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Samuel McFall (this page, top right) and Eleanor Pearl (left) practice for the Music Academy's perform- ance at Mass. Blind-folded Stacy Hicks (above) tries to catch Rebecca and Robert Campbell during recre- ation time. The students (below) created visual arts each day during a craft period. Director Richard Campbell (bottom center} emphasizes the athleticism of vocal music by getting the students to stretch before practice. During the instrumental music ses- sion, Campbell (left page, bottom center}, helps Dylan Lingo create music on the drums. Students (bottom left) learn a litur- gical dance to "Wading in the Water." Karen Boyd (middle left) creates her own song on the xylo- phone. Samuel McFall and Daniel Harrison (top left) learn to play the hand chimes by looking for their color-coded notes. Campbell (center) directs the class in playing their four-measure song. gical dancing. Campbell's wife Kerry is the hand bell choir director at the parish and patiently practices a simple song, "Come to Praise," with several of the students. The students each hold one or two hand chimes, which give a similar sound to hand bells but are indestructible. "You can never break them," said RichardThomas Campbell, a fourth grader and son of the director. Allison Osweiler adds, "I like that I get to play two bells." In the parish gym, other students are learning a liturgical dance to "Wading in the Water." Fourth grade Stacy Hicks said her favorite parts of the week are when she gets to sing and dance. "And having fun with my friends," she said. "What I've discovered is that there are a lot of people who are not comfortable par- ticipadng musically or artisti- cally, let alone leading music. The only way to fix it is to start." --- ~ ~. mmlc dlrecto at St. Jose~ Padsh in Pine Bluff In the music room, Richard Campbell is directing a cacophony of sounds from a wood block, drums, chimes, cymbal and xylophone. While the students would like to bang away at their instru- ments, Campbell is able to lead them into writing a song while learning exactly what is a note, repeat, melody and meas- ure. Without them even knowing, the stu- dents create their own four-measure song. "All you need is 150 measures and you could go on the road," Campbell tells the students. Campbell came to St. Joseph Church in 1994. He was a Presbyterian who got his master's degree in choral conducting from a Methodist seminary and was look- ing for a job in a Catholic church. "I kept looking for a religion where they have a high appreciation for liturgy and the sacraments," he said. He converted to Catholicism a couple of years ago. Campbell said he hopes the academy will encourage the children to grow up singing in the Church. "I'm trying to do some music educa- tion in the Church," he said. "We haven't done any in the Church in 40 years." Campbell said he is hoping more parishes will emphasize arts in the Church, especially music. 'q'he Church was the center of educa- tion. It kept the light burning in the Dark Ages," he said. "What I've discovered is that there are a lot of people who are not comfortable participating musically or artistically, let alone leading music. The only way to fix it is to start."