by Adam Christianson
Hundreds students and their families traveled to Concordia from Lutheran schools in Nebraska, Kansas, Missouri, Iowa and South Dakota to participate in the Gathering of the Talents this weekend. Kindergarteners through eighth graders presented their singing, instrumental, dance, drama and artistic skills for judges and received scores for ribbons for their efforts.
The name of the event—Gathering of the Talents—is a reference to the parable of the talents in the Gospel of Luke in which a servant uses and multiplies the talents his master gave him. When his master returns, he is pleased with the servant who used his talents well.
The connection carries over as this events celebrates and showcases young students using the talents they have been blessed with to glorify God.
Some students and groups who performed spent months preparing for their shows.
“They each put in about 20 hours of practice for every piece [of music] they performed,” Patrick Beach from Overland Park, Kansas, said of his two sons, Samuel and Lucas. Beach and his family belong to Bethany Lutheran Church in Overland Park that registered to attend the event this year.
“They were a little nervous at first, but once they got up on stage and played, they were very happy and excited to be a part of it,” he said.
Along with having the opportunity to perform in front of an audience and be judged on their performances, Beach said his kids were excited to experience the travel aspect of the event. They got to stay in a hotel and go swimming with their friends. Samuel and Lucas both received blue ribbons for their musical pieces signifying a superior accomplishment.
Fifth graders Micah and Katelyn from Atchison, Kansas, received a blue ribbon for their school choir’s performances of “Love One Another” and “Sing to the Lord.”
Katelyn said she “very much enjoyed” the event. Katelyn’s mother was pleased with the turnout and the atmosphere of the event.
Many students participated in more than one area of showmanship. In addition to performing with the choir, Micah and Katelyn both submitted artwork for judging as well.
Along with the performances and submissions by students, there was also an opportunity to sign up for an art workshop led by Concordia students. In this workshop, kids were minimally instructed on basic sculpture and painting principles. Since there was little time to provide instruction, the teachers supplied materials and just let the kids make whatever art their imaginations could come up with.
Emma Stump, a sixth grader from Hampton Lutheran School in Hampton, Nebraska, thought it was good to just sit down in the art workshop and do something different after her earlier events. Emma had performed a piano solo and a skit with two of her classmates that morning. After practicing since late January, Emma’s efforts paid off with a blue ribbon for her showmanship.
“(Gathering of the Talents) was fun, and I’ll miss it next year since this is my last year being able to come,” Emma said, engrossed with painting.