The summer travel season is upon us! Like many of you, our Trinity staff also enjoys time away to refresh and refuel. It can also be an opportunity for growth in their call to ministry. Pastor Steve Lindsley heads to Purdue University in Indiana for this summer’s Triennium Youth Conference, July 13-21. He’ll be leading a band called, “The Nettletons,” to help with worship during the conference. Trinity’s Music Director Chris Gilliam is also enjoying summer travel time. He’s attending the Oregon Bach Festival (OBF), in Eugene from June 25-July 14. We asked Steve to do a little Q&A about the trip: What do you hope to learn and enjoy from your time away? For the past four years I’ve been grateful, with Trinity’s support, to devote a week or two each summer to service to the greater denomination through youth conference music leadership. This summer is a special one – traveling with four colleagues in ministry and amazing gifted musicians … This conference takes place every three years (thus the name) and draws 6000 Presbyterian youth from all over the country and the world. Is there a part of it that ties back into your role here? It’s an extension of my work in ministry; a muscle I don’t get to exercise regularly here. For me, it’s refreshing and renewing. Tell us something fun or unusual you expect will be part of the trip. This band was assembled two years ago, even though none of us live in the same city! We are spread out between three states. This, of course, has made practice quite tricky. We got together last November at the Calder’s lake house for a night (thanks, Jim and Ruth Ann!) and got together for another night in early June in our Youth Center. We’ve done a lot of emailing and video conferencing to plan things out. The good news is we’ll have ample time in Indiana to fine-tune our 20-song set. But it’s been a unique challenge forming a band this way! Here’s some of our Q&A with Chris: What do you hope to learn and enjoy from your time away? During the year I direct 8 choirs—that’s about 300 choristers and a LOT of rehearsing and performing from August to May. By the end of May, as you can imagine, I am low on energy, enthusiasm, inspiration, and ideas. It is vital for me to have down time in the summer as well as time that I can spend with colleagues and mentors who give me fresh perspective and help restore and empower me for another year. OBF is like a “choir camp” for professionals, and I enjoy the opportunity to hear other singers and talk with other choral professionals about what they’re doing in their colleges, churches, and professional ensembles. As one singer in small group of 36, I’ll have the opportunity at OBF to work with internationally renowned conductors Jane Glover, John Butt, and John Nelson. It’s not every day a musician gets an opportunity to work with such revered talent. We will be performing Mozart’s Requiem, CPE Bach’s Magnificat, Bach Cantatas 74 & 226, and Berlioz’s Romeo and Juliette. I consider myself very blessed to have this opportunity. Is there a part of it that ties back into your role here? Yes, absolutely. Many of my colleagues are professional church musicians, and they lead some of the finest church music programs in the country. At OBF I use the time to glean all I can from them as well as share what I am doing here at Trinity. Any new ideas and inspiration I nurture at OBF ultimately benefits the Trinity congregation in ways they’re probably never aware of. Inspiration doesn’t thrive in a vacuum, so my “getting out there” and rubbing shoulders with folks who are very successful at what they do benefits every aspect of my work and every aspect of Trinity’s music ministry. Tell us something fun or unusual you expect will be part of the trip. Last summer I spent a day exploring the Oregon coast with fellow choristers and I fell in love with the beauty of the Pacific Northwest. This year I hope to drive up to Portland and Seattle following the wrap up of the OBF season to get to know more about that area and “re-create” myself a bit.