Collegedale Trip – Part 2

We spent a few hours resting and practicing. The concert at Collegedale Community Church (CCC) was scheduled for 7:30 pm. So we arrived at the church around 6PM to setup the sound. My first impression was “what a beautiful church!” The church sits on a hill surrounded by trees, which makes it a little hidden from view. It’s like we had to peek around the trees to find a beautiful hidden gift.

 Collegedale Community Church

Collegedale Community Church

We were excited that we would be singing with our sound system and took our time setting the speakers up into the best position to reach the audience from all sitting angles. The sanctuary is designed in a semi-circle, with a balcony and tall ceilings. The acoustics were great and there was no need for artificial reverbs, since the natural church architecture would provide a natural reverberation to the sound. The reverb gives a great ambiance to the harmony of the group making it richer and more pleasant to the ears.

We took 40 minutes to setup the sound and get ready to start checking the microphones and monitors. It seems like a long time to set up but we were using all of our speakers and that requires more cables and tape and time. We can usually setup the sound system a lot quicker when it’s the abbreviated version.

Once the microphones and monitors were checked, we noticed that church members were already taking their seats and getting ready for the concert. Among them was a friend of mine from High School (in Brazil) that lives in the area. He sings in a male vocal group and they practice in that church. When he saw me in one of the posters around the church he stopped by to watch the concert. It is always good to see an old friend around especially from your native country. Haziel and David also had some friends and family arriving to watch the concert. After visiting with my friend a while, I realized that the sequence of songs was not done yet so I quickly started to write it down.

CCC Collegedale

Collegedale Community Church

I checked with Dave if he had some of the previous sequences we sang in other churches but he was not able to find any concert list where we would sing all songs of the Record. If I had my computer I would find something quickly but that was not the case. I had to come up with a song list from scratch and quick.

As I mentioned in the first part of the blog the acoustics and audience preference plays an important part on selecting the songs. That was not the case here as we would be singing all the songs we recorded in the “His Peace is Mine” album. Since that is what we were invited to do, we assumed the audience enjoy the style of all of our songs. The key factor in deciding the sequence was how to tell a story and finish with a special message at the end.

I like to split the concert into two sections. The concert length is importante to capture and focus the audience’s attention to a message without the perception of time dragging on. I don’t like concerts that lasts more than 75 minutes. For me, the ideal concert length is 45 minutes. It allows enough time to deliver a concise musical message while also leaving the audience wanting more. So I planned to start with “What a Name” and close the first part with “Fire From Above.” We then started the second part with “Completely Faithful” and ended with “The Time Has Come”.

At the end of the concert Haziel called up a friend of his to play a worship hymn on the piano so we could sing with the congregation. She came from a Tennessee town 3 hours away to watch our concert and was put to work. What a great pianist! I wish she lived in Orlando and played for us!

Collegedale Community Church


We sing with soundtracks because we have not found quality musicians that are available to accompany us on our many performances. Also the soundtracks don’t require coordinating practice time with an extra player. Coordinating 4 schedules is hard enough! However I would love to have a great pianist playing for us at least in some concerts.

After the hymn we greeted the church members at the church lobby and we felt God’s blessings when they were all saying how much they enjoyed the message we presented and how blessed they were. That is why we do this ministry. To bless others with a message of salvation from Jesus Christ and to take His good news to those that don’t know him and are in need of him. That’s why we drove from Florida to Tennessee as humble servants of the Lord to sing his praises. We are the ones that receive the richest blessings!

We then removed all of the equipment we assembled earlier and loaded them into David’s truck. Tear down was much quicker than set up. We decided to grab something to eat to recharge and refresh. The following morning Haziel and I drove back to Orlando and arrived in time to relax and rest for the week of work ahead of us. Frank also headed to Orlando in his car. David stayed one more week to teach at the college.

What a blessed weekend!

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Collegedale Trip – Part 1

My name is Eddy Alvarenga and I would like to share the experiences we have as a group when we travel and during performances. This will give you a behind the scenes tour into the group’s perspective and what we do before we have a concert or a performance. If you sing in a vocal group, band, or if you perform solos at events, you may find some commonalities or may learn something new. I have had many trips and concerts in my life and always appreciate stories from other musicians.

Calvary’s Light traveled to Collegedale, Tennessee on the weekend of June 8. Collegedale is near Chattanooga, TN. We left Orlando at 6:00 AM and fully expected to make most of the drive in the rain, since Tropical Storm Andrea decided to travel with us. Yet, thankfully, the storm moved away overnight and there was no rain. That was a relief.

Haziel and I were the only ones driving up since David and his family were already in Tennessee (David teaches summer classes at Southern Adventist University). Frank was supposed to be there on vacation, but we later learned his vacation plans were postponed. So he drove up on his own.

Traffic was light and we were moving fast. We passed Atlanta at noon, so made a detour to Scottsborrough, Alabama. Why did we detour? I had always wanted to check out the Unclaimmed Baggage Center store where all lost luggage are shipped after nobody claims them with their airlines. We made our way there via back roads and that is where we faced some bad weather. That slowed us down a bit. When we arrived in Scottsborrough, we found a big thrift store with lots of clothes, electronics, luggage, etc. We spent 45 minutes looking around but ended up not buying anything.


 Unclaimed Baggage Center
Unclaimed Baggage Center – Scottsborrough, AL

We arrived in Chattanooga around 5:30 PM–right in the middle of rush hour, so it delayed our arrival at the hotel. We stopped at Macaroni Grill for dinner and headed to the hotel for an early night. We wanted to rest for the busy day ahead.

We arrived at the Southern Adventist University campus at 9AM on Saturday and watched the first sermon of the day. By coincidence Pastor Ken Norton was the preacher. Pr. Ken was the Apoka SDA church pastor (where David and Frank are members) when we recorded our first Album and came to see us in the studio a couple of times while we were recording.

I believe worship music should complement the message being presented. I hoped to find a song from our repertoire to match the theme of Pr. Ken’s sermon but realized we didn’t have anything specific to the topic of outreach and Bible studies. I decided to choose between “What a Name” or “Heaven is Here” as they are both centered on Jesus. The music would not take away from the sermon and would remind people of Who the focus of any outreach and Bible study should be. I was finally impressed to use “What a Name.”


Collegedale Adventist Church
Collegedale SDA Church

We were scheduled to perform in two churches that morning. Both churches are part of the university’s campus. Due to large membership and attendance, the Collegedale Seventh-day Adventist Church splits their services into two buildings: three in the main Sanctuary (Adoration at 9AM and 10:15AM, and Renewal at 11:35) and one in the Collegedale Academy Auditorium beside the church (Connect, also at 11:35).

David arrived at 10:30 and we went to check the Academy. The service there is a contemporary service so I had prepared four songs to choose from. A few things I consider when picking out songs besides message theme include audience preference (traditional versus contemporary, etc), set up time, acoustics, and if we are singing cold (no sound check) or hot (microphones and monitors checked). We chose to start with “Completely Faithful” since it is our most upbeat song and would match the service style. Also we could sing it cold and adjust it throughout. It starts in unison which allows for an easy adjustment. Due to the auditorium acoustics, we settled on “Fire From Above” as the second song.

I always prefer using our sound system since we are used to the microphone levels and in-ear monitors but that was not possible because we would be singing in two venues back to back. We want to give the best experience to the listener and when we feel comfortable with the sound we connect better with song and the audience.

Sound check started and Frank had not arrived yet. When Frank arrived, and we had 4 part harmony, the sound got better (missing the lead singer’s voice is not pleasant for any ears). We finished sound check and went back to the Sanctuary as we were told we could do a sound check in between the Adoration and Renewal service. It turned out that we would not be able to adjust the microphones volume and check the monitor in time to the start of the service.


Collegedale ConnectConnect
Collegedale Academy Auditorium – Connect Service

Back at the Auditorium, we performed two songs, “Completely Faithful” and “Fire from Above.” We had difficulty hearing the bass through part of the first song, as David’s microphone was not working. But when performances are live, things are bound to happen. One of the reasons we like to use our own sound equipment is because we have a little more control over these unpredictable occurrences. Half way through the song, the microphone decided to join us so we could finally hear David’s voice. On the second, song all went well. A few members came to greet us after we left the stage. After a short visit, we headed to our second performance of the morning.

We arrived at the main church in the middle of the sermon of the third service. Pr. Ken called us up on stage at the end of the sermon and we performed “What a Name.” The view from the stage was beautiful and it was great to sing to a church full of people. What a beautiful sanctuary! The Pipe organ is historical and amazing! The performance was transmitted live on the local radio station and the internet. We hope we can get the video feed and post on our website so everyone can see it.

After the service, we were greeted by many people that enjoyed the songs and the message. Many promised to attend our afternoon concert. We then headed to lunch to refuel for the afternoon.

Southern Adventist Church

Collegedale SDA Church
Collegedale SDA Church Sanctuary – Adoration Service at 9AM

Next…Part 2

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