Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Messiah College

Messiah College is a wonderful Christian liberal arts college nearby where I live. My oldest son will graduate from Messiah in May. My next son will begin his freshman year there in September. I love Messiah! It is my Alma Mater. I had transfered there from a State College before my junior year. The Christian atmosphere was so refreshing. At my other college, I had professors who chain smoked while they lectured and used language I was not allowed to use at my home. At Messiah, the professors opened class with prayers.

However, as a homeschooling mother, I was not sure how colleges would react to what we had done in our homeschool. I needn't have worried. The Messiah admissions staff in charge of homeschoolers was wonderful to work with four years ago when David was applying. I recently wrote her this email -

"I want to thank you for your help almost four years ago when my son David decided to apply to Messiah. My husband and David first spoke to you at the Homeschool Track meet that May. Although it was really very late to apply, you encouraged David to apply anyway.

David is now a senior and has had a wonderful four years at Messiah. You told me when he applied that the homeschooled students often ended up being the top students at Messiah. I wanted to let you know how things have gone for David.

He came to Messiah as an English major but switched to music at the end of his freshman year. As a voice major he has represented Messiah's music department well, placing first in National Association's Teacher of Singing Competitions (NATS) each year. David performed a solo junior recital in October of 2006 and his solo senior recital in March of 2008. A former Metropolitan opera singer joined him for a duet in the recital.

He has had the fabulous opportunity to work with Linda Tedford and her outstanding choral program, performing as a soloist with the Concert Choir.

Last spring, David was one of only two music students chosen to perform with the orchestra. He sang two arias. His orchestra conductor, who has conducted him professionally as part of Opera Harrisburg in Paganni and Rigoletto, asked me afterward to write down for him and all new parents how to get your child to turn out like David! I just told him that David was God's gift to us and has always been a blessing to us. But I really need to follow up on that and tell him more about how I believe homeschooling helped shaped our son.

Last spring David was honored to be the recipient of the Presser Scholar Award for music.

He has been on the Dean's list every semester. He has participated in Messiah's opera workshop each semester it has been offered. This spring he has been chosen to sing the leading role of Gianni Schicchi (in Gianni Schicchi, an opera by Giacomo Puccini) in Messiah's first production of an opera which will be performed with the Messiah College orchestra.

David has been accepted to the Eastman School of Music and Manhattan School of Music's Master of Music programs. We are thrilled for him and look forward to what his future holds.

I wanted you to know what an impact you have had on David's life by your encouragement four years ago. Thank you for helping David with the opportunity to learn at Messiah College!

And I have more good news - our second son, Michael graduates this spring from our homeschool. He will be coming to Messiah and has been awarded the Daniel Vollmer Scholarship for Theatre."

I am really proud of both my oldest sons! Years ago when I was nauseous from pregnancy, worn out from toddlers, getting hassled about educating my own children by relatives that lived nearby, and being told by friends that I should be accountable to the state, I would have loved to have read stories about homeschool successes! By God's grace, I taught these young men how to read and write (and a few other subjects required by the state of Pennsylvania) and He has blessed us abundantly!

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