Today is brought to you by Kait Ahlschwede

July 14, 2015

Today's blog post is brought to you by the charming, bubbly, and senior Kait Ahlschwede. 

Over the past few days I’ve been thinking about what to write in this blog post. With this being the fifth and final summer here at LSM for me, there have just been so many things that have come to mind. All of the great memories, the outstanding musical experiences, the amazing people. I tried to narrow it down to just one thing or even one word. The only thing that really seemed appropriate to say after all of these amazing summers was “thank you.” 

Every summer we are reminded of the three things that LSM strives to provide each and every student that spends their summer here. The first of those three is musical excellence. From the music we sing together in worship services to the solo recital pieces we work so hard to prepare, every musical moment here is special and unique. Being able to walk into a rehearsal with 5o some other students that you don’t know at the beginning of the month and walk out four weeks later having learned an entire concert worth of music together is an amazing thing. The faculty that we get to spend every day learning from are honestly the coolest and most talented group of musicians anyone could ever ask for. Thank you for all of the recitals, for the practice tips of the day, for trusting us with challenging  repertoire. Thank you for opening our eyes to all kinds of music and for teaching us how to be better musicians. 

The second is nurturing community. Tonight my cluster sat around and painted nails together. We spent time sharing stories from home, talking through our struggles, and supporting each other. I’m amazed every summer at how a group of some of the best high school musicians from all around the country can come together and support each other. Having spent time at several other summer music camps, I can tell you that that’s not something that happens anywhere else. The student life staff provides such a safe and accepting space here and it’s amazing to see how we’re all able to support and love each other. Thank you for encouraging us to build each other up instead of tearing each other down. Thank you for providing a space for us to share our stories and for building a community where we can trust each other with what we share. 

The third and final thing is Lutheran faith. Worship is such a big aspect here at LSM, but not everyone comes from the same faith background as others. We begin and end every day in prayer and everyone is encouraged to worship in the way that is most comfortable for them. The chaplain and the rest of the worship team are always there to answer questions and talk about your faith with you. It’s not everywhere that you can find a group of high school kids sitting around on a Saturday afternoon talking about their faith and how God has worked in their lives. By setting God as the most important part of everything we do here we create a place where love is infinite, forgiveness resets the standard, and people see themselves through His sacrifice.  Thank you for teaching us how to cantor and how to lead worship. Thank you for accepting us wherever we are in our faith journey and for being there to help explain the things we don’t understand. Thank you for helping us honor God with our talents. 

So, in the end, thank you. Thank you to the faculty members who have taught me more than I could ever imagine and who have changed my life through meaningful conversations and words of wisdom. Thank you to all of the counselors and the dean for being my friend and helping me out when I lock myself out of my dorm. Thank you to all of the wonderful friends that I’ve made who support and encourage me and who let me do the same for them. There will always be a really special and really big place in my heart for the life-changing place we call Lutheran Summer Music. Thank you for making this my second home. Until we meet again! 

 

We will welcome you back with open arms, Kait! Thank YOU for your heart-felt sentiments. What a blessing!