Eighteen choirs with 352 students converge for YouthCUE Baylor Festival 12

by Mar 13, 2017Epiphanies

On February 24-26, eighteen youth choirs from Texas and Arkansas traveled to Waco, TX, for the 12th Annual YouthCUE – Baylor Festival. Over the past decade-plus, this event has become a classic. To our knowledge, this is the only annual festival in the United States which pairs a full university orchestra (an award-winning university orchestra, at that!) with church youth choirs. The combination of the choirs, orchestra, glorious repertoire, and artistically crafted orchestrations makes for a musical event that will soon not be forgotten.

A new and exciting feature of the Festival this year was the live streaming of the Grand Concert on Sunday, February 26. Over 500 logged into the HD stream.

The YouthCUE – Baylor Festival has built some lasting memories over the years since its beginning in 2006. Facebook postings about the festival showed responses from our alumni scattered across the Southwest.

Margaret Jasik of Devine, TX posted, “Definitely missing the excitement and joy that this event always brought me.”

Steven Noelte of Sherwood, AR, wrote, “These are some of my greatest memories! What great times!”

“My last festival was five years ago when I was a senior in high school. Some great memories there! I hope all the students have an amazing time,” posted Jacob Thompson, a recent graduate of the University of North Texas and soon to be a public school teacher.

Kay Mask Speed lives in Waco. Although she does not have children in the Festival Choir, she finds inspiration as she attends the Grand Concert every year. Kay wrote, “I always look forward to the Baylor Festival Grand Concert. It’s always a highlight!”

San Angelo resident, Tim Edwards, came to the Baylor Festival for this first time this year to hear students from his church (Southland Baptist Church in San Angelo) as part of the mass choir. Wrote Tim, “Please let me seek to express how superb the YouthCUE-Baylor Festival Concert was! To call it sublime would grossly understate the experience. I particularly enjoyed the arrangement of BE STILL, MY SOUL, and I have been humming it ever since.”

The 12th Annual Festival was one of the largest to date, and according to Dr. Randall Bradley, Baylor Professor of Church Music, it was also the finest. “I speak with a lot of confidence when I say this was the finest YouthCUE choir we have ever seen and heard at Baylor,” said Dr. Bradley upon reflection of the Grand Concert.

Details for the 13th Annual Festival (2018) will soon be posted on the YouthCUE website along with online registration. Why not bring your students to join this outstanding event in 2018? We could still handle another 100 students at the Festival, and we’d love to have your choir!


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Randy Edwards

Randy Edwards

Founder & President, YouthCUE & Minister of Music & Worship at Woodland Baptist Church in San Antonio, TX

Prior to devoting his full-time efforts to YouthCUE beginning in 2005, Randy served for more than thirty years as minister of music at First Baptist Church San Antonio, First Baptist Church Shreveport, Trinity Baptist Church in San Antonio and currently at Woodland Baptist Church in San Antonio. He served as Chorusmaster of the Shreveport Opera Company from 1991-1999.

He has composed twenty-one published choral anthems and has authored the most comprehensive textbook to date on youth choir ministry, entitled, Revealing Riches and Building Lives: Youth Choir Ministry in the New Millennium. With more than six hundred articles published in over thirty publications, Randy Edwards is one of the premiere specialists in youth choir ministry today. He is sought widely as a conductor, clinician, consultant, and teacher.