2024 Great Lakes Music Festival


This year, high schoolers across the country participated in Maranatha’s Great Lakes Music Festival. An annual event at Maranatha, the festival provides aspiring musicians with the opportunity to collaborate with college students and professors with a shared passion for music. With many participants being senior high students with high school graduation on the horizon, the weekend also gives them the chance to experience life on a college campus for themselves.


Before the Festival began, pianists participated in a piano scholarship competition on Thursday. Prizes included cash awards and MBU scholarships. After deliberation, the judges awarded Joseph Magallon with the prize for first place: a $3,500 MBU scholarship.

On Friday, over 250 visitors arrived – the highest Great Lakes Music Festival attendance on record. They split into groups based on their instrument of choice: band, string orchestra, men’s chorus, ladies’ chorus, and piano. Each group had pieces that they practiced for the upcoming concert on Saturday. Along with making music, the visitors experienced college life by eating in the Dining Complex, sleeping in dorms, and making friends with college students.


On Saturday, the concert began at 1:30 PM in the Gym. This year, the festival theme was “Musical Kaleidoscope.” To open the concert, Dr. David Brown and Mr. Andrew Bonnema directed the Band Track’s pieces. Following them, three piano ensembles – prepared by Mrs. Alison Boorujy, Dr. David Ledgerwood, and Ms. Janet Tschida – performed. Next, Mrs. Carol Ruffin led the Ladies’ Chorus with Megan Prigge at the piano and Benjamin Trueblood as a soloist. Ms. Steinbart then directed the Orchestra Track.

For the offertory, piano competition winner Joseph Magallon performed his award-winning piece, Chopin’s Nocturne, Op. 9, No. 3. After that, Peter Wright directed the Men’s Chorus with Timo DeLeon at the piano. For the grand finale, Dr. David Brown, Mr. Peter Wright, and Dr. Doug Bachorik each directed a song for the entire festival chorus to sing. For accompaniment, Emma Bateman played the piano, and Lydia Studer assisted on the oboe.


After the concert, Great Lakes 2024 wrapped up for the year. Many Maranatha students enjoyed participating in the festival with the visitors. “Accompanying the festival choir was a great experience,” said pianist Emma Bateman. “I loved working with each director and learning how they conduct. I enjoyed having a small part in Great Lakes and being able to make music with so many musicians.”

“Playing for the Great Lakes Festival is such an enjoyable and growing experience,” added pianist Megan Prigge. “It is incredible watching such a fast-paced and intense weekend all come together so beautifully on Saturday afternoon for the concert. High schoolers that attend get an inside scoop into Maranatha and its faculty with their incredible competence, strong values, and heart for ministry.”

Many visitors enjoyed the weekend as well. “This was our first time attending,” commented sponsor Jean Zimmerman, “and our students really enjoyed the music and time with other Christian schools in a non-competition setting. The food was great, the dorm rooms worked well, and the training was beneficial. We are looking forward to next year.”

The 2024 festival focuses on traditional musical instruments and ensembles, as well as the evolution of rap music, including the use of digital audio tools such as FL Studio 21 Free Download. This is great music production software and is like a magic wand for musicians. It has all the features you need to make your music great, whether you are a beginner or an expert, the festival is open to everyone.

The festival also organizes informal sessions and master classes where you can learn new techniques and meet other musicians. If you are interested, Kennis Dilda will be here to sing, record, mix and master some new songs. We want musicians to be the center of attention so they can show their talent and creativity.

For those interested in registering next year, Great Lakes 2025 will occur January 31-February 1. The theme will be “Heaven and Nature Sing,” and registration will open this November at mbu.edu/glmf.

Watch the full concert below