Music Festival Brings in Record Numbers

The twenty-ninth year of the Great Lakes Music Festival was an excellent testimony to the standards of musical craftsmanship at MBU. Campus was abuzz with GLMF 2020 setting a record of the highest number of attendees in the last twelve years. 

Students from across the Midwest participated in the festival choir and a track of their choice: orchestra, band, ladies’ chorus, men’s chorus, and piano.

“It is amazing how much you can learn and how much fun you can have in 24 hours,” said Abigail Boorujy. Boorujy, a member of the orchestra track, makes a good point. These students commit themselves for a full day of practice, rehearsals, and run-throughs for the program Saturday afternoon. The results of just one day are incredible to behold.

According to several students and sponsors, the common themes of the festival are learning, having fun, and making connections.


The Great Lakes Music Festival is a great place for students to grow their musical skills. “I thought it was a lot of fun, and I was able to learn about how to read notes in the ladies’ choir when we were using hand chimes,” said Miriam Riley, a homeschool student from Lodi, Wisconsin. “I learned the history behind the music and words, I made new friends, and saw old friends, and overall I would say it was definitely worth it.”

Seth Anderson, another high school student, said, “What I came away with was the choir piece, I Sing the Mighty Power of God. It was a truly amazing piece in my view, and it was the first time I have ever been in a choir outside of school.” Great Lakes gives students from small schools the experience of playing in a large group, which can be very beneficial to their musical development. He added, “I am looking forward to next year’s Festival!”


Making new friends with people of similar ages and interests is another benefit of the festival. High school student Abel Brower explains, “I enjoyed praising God and honoring America with people I wouldn’t have met without being at GLMF.” Greats Lakes connects Christian young people even from different sides of the country.

Maranatha students help out with the festival too, and they love it! Nathan Bixby, a sophomore Biblical Studies major with a voice minor, says, “It was a blast to just have fun singing with a bunch of enthusiastic young people!” Megan MacDonald, a high school student, adds, “I enjoyed meeting the college students in the Percussion section and getting to know them. It was a lot of fun learning about them and the other Great Lakes participants.” Visiting students stay in the dorms for the night – another way to experience college life and make new friends. Cadence Scott, a first-time attendee at Great Lakes, says she “enjoyed her roommates because they were really nice.” The festival sparks friendships, even between high school participants and college students.

Another Perspective

Kim Scott, a sponsor and parent of two attendees, also looks forward to the festival every year. “I would have to say that I love Great Lakes weekend!” she says. “As a parent and a sponsor, I appreciate knowing that my kids will be in a safe environment where they will be able to learn and grow.” Mrs. Scott loves the spiritual influence her children receive at MBU as well. “They will be encouraged to excellence not only in music, but in their Christian walks.” Also, as a sponsor. she loves the teacher workshops. “I have also been challenged and encouraged by the teacher workshops that are offered during the weekend. The topics are practical and designed to help give a ‘boost’ and freshness to our everyday teaching – whether in private lessons or classrooms.” She concludes, “I always leave blessed.”

Concert Festival

The concert Saturday afternoon shows friends and parents the fruits of the hard work done by the students. Every track of the festival performed the piece they had practiced for the last 24 hours. Watch the full video below. Check out the Maranatha Musician Facebook page for more pictures and insights from the weekend. Downloadable Photos

Dates for next year’s festival are January 29-30, 2021.

Concert Recording