Last March the harmonious sounds of children’s voices filled the air at the annual Cantus Music Festival which brought together nearly 100 students from grades 5-8 in seven schools across the Kansas-Nebraska Conference. Spearheaded by Sarah Gilbert, Midland Academy music teacher, and Renae Cross, College View Academy music teacher, the festival was the culmination of months of careful planning and passion for music.

The festival kicked off its planning phase last August when Gilbert and Cross began selecting a diverse array of songs that resonate with the theme “Nature Sings.” By January, they had reached out to several schools, including College View Academy, Midland Adventist Academy, George Stone School, Great Bend School, Wichita Adventist Christian School, Omaha Memorial School, and Topeka Adventist Christian School, inviting them to join this melodious event.

Throughout the day, students explored and practiced six captivating songs inspired by the beauty of nature—from the intricacies of animal life to the awe-inspiring phenomena of storms. The theme also touched on spiritual elements, drawing from Psalm 127 to celebrate the sanctity of nature and our place within it.

One of the festival’s highlights was

witnessing these young musicians, often accustomed to digital interactions, coming together in person.

This event not only showcased their vocal talents but also fostered a sense of community among students from different backgrounds. For many, it was a unique opportunity to meet new friends, connect over shared interests, and enjoy the unifying power of music.

The Cantus Music Festival proved to be more than just a musical event; it was a celebration of youth, creativity and the bonds that music can forge.

As the students stood together for about nine hours throughout the day,

their voices merged into a powerful expression of praise to God who created both their voices and all of nature!