Local teens participate in On Call

This article submitted by Erin Aagesen on 11/3/99.

The youth vocal group, On Call, performed last Tuesday, Oct. 26, at the United Methodist Church in Hawick. The group, which is made up of 30 teens from towns around the area, has five local members: (pictured in front)Becca Gardner, Allison Thompson, and Joe Halvorson,(back)Scott Ingalsbe, and Ryan Lang.

On Call performed approximately 12 songs at the concert. The songs represent many musical styles, including rock, swing, and country. All are meant to spread a Christian message. Along with the songs, the group uses choreographed actions, short skits, jokes, and the spoken word to get their message across.

Gardner, Ingalsbe, and Thompson each sang solos during the evening, and Halvorson played his guitar and sang during a duet piece. When Gardner sings a solo, she says, "I get really into it. I get really sad when I see people in the audience crying."

Thompson felt that her favorite part of On Call was the interaction between the performer and the audience. "I love watching people's faces as we sing. Most of the time we make people happy. When we make eye contact, they respond to what we are doing with their facial expressions," she said.

Last week, the group performed for the residents at the Minnesota Teen Challenge Center in Minneapolis. It was memorable for Gardner, because, "we touched a lot of people's lives that day."

Thompson agreed, "The audience was so receptive; it filled the whole chapel with energy, so we were really pumped up." Halvorson added, "It was so much fun. You could feel Christ in the room!"

On Call is affiliated with Youth for Christ in Willmar, and is directed by Gary Condon of Paynesville. Its members must be in high school, and try out in the spring before participation. If accepted into the group, the member must attend weekly practices in Willmar, and go to nearly 30 concerts during the course of the year. Members get to know each other through weekend retreats and have opportunities to travel overseas on mission trips as well. Past groups have gone to Africa and India.

Lang expressed why he wanted to join On Call. "I wanted to share the gospel of Jesus Christ to people of nearby communities and sing with a good group of people," he said. Ingalsbe joined for similar reasons. "I auditioned to be in On Call because it looked like a fun, dynamic group with a powerful message of Christianity," he said.

For all five local members, On Call is not their first exposure to musical groups. They have been members of school choirs, bands, church choirs, musicals, and similar Christian youth groups such as Fast Forward and Stained Glass.

After this much participation, the reason these teens are involved with On Call remains clear.

"I hope to grow in my relationship with God and share the love of God and His glory with those we encounter," said Ingalsbe.

"I hope to gain a deeper commitment to Christ and share with others the love of Christ," said Lang.

Gardner said,"I hope to get to know more people, and spread the message our group wishes to get across."

"I hope to have a stronger personal relationship with God and hopefully make some new friends that share in that same goal," said Halvorson.

"I would like to keep growing spiritually and continue to gain a better understanding of the Christian life," said Thompson.

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