An outstanding inaugural summer music and worship conference
In 2011, Creative Arts School of Excellence (casX) – under the parent organisation ‘Beracahmusic Ministries International’ (formerly known as Beracah Music International) – launched its first Children’s Residential Music & Worship Conference – ‘All You Can Be‘ (AYCB). The title ‘All you can be’ is inspired by the scripture ‘Philippians 4:13‘ – I can do everything through him who gives me strength.
Each child who attends our conferences has an opportunity to learn a wide-range of instruments and develop existing skills. They are also encouraged to believe and trust and have faith in our creative God, expecting that when he/she works hard, practice hard and focus beyond their natural ability and talent they can achieve anything that may have initially seemed unachievable or impossible! Casx inspires a generation of youth with the gift of music, dance or creative writing. Building on the foundations of the first music and worship ‘All You Can Be’ (AYCB) in 2011.
Set aside for God's purpose
Each year, Steve and Velveta Thompson (Directors of casX) hold the annual Creative Arts School of Excellence (casX) conference In the beautiful grounds and facilities of the London School of Theology(LST) in North West London. Steve Thompson is a member of the LST faculty as a lecturer. The conference is attended by about 40 young people between the ages of 8 to 17-year-olds. Attendees for Children’s Residential Music and Worship Conference come from diverse musical & cultural backgrounds. Day students are also registered to the residential conference, though some of the day students decide to stay overnight, becoming residential students after experiencing only the first day of ‘All You Can Be…’
Our music, vocal, and dance tutors encourage the young people with a well-thought through and carefully crafted programme of worship, music tuition fun and fellowship. The various workshops often include Specialist instruments, choir rehearsal, electronic sequencing, songwriting, dance and so much more. Each year, directors Steve and Velveta Thompson are joined by other renowned musicians and vocalists in delivering expert tuition.
Tutors for music and vocals have included Helen Barnes, Gary Mullins, Amy-Jane Wilson, Denise Bryce, Mark Beswick, Sarah Harrison, Graham Kendrick, Lara Martin, Dr. Jeremy Perigo (LST), Pete Lawson, Jermaine Lynch, Gervaise Lynch, Raul D’Olivera, Clive Ross, Carl Stanbridge, Diane Stanbridge, Mick Spratt, Helen Yousaf, Chris Williams (CCLI). Tutors for dance and sports included Jihan Greaves, Jason Small, Mike Broome, Roger Lamothe and Michael Douglas.
The children receive excellent tuition in bass, guitar, acoustic or electric guitar, keyboards, drums, violin, flute, trumpet, etc. Also, new instruments were introduced over the years including harp, cello, mandolin, etc. The harp sessions interestingly are often oversubscribed due to popularity, with the young people returning for many repeat sessions with tutors.
There have been different creative streams including Graham Kendrick leading a particular workshop ‘Psalm Surfing’ as he inspired the
young people to worship with all they had. The cosmopolitan celebratory atmosphere of the World Cup that hit London one summer was certainly evident at casX with its very own ‘Latin flavour’ when Raul D’Olivera created a samba band of 30+ young people who ‘moved while they grooved’. AYCB is more than just a music conference focusing on tuition and master classes. casX takes a holistic approach to ensure the wellbeing and nurturing of each young persons’ creative expression with not only a variety of creative sessions but also outdoor activities. Activities and time to relax and unwind are also scheduled. Dedicated volunteers mentored the young people, spend quality time with the casx children during and after their workshops by providing support and advice. Each young person
Activities and time to relax and unwind are also scheduled. Dedicated volunteers mentor the casx children, spending quality time with them during and after their workshops by providing support and advice. Each young person has regular opportunities to learn from these seasoned musicians and develop their musical ability in the context of worship.casX offer several workshops on Creative Writing, Introduction to Electronic Music, Songwriting Workshop, Special Vocal Workshop, Creative Dance Workshop, Specialist Instruments Workshop, Solo Instruments Workshop, Improvisation Workshop and so much more.
Regular opportunities to learn from these seasoned musicians and develop their musical ability in the context of worship.casX offer several workshops on Creative Writing, Introduction to Electronic Music, Songwriting workshop, Special Vocal Workshop, Creative Dance Workshop, Specialist Instruments Workshop, Solo Instruments Workshop, Improvisation Workshop and so much more.
Each casX conference ends with its infamous Concert finale showcasing performances from the ‘All You Can Be…’ Choir led by one of the special artist/tutors. Some of these items are songs written by the students, performed in their bands formed during the week. The ceremony also includes the hand out of certificate by Directors, Steve & Velveta, to each student. What the young people achieve each year is extraordinary and demonstrates that casX continues to inspire a generation of youth, which will for sure influence the landscape of music and worship for years to come. What a Legacy!
‘A legacy is anything that is handed down from the past, so how we analyse our history is very imperative. Looking back at what we have built so far, or not, should give us a balanced plan and approach of what and how we need to change or alter our lifestyle to ensure we both live, demonstrate and leave a bold, strong and healthy legacy for the next generation. Where the next generation is concerned, our ceiling becomes their platform‘ ~ Steve Thompson.