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Church Youth Orchestra Shapes Teens

Darryl Chamberlain loves music and seeing the character and discipline that music lessons build in young people. Chamberlain bought instruments from pawn shops and Craigslist and started an orchestra in the basement of his church, St. James United Methodist in Kansas City, Missouri. The St. James A-Flat Youth Orchestra plays for churches and community events and has been featured on the NBC "Today Show."

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(Kansas City, Missouri)
(Darryl Chamberlain) "That's what I want!"

Darryl Chamberlain, St. James United Methodist Church, A-Flat Youth Orchestra: "I started buying instruments and I got to a place to where I bought enough instruments to equip a full concert band. My name is Darryl Chamberlain. I am the director of the St. James UMC A-Flat Youth Orchestra in Kansas City, Missouri."

Hananiah, St. James United Methodist A-Flat Youth Orchestra: "It's helped me to be more social."

Ela, St. James United Methodist A-Flat Youth Orchestra:  "I think music helps me spiritually because it really calms me down and good music I feel like connects me with God."

Lewis, St. James United Methodist A-Flat Youth Orchestra:  "Students who study music, they have a lower chance of teenage pregnancy, drug abuse."

Darryl Chamberlain: "People come up to me and say, 'Oh it's so good you're keeping these kids busy so they stay out of trouble.' I'm not here to keep them busy and keep them out of trouble. Character keeps them out of trouble. But music study teaches character. If the schools can't do it then the church does it."

Jackson, St. James United Methodist A-Flat Youth Orchestra: "It teaches you life skills, it helps me in math."

(Darryl Chamberlain) "We will be playing in the St. Patrick's Day parade."

Lewis: "We play a lot of places. We play at the church, we play at other churches, we're going to be playing at the Gem Theater, the mayor is going to be there."

(Darryl Chamberlain) "Okay, let me hear your A's."

The Rev. Emanuel Cleaver III, St. James United Methodist Church: "We had no idea it would take off the way it has. I think every week people are hearing about it, asking how they can help, donating money, donating instruments."

(Women donating saxophone) "What is it? It's an alto saxophone."

(Darryl Chamberlain) "We have an assistant here today, Mrs. Johnson."

Ela: "The fact that they're committing so much time to help us improve, I really appreciate it. It makes us really thankful."

Darryl Chamberlain: "For those who say it takes a lot of money to do this and you can't do that, I say all you have to do is roll up your sleeves and focus because this whole thing started with an idea that became a reality. We have a job to do. We have kids to reach, souls to save, and this program is all about that."

Micah, St. James United Methodist A-Flat Youth Orchestra: "I feel like God gave me an opportunity to do something that I didn't know I loved, but I know I love it now.  So, I should use it to glorify him."

Families who are interested in taking music lessons or who have performing students who would like to be a part of the St. James UMC A-Flat Youth Orchestra should contact the director, Darryl Chamberlain at 816-606-9542 or email [email protected].

This video was produced by United Methodist Communications in Nashville, TN.
Media contact is Joe Iovino.

This video was first posted on November 3, 2017.

United Methodist Communications is an agency of The United Methodist Church

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