Bryce McGarvey and Mandi Pascarella have been involved with Waynesburg University’s chapel Worship Team, which plays every Tuesday morning at Roberts Chapel, since early in their freshman years. Over time, they worked their way into leadership positions, with each running respective “teams” that rotate every week.
This May, McGarvey, a senior biblical studies major, and Pascarella, another senior biblical ministry studies major with minors in music and psychology, will be graduating, and new leaders will be taking their places.
Pascarella had a musical background before enrolling at Waynesburg in the fall of 2015, but she didn’t have experience playing in front of live crowds. Her audiences were usually limited to “a campfire with some kids.” She found out about the worship team through Waynesburg graduate Lydia Rostosky when she attended an overnight visit with Rostosky. Later, received a text from another graduate, Jake Oxendale, to show up at practice.
“The Chapel [Worship Team] is the first time where I had a sound system. So, I have not only myself to worry about hearing, but I also need to hear the other people singing with me,” Pascarella said. “I need to hear the drum set, I need to hear the band, I need to hear the piano. So, this is a band setting with the worship team, whereas at camp, I had me and maybe one other person to worry about hearing.”
For McGarvey, one of the biggest progressions he’s made as a leader is doing what’s necessary to tackle the issues he would like to work on, rather than just wanting to make changes and not acting upon them.
“I think I’ve kind of evolved with creating visions, things that I would like to see improved and acting on those,” McGarvey said. “Not just talking about them, but actually figuring out ways, and applications and how we could possibly [move] forward. I’ve developed how I kind of guide practices.”
An important aspect of leading the worship band, Pascarella said, is ensuring members can balance connecting with each other and growing in Christ while synced musically. To her, this has been one of the biggest challenges for the group collectively during her time as a leader, which began her junior year.
“I want so badly to hear everyone’s ideas and make sure that they’re enjoying themselves, [while] also keeping in mind the musicality aspect and being prepared in chapel,” Pascarella said. Both of the worship band’s leaders are involved in other extracurricular activities as well. This ability to take on multiple responsibilities has rubbed off on Sophomore Psychology Major Qwinlyn Kelley, who along with Junior Alexis Taylor will be leading the two worship teams next fall.
Although Kelley has never been in a leadership capacity, Pascarella is confident Taylor and her are capable of making sure the team thrives in the future.
“They were both passionate about Christ, about singing, about leading, about playing,” she said.
While McGarvey is going to miss playing music in front of his peers at Tuesday chapel services, Pascarella will treasure those she has gotten to know through the group and being a team leader.
“Oh my gosh, I’m going to miss the people,” she said. “We’ve gotten so, so close, some of them I’ve been singing and playing with since my freshman year. I’m going to miss how much they care about each other. Every week, they’re coming in and they’re sharing their eyes with me and each other and praying together and I’m going to really miss the close-knit family aspect of this group.”