The Chapel praise team is a part of Waynesburg University’s weekly Chapel services. The team sings a variety of different worship songs ranging from more modern music to hymnals for the students and staff. The team sings both before and after the message.
Though change isn’t unfamiliar for the praise team, they lost five members at the end of the last school year. However, with change comes growth, and the team has gained many new members this semester. With that, they built two new teams that alternate weeks. The new teams have students ranging from freshman to senior with varying levels of experience.
For the duration of the last school year, Chapel was live streamed each week, slowly increasing its maximum occupancy as the year went on. This year, there is no live stream and in-person services have returned. Not only did the team have to adjust to losing and gaining members, they also had to endure an atmosphere shift as well.
Alison Cammisa, junior early childhood and special education major, stepped into a leadership role for the new team. This year is her second year on the team and she is now the student Chapel leader of the group. She works alongside other leaders of the group, Alexandra Morar and Colin Faber.
Cammisa believes this semester of praise team is going very well so far, especially considering it is her first year in a leadership position. As this leader, one of her main priorities is building a strong community amongst the team and being able to lead the audience in worship effectively.
“We’re working on developing relationships and musicality, as well as our deeper level of faith,” Cammisa said.
Building up the new team was “interesting at first,” according to Cammisa, but she believes the teams were structured very well, based not only on musicality but compatibility with one another. Even with the varying levels of experience, Cammisa is looking forward to seeing more growth within the two teams.
Alexandra Morar is another returning member to the praise team and also a co-leader. Morar is a senior and has been on the team since her freshman year. She has been around for many changes to the team and said that this is the most people that the team has gained in a while. She has played violin for the team every year and just recently started singing this semester.
Morar said that they have “seen a lot of improvement over the semester.” She, however, did not deny the struggles. “It’s been hard trying to get everyone’s schedules to align and making sure everyone is comfortable,” Morar said. “Now that we’re a few weeks in, things are going very well.”
Morar also discussed the importance of having a solid working praise team. “Chapel in general is a huge opportunity for missions work on campus as it is … I think the worship team has a huge role in that,” Morar said. “It reminds you of why you’re on campus and why we’re serving the Lord.”
A growing team leads to new members as well. Gabriel Reed, junior, is loving his first time being a part of the praise team.
“I’ve always enjoyed singing. Back home I used to be a part of my worship team at church so I knew all the music and I knew that I would enjoy it,” Reed said. “Tess Marlin and I both got asked to join since they lost so many members after those who graduated left. I talked to Ali Camissa, and she said that I really should consider joining. So, I did it. I really am happy that I did.”
Although it took a bit of getting used to, Reed feels like he and the other new members of the team are getting more comfortable as time goes on. He has also fallen in love with the atmosphere and community the praise team provides.
“[Being on the team] gives me a much better understanding of the gospel and makes me so happy to learn about God’s word around people I feel so comfortable talking about it to,” Reed said.
Reed believes the praise team is an extremely important part of Chapel at Waynesburg University.
“[Worshipping] was one thing that really brought me to the church and the main reason why I wanted to join the praise team,” Reed said.
All of the members expressed their satisfaction so far and their hope for the future. They all want to build their confidence and have the ability to lead a congregation in worship all for the glory of God. They hope to grow connections amongst the group as well.
The praise team will continue their weekly worship for the remaining Chapel services.
Waynesburg University Chapel is every Tuesday at 11:00a.m. in Roberts Chapel on campus.