This winter, Upper Room Fellowship company hosted an outdoor music festival on their campus, in collaboration with Glendale Korean church, bringing together musicians from several churches in the Glendora area, and as far as Loma Linda, Orange County, and Thousand Oaks. During the two-hour festival attendees of all ages, cultures, and denominations enjoyed a diverse range of musical styles.
The festival's central theme was companionship through music and food, and attendees were encouraged to engage in conversation with others throughout the program. The atmosphere was warm and welcoming, adorned with brightly glowing lights as the sun began to set. As the temperature dropped, families, friends, and soon-to-be friends sat on picnic blankets and chairs, huddling around outdoor heaters to keep warm.
One of the worship leaders commented, “I most enjoyed getting to reconnect with people I had known and also fostering friendships with new people! It was nice to be brought together by praise and worship and to create new bonds out of that.”
The program featured hymnal favorites such as “How Great Thou Art,” contemporary Christian music, a capella, and an original song by pianist Kenneth Choi, also known as YummyPiano on YouTube.
Eden Seo, Upper Room Fellowship youth ministry director who co-organized the festival, emphasized the importance of expanding creative expression into other forms of art in worship, such as gospel, Christian R&B, spoken word, poetry, and more. “We believe the freedom of expression through different styles of art and music,” Seo said, “will be helpful to reach a wider audience.”
Attendees enjoyed a wide range of refreshments and food, including tacos, rice and beans, chips, popcorn, cotton candy, horchata, agua fresca, and more. One attendee spoke positively about the food, stating, "I really enjoyed the food, and I was able to go back for seconds!"
In between performances, the organizers held a raffle with several prizes, including gift cards, water bottles, headphones, and even an iPad. The crowd eagerly listened for each number, cheering on the lucky winners. Youth and children engaged in various activities, including playing basketball and tetherball and creating their own pins at a crafts table.
Timothy Yun, associate pastor at Glendale Korean church and co-organizer of the event, was pleased with the turnout. “The event was different than other events I’ve experienced,” he said. “First, the overall number of people exceeded our expectations. All different backgrounds and groups of people were able to come together and fellowship under two things that everyone loves: music and free food! It was awesome to see everyone come together for a brisk but heartwarming evening."
Overall, the music festival provided a platform for people to come together and enjoy music, food, and fellowship, breaking down barriers and creating new connections between different communities. By embracing a variety of musical styles and encouraging conversation, the festival helped to foster an atmosphere of inclusivity and unity.