Language of music: Clovis grad joining missionary singing group

Rosamond Garcia, 18, is going to play the French horn with the Celebrant Singers as she travels through the United States, Canada, India and Sri Lanka. Garcia will be with the music missionary group from Feb. 20 through May 20.

By Tonya Garner: CNJ staff writer

Rosamond Garcia’s earliest memories are filled with music and God.

The 2005 Clovis High grad fondly remembers younger days filled with piano lessons and Sundays when she eagerly performed hymns during morning worship at Our Lady of Guadalupe Catholic Church.

She also vividly recalls being a young girl, feet swinging from the pew, as she intently listened to a group of missionaries called the Celebrant Singers conducting a concert at church.

“I was awed and amazed,” the 18-year-old Garcia said. “The way they felt about God really came through.”

Garcia, who plays the French horn and sings, recently accepted an invitation to join the interdenominational, contemporary Christian music and missions ministry headquartered in Visalia, Calif. She will leave Feb. 20 as part of a group comprised of 10 singers and 12 orchestra members who will travel across the United States before continuing their voyage into Sri Lanka and New Delhi.

She is looking forward to influencing people in a positive way through her passion for music.

“It is so wonderful to feel God in church,” Garcia said. “I want to move people through the gift of music.”

Clovis High School Band Director Bill Allred instructed Garcia on the French horn for five years during junior high and high school. The music teacher said he was not surprised to hear Garcia had been chosen to become a member of the musical missionary group.

“I would have to say in my 10 years of teaching here,” Allred said, “she stands out as one of the top 10 students.”

He remembered her as a respectful person who was well-thought of by her peers.

“She has a natural ability and talent,” Allred said. “She won many awards while she was in high school.”

Garcia passed a phone audition in the summer — “They asked me to hold the telephone like a microphone six inches away from my face and I played my French horn and sang.” — but declined an offer to join the group.

“I felt selfish,” Garcia said, “but I felt like I wasn’t ready and I wanted to enjoy the summer vacation.”

She continued singing in church, practicing piano and becoming proficient on the French horn before heading off to Las Cruces to attend New Mexico State University in pursuit of a music degree.

“I got to college and the Celebrant Singers were on my mind constantly,” Garcia said. “I found myself dreaming about joining the group again.”

After much prayer and family discussion, Garcia said she made a commitment to join the group.