Posted on : Sunday August 2, 2009

By Sharon Mager, BCM/D Correspondent

FROSTBURG, Md.—First English Church had VBS in July and used the Boomerang Express curriculum. They had fun with the “Aussi” theme and the music at the worship rally, but First English added a bit more. Church member Todd Vogtman owns a home music studio. Vogtman brought his equipment to the church and recorded the children singing praise music and he worked with the youth to write and record their own original song. Brian Alderton, a church deacon and sound technician, then used the recording of the children singing and the youth’s original song as the background for the annual VBS celebration video.

“The kids were really excited about it,” David Sandvick, pastor of First English said. “It added a whole different aspect for them.”

Vogtman brought his computer, microphones, mixing equipment, speakers and other equipment and set up his “studio” in Sandvick’s office.

“I thought it would be kind of different,” Todd Vogtman, said.

Vogtman went to each of the younger children’s classrooms and taught the kids a portion of the song, “Open the Eyes of My Heart.” He later pulled the segments together at the end for the final recording.

During their time with Vogtman, the teens wrote poems based on what they were learning about the apostle Peter. Some of the kids already had an idea of the music they wanted and even sang it for Vogtman, who pulled the lyrics and music together for the song called, “Why Should I Deny?”

Vogtman explained that the song was about how Jesus regularly brings us through troubles that seem like they will overtake us, so why should we continue to struggle and sometimes deny Him ourselves?

Vogtman recorded himself singing the song and playing the guitar on a CD and gave the kids copies so they could practice at home. The day before the VBS celebration, Vogtman made the final recording, and then worked on it until about 3 a.m. tweaking it for the program.

“Right afterwards, my computer bit the dust,” Vogtman said. He laughed and said he didn’t know if was an attack of the devil, but he just praises God for allowing it to happen after he finished the recording.

As parents watched the annual VBS video showing their kids’ activities through the week, they were surprised to hear their children and youth singing in the background.

Vogtman is a fifth grade classroom teacher and a musician. He enjoys using music to teach and inspire others.

“It fulfills me to take someone else’s melody and create a song for them,” he said. “That’s more fulfilling than playing out somewhere. Vogtman has played piano, guitar and drums with various praise bands through the years.

Vogtman said God has been using his little studio. For the past six years he has been working with missionaries who have been coming to him to record their songs.

“I help them record whatever God has laid on their hearts,” Vogtman said. Recently he worked with a missionary serving in Lithuania.

Vogtman uses his talents as he feels led. During last year’s annual arts walk through Frostburg, the musician sat in front of the church and played his guitar.