Baylor Jazz Ensemble - Greece 2017The Baylor Jazz Ensemble atop the Areopagus, where the Apostle Paul delivered his sermon
to the Athenians (Acts 17:16-34).
In July 2017, the Jazz Ensemble of The Wayne Fisher Jazz Program at Baylor University under the direction of Alex Parker traveled to Athens, Greece on a ten-day mission trip sponsored by Baylor Missions. The group, partnered with The First Evangelical Church of Athens under the leadership of Pastor Panagiotis Kantartzis, performed eight concerts throughout the city. Two of these noteworthy events included performing at area refugee camps, sharing the gift of music with the refugees who had been displaced from their homes and communities in Syria and lost everything in the process. This experience was deeply impactful on both the refugees and the members of the Jazz Ensemble. One English-speaking man from Damascus greeted Mr. Parker following the performance and said, “Thank you. Thank you for coming here and playing for us. You brought us joy. Sometimes we go weeks or months without joy, and today, you brought us joy. Did you see the looks on the faces of these people?" to which Mr. Parker replied, “Did you see the looks on the faces of my band? Tonight, we also had joy!"
The Jazz Ensemble visited some of Athens’ most famous sites, including the Acropolis, the Areopagus, the Agora, and the Olympic Stadium. They also traveled to the ancient city of Corinth where the Apostle Paul resided between AD 50 and 52, and got to stand on the very site where Paul was tried before Gallio, the Roman Proconsul (Acts 18:5-12). The ensemble also traveled to Cape Sounion, the southernmost point of the Attican peninsula, to watch the sunset over the Mediterranean Sea. The nineteen students and two faculty members were forever changed through their experiences getting to know the city of Athens, its people, its history, and culture.
Read more about the trip through the Baylor Jazz in Greece Blog.