Sunday, March 30, 2014

Essay on the OSA

This essay is taken from the Peter Simon Jensen, 1872-1896, collection at the Church History Library in Salt Lake City, Utah.

Note: This article has been typed in using the grammar and spelling used by the author. It is hand written on three sheets of paper, a sample of which is pictured above.

Essay on the Oneida S. Academy and its founders

Church Academies are constructed according to divine revelation, given to our beloved Prophet Brigham Young, in making special reference to the O.S. Academy and its founders I will give a few items gleaned from the minutes kept by the secretary of the Board of Education of this Stake, which reads as follows.
            This was done in accordance with instructions in circular No. 1, issued by the general Church Board of Education. Our first Stake Board consisted of the following named Brethren.
            Geo. C. Parkinson, Wm. H. Parkinson, Chas. M. Squires, Jas. Chadwick, and Parley P. Willey. Among the first moves made by the Board was to plan for a suitable school Building. Public meetings were held to determine when to build it in the several Wards. Delegates were elected to meet in convention and decide the matter by majority vote. This convention met in Franklin Tithing office July 27, 1889. Several Wards were voted upon as suitable place for the erection of the building. And while there were a majority of the Delegates perferred other Wards to Preston it was thought those in favor of Preston represented a majority of People.
            In order to avoid any ill feelings whatever in this matter it was decided to have the judgment of the first Presidency of the Church.  Prest. Lorenzo Snow was sent to visit the different wards and investigate in behalf of the Board and soon after his report it was decided Preston was the most suitable place in the Stake. Through the kindness of Pres. Wilford Woodruff and councilors the church architect D.C. Young was instructed to draft a plan. This he did and the plan was highly recommended by Dr. Carl G. Mayer and others.
            Desiring the hearty support of all the people throughout the entire Stake. Letters were sent to the Bishops of different wards requesting that from three to five men be appointed to represent the subject in a general Priesthood meeting held in Preston. At this meeting wich occurred July 7, 1898. The Plan drawn on paper By Bro. Young was fully exhibited to all present; and all were in favor of accepting it, contribute there means and use their influence with others to contribute their means to this worthy enterprise. Prest. Solomon H. Hale was engaged to supertend the job work wich was soon commenced. The basement excavated and on July 2nd 1890 late in the afternoon Prest. Geo C. Parkiinson dedicated the corner Stone wich was laid by himself and others under direction of master mason ??? Sommars. From that time the work steadily progressed and in Dec. 16, 1892 they commenced or was in the act of putting on the roof. the dimensions of the Building are 48X60 on the inside. Three stories high including the basement. The present condition of the School is favorable the last winter it has had an average attendance of about 200 a quite a large pescent of those being Academic Students. Owing to busy times wich come on in the spring season the amount of students have greatly decreased.
            By close observation we ned not be left in doubt as to this and similar Institution being of a Divine origin. As the sole object of building them is that all of a moral chacter who wish and are able to persue its courses with profit may be benifited and develop their mental facilities in every direction. Everything that terminates to elevate us originates from God our Eternal father, development of the head and mind is necessary. And Church schools are the agency wich this shall be brought about. We shall in some future time head the world in Education. While we do not wish to ignore the district School in any way, we hold the Academies in preference as we firmly believe they are conducted more in accordance with the principles of revealed religion. As for instance we have among the other branches of study one half an hour devoted to the study of Theology and all are requested to participate.
            A student is capable of learning more easily under the influence and guidance of the Spirit of God We hold that those who attend these schools are under a better influence than those who attend schools that are not conducted upon this basis.
            Great credit is due the People of this Stake who have so Liberally appropriated of their means to complete this Building. When taking into consideration that it has or will when comp finished cost in the neighborhood of $40,000. For all this I do not think for a moment that People feel any the poorer.
            What are the worth of the means contributed to compare with the Blessings that will be derived from this Enterprise. Yes we can already see its blessings being showered among the Youth of this Locality who attend this School. I will also add that the teachers employed are good energetic workers who work for the advancement of those in attendance. The last winter five teachers have been employed including the Music Teacher.
            May God bless and prosper this institution and increase in the hearts of the young the desire to attend it. And may the Parents see its necessity of encouraging their children to this effect.

Monday, March 10, 2014

Castleton puts OSA soul to music

Tyler Castleton

The Preston Citizen featured Tyler Castleton and the music he wrote for the OSAF pageant "If These Walls Could Talk." This new and original musical will be presented Aug. 8-9 in front of the Oneida Stake Academy building (90 E. Oneida, Preston, Idaho). 

You can read about Tyler and his beautiful music at this link: Preston Citizen

Sunday, March 9, 2014

Text of Citizen article found here

Castleton puts heart and soul of OSA building to music

Citizen staff writer

The heartfelt and popular music of Franklin County native, Tyler Castelton, has been performed around the world by such acclaimed artists and superstars as Gladys Knight, Marie Osmond, The Mormon Tabernacle Choir, Julie de Azevedo, Eclipse, The Jets, and Martina McBride. His talents are behind the award-winning albums of Latter-day Saint artists Michael McLean, Jericho Road, Hilary Weeks, Kenneth Cope, Jenny Phillips, Cherie Call, Jenny Oaks Baker, Providence, and George Dyer.

Recently Castleton’s talents have come home to roost: Last year his newly organized boy-band Beyond 5 exploded onto the pop scene taking Castleton’s music throughout Asia. At Christmastime, he brought the group to perform at Preston High School and Preston Junior High.

Also last year, he gave his hometown another gift, one the community will receive in August: Castleton has put to music the heart and soul of the Oneida Stake Academy building in three original songs that will be featured in the first ever Oneida Stake Academy Pageant: “If These Walls Could Talk.”

In 2012, Castleton was approached by the late Karla Cattani about the idea of writing music for a script written by Cecelie Costley to be presented as part of the county’s 2013 centennial. Castleton readily agreed to be a part of the production and quickly wrote some tunes. At the time, Castleton was in the middle of producing the Asian tour and debut of Beyond 5, so his time was extraordinarily tight. But in his heart, he knew the music he had promised for the pageant wasn’t right.

So despite the hopes of the Oneida Stake Academy Foundation Pageant Committee’s directors, he scrapped the songs. The pageant therefore, was not a part of Franklin County’s Centennial.

Castleton was determined to find just the “right” message with his songs, however, and rewrote them all. When they finally came together, the music was worth the wait, said Peggy Christensen, who took over the effort at Cattani’s untimely death.

“The music conveys exactly the message and emotions we were hoping for,” she said. Christensen and her husband are currently serving a mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Alice King, Dani Dunn and the OSAF Pageant Committee are moving the production forward.

“From the moment I was approached by Karla Cattani, I knew I wanted to be involved,” said Castleton. “(The academy) has a special place in my heart because it was right there at the center of my youth and growing up and I appreciate it … for the history that’s behind it and what’s happened there long before I came along.”

He took his first music lessons in the building from Marion Newbold. He participated in choir concerts and National Honor Society meeting in the building’s ballroom. Like many youth in the past, Castleton was fascinated by the elegant, history-rich edifice.

“I have with my friends, snuck up into bell tower of the OSA many times, in the middle of the night with my friends, and rung the bell, bringing police many a time in the middle of the night on several occasions.”

But it was a respectful fascination and when he married, Castleton and his new bride held their wedding reception in the same ballroom. “My mother decorated that place like nobody’s business,” he said.

So it was for his appreciation to those people who provided his heritage and training, and his own attachment to the building, that Castleton told Cattani he would write the music despite the conflict it posed with his efforts to debut Beyond 5.

“I knew it would be difficult with my schedule, but … I said I would wholeheartedly. Frankly, I wanted to make a contribution. I wanted to help tell the story of our heritage and our history and of all the wonderful and amazing people who came before us. I feel really privileged to … use what I’ve been given (my talents) to help.”

In addition to the love Castleton feels for his hometown, Costley’s script inspired his compositions, he said. By imagining the mindset and heartfelt feelings of the characters, Castleton wrote the music from the their vantage point.

“I tried to put myself into the place of the townspeople so long ago when the prophet was encouraging them to make education a bigger part of their lives,” he said.

“It was not an easy process because I was juggling so much… And when I did have time, it wasn’t always easy to get ideas to flow.” Castleton said many prayers were said by people in his support group to help him accomplish what he was trying to do.

“They’re support and prayers in my behalf really did help those songs to come about.” Castleton said he is thankful for the opportunity to be involved in the Oneida Stake Academy Foundation Pageant, which will be presented August 8-9.

“I want to give a collective hug to the town of Preston. There are so many meaningful people there that played a part in my growing up. Preston’s a really special place. A big part of my heart will always be there,” he said.