By Amy Robertson
lee Ernst thought she was Broadway-bound when she graduated from Caronport High School in 2009.
But after two tours with Saskatchewan Express, the province’s professional touring musical revue, the 18-year-old performer has decided to come home and start an undergraduate degree in music at Briercrest College and Seminary.
Ernst has always excelled in musical theatre. She played lead roles in several high school musical productions, and she loved both her tours with Saskatchewan Express—2008’s summer tour and 2009-2010’s winter tour. But at the end of her second Sask Express tour, Ernst believed God wanted her to move in a different direction.
“I was, kind of like, Broadway-bound, but God kind of changed my plans and kind of showed me that He didn’t want me in the whole performance area and that He wanted me to use my music for Him,” Ernst said.
“I know that I love singing in front of people. I know that I love using my music to inspire other people, and I thought that was in the whole performing arts area, but I found that was a very selfish track for me to be in. It’s not like that for everyone, but I felt like when I was in the performance area that I was trying to be better than people—I had to win, almost.”
After this summer, which Ernst spent as a summer camp worship coordinator in Choiceland, Sask., and after four years of leading worship at her high school’s chapel services, Ernst feels differently about musical worship.
“I found that in worship, I’m still using my music to inspire and to be a leader, but it’s in a different track—it’s for something bigger than myself,” she said.
So this month, instead of heading for the stages of Toronto or New York, she headed home to Caronport.
“Where’s a better place to study worship than Briercrest?” Ernst asked with a smile.
Both Ernst’s parents are employees of the college, and as an alumna of CHS, which shares a campus with Briercrest, she is very familiar with all of the college’s music programs and opportunities.
She’s registered for a BA in Music and hopes to gain entry to the Worship track this year through an audition and interview.