Saturday, December 20, 2008

Traveling Choir @ Van Dyne CANCELLED

Due to weather forecasts for Saturday night and Sunday morning, I've decided to cancel the Traveling Choir performance at Zion, Van Dyne on Sunday, Dec. 21. Students should start calling on the phone tree. I don't know at this time if or when the performance will be rescheduled.

Friday, December 19, 2008

"Come and Worship" - WLA Christmas Concert 2008

The 2008 WLA Christmas Concert "Come and Worship" will be presented twice: Monday, Dec. 22, 2008 at 7 PM and Tuesday, Dec. 23 at 1 PM. Both concerts will be the same.

Click here for the WLA 2008 Christmas Concert program

The concert is based on the words of the refrain of the timeless Christmas hymn "Angels from the Realms of Glory." The hymn verses provide the structure of the concert, reminding us in song that the baby Jesus was first announced by the angels to the shepherds, sought by the wise men and longed for by saints of old. The baby Jesus, true God in human form, came to this earth to redeem sinners in all nations to and for all creation.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

WLA Recordings Now Online

After I ran out of space on my previous free online storage, I needed to find a new place to upload the recordings of the WLA Traveling Choir Sunday performances. I've moved over to Google Sites and created page just for WLA Recordings. You can also use the Quick Link on the top right of this blog to get there.

The first recordings I've uploaded are the nine songs Traveling Choir sang at Grace, Oshkosh on Dec. 14, 2008 in their two morning services. The only song that is missing from the recordings is "Speak O Lord" from the 1st service. I forgot to turn on my digital recorder!

You should be able to click on any title and download the MP3 file to your computer to listen. If it works, I'll continue to upload WLA recordings to this page. Bookmark it and watch it for weekly updates when TC is on the road or after major concerts.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Hotel for Carnegie Hall Announced

The WLA Traveling Choir will be staying at the Grand Hyatt, New York when they travel to New York to sing at Carnegie Hall on June 14, 2009.

This will be the first time we will be staying at this hotel. The previous two times (2004 & 2007) we stayed at the Hilton on the Avenue of the Americas, which was a little closer to Carnegie Hall.

Lodging at the Grand Hyatt is included for students and families who are purchasing the land package from MidAmerica Productions. Others who are making their own travel arrangements are free to make their own reservations.

Monday, December 8, 2008

Weather cancels AK practice (again)

For the second time in less than a week God has given us a reason to drive home in the daylight and spend a night in safety with our families. Because of the impending weather (and line of sleet creeping up from the south) there will be no AK rehearsal on Monday, Dec. 8.

The next practice is Wednesday, Dec. 10. We have a Christmas party on Thursday, Dec. 11 at Holiday Inn, FDL at 1 PM.

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Traveling Choir sings at Bethlehem and Martin Luther, Oshkosh

On Sunday, Dec. 7, the WLA Traveling Choir will sing for the 9:15 AM service at Bethlehem Lutheran Church and for the 10:30 AM service at Martin Luther Lutheran Church, both in Oshkosh. The bus will leave WLA at 7:45 AM. Students riding the bus should be at WLA by 7:30 AM. Students driving to Bethlehem should be there by 8:15 AM.

The Traveling Choir will sing the following pieces in both services: (click to download performance recordings)

1. Speak, O Lord (Bethlehem | Martin Luther)
2. Precious Lord, Take My Hand (Bethlehem | Martin Luther)
3. He is Not Here! (Bethlehem | Martin Luther)
4. The Dream Isaiah Saw (Bethlehem | Martin Luther)
5. Midnight Clear (Bethlehem | Martin Luther)
6. Betelehemu (Bethlehem | Martin Luther)

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

WLA 2008 Christmas Concert posters, bulletin inserts

You can help promote the WLA 2008 Christmas Concert at your church, school, or place of work by downloading these posters and bulletin inserts. All downloads are PDF format.

WLA 2008 Christmas Concert poster (11 x 17)

WLA 2008 Christmas Concert poster (8.5 x 11)

WLA 2008 Christmas Concert bulletin inserts (5.5 x 8.5)

Saturday, November 29, 2008

WELS Choralfest "A Taste of Heaven"

WELS choirs sing to capacity crowd
By KURT NESBITT New Ulm Journal Staff Writer POSTED: November 17, 2008

Choirs from WELS high schools perform Sunday afternoon at Minnesota Valley Lutheran High School in rural New Ulm.

NEW ULM, MN - MVL basketball usually doesn't see the type of crowd like the one that filled that high school's gym on Sunday afternoon.

Perhaps it was because the basketball court was covered in chairs for the audience.

Perhaps it was because of the sheer numbers of the people that attended the Wisconsin Evangelical Lutheran Synod's 2008 West Regional Choral Festival, held Sunday afternoon at MVL.

The bleachers at the west end of the gym were a sea of multi-colored choir robes worn by singers from 15 WELS schools. They singers were arranged according to the range they sang.

Parents, classmates, WELS school officials, clergy and others filled the remainder of the gym.

An estimated crowd of 1,300 people attended the concert. Sunday's event was the second part of the festival and focused entirely on sacred music. The individual choirs performed a pops concert Friday night...

Read the entire article at the New Ulm Journal website

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Order a Choralfest 2008 Sacred Concert CD!

Orders are now being taken for a CD of the Sacred concert of the 2008 West Regional WELS Choralfest held Nov. 16, 2008 at Minnesota Valley Lutheran High School in New Ulm, MN. CDs are $10 each (plus $2 shipping if they need to be sent to an address besides WLA). Checks are to be made out to MLC (Martin Luther College). Payment must accompany the order.

I will be collecting Academy Kids orders at WLA and sending them in as a group. If anyone else wants to order a CD, you may download the order form yourself and send $12 and your order to:

Music Division
Martin Luther College
1995 Luther Court
New Ulm, MN 56073

Download and print the order form here. Orders are being taken through Dec. 5. CDs should be mailed the week of Dec. 7. If you have questions, please email Prof. John Nolte at Martin Luther College, New Ulm, MN.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

How to Build an Igloo

I just sat down with my daughter to help her with homework and she told me about the difference between and igloo (any dwelling, including wood and tents) and an igloovigaq (a snow house). Then we looked on Google Images for pictures of each and ran across this short film on "How to Build and Igloo". Fascinating! Now I want it to snow so much that I can try building one with my kids!

Music to your ears? Music for your heart, too

By Maggie Fox, Health and Science Editor

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Songs that make our hearts soar can make them stronger too, U.S. researchers reported on Tuesday.

They found that when people listened to their favorite music, their blood vessels dilated in much the same way as when laughing, or taking blood medications.

"We have a pretty impressive effect," said Dr. Michael Miller, director of preventive cardiology at the University of Maryland Medical Center in Baltimore...

Read more at Yahoo or Reuters

Vocal Health

Having just come off Choralfest weekend and many WLA students are facing multiple performances of The Wizard of Oz this weekend, the topic of vocal health seems quite appropriate. Here are some pages to read:

Maintaining Vocal Health – David Otis Castonguay, Radford University
Vocal Health Tips – Deborah Torres Patel
Getting the Most Out of Your Voice (Podcast) – Kim Snyder

Try this Hot Drink for your Throat:

3 tablespoons liquid honey
2 ounces of lemon juice (pure)

Boil water, add ingredients, pour hot water in cup, stir until honey is disolved....drink it while it is hot and drink it as hot as you can stand without burning your mouth. Do this once every 2 hours on performance day and your scratchy throat will be clear.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

WLA's Choirs Sing for Veteran's Day 2008

The three WLA Choirs (Freshman, Vikings, and Traveling) joined together to perform Homeward Bound (click to listen) at the beginning of the Veteran's Day observance. During their singing, a slide show of military pictures was projected in the darkened gymnasium.

Monday, November 10, 2008

West Regional WELS Choralfest 2008

This weekend (Nov. 13-15, 2008) high school students from 12 of the 22 WELS high schools will descend on Minnesota Valley Lutheran High School in New Ulm, MN for the Western Regional Choralfest. The 16 members of the Academy Kids will represent WLA at the Pops Concert on Friday, Nov. 13, 7 PM and at the Sacred Concert on Sunday, Nov. 15, 2 PM.

The clinicians for the weekend are Prof. Kurt Wittmershaus from Martin Luther College, New Ulm, MN and Mr. Paul Adickes, choir director from Luther High, Onalaska, WI. The Academy Kids will be hosted by Peace Lutheran Church, Mankato, MN, where they will also sing for the 10:30 AM service on Sunday, Nov. 15.

The Nov. 15 sacred concert will be streamed live over the internet this year for the first time. You can catch the stream by visiting WELS Streams on Sunday, Nov. 15 at 2 PM.

Participating WELS high schools include Wisco, Arizona, Nebraska, St. Croix, Fox Valley, Winnebago, Great Plains, Luther Prep, Luther, MVL (the host), West, Manitowoc, Kettle Moraine, and Rocky Mountain.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Bethlehem and Martin Luther, Oshkosh dates changed

Due to the cancellation of Living Water, Oshkosh's church dedication on Dec. 7, I have asked the pastors at Bethlehem and Martin Luther, Oshkosh if the Traveling Choir can sing at their congregations on Dec. 7 instead of November 30. They both have agreed. This frees up Thanksgiving weekend for everyone to spend more time with their families!

An updated WLA Singing Schedule can be downloaded here.

Carnegie Hall Performance Date and Time Change

Traveling Choir students, parents, and family members going on the Carnegie Hall Trip in June 2009, please read the following email I received about our performance in Carnegie Hall:

To: Kathy Bizrath, Kenneth Klaus, Floyd Slotterback, Dale Witte, Curtis Anderson:
From: Peter Tiboris , General Director
CC: Almeda Berkey

Dear Music Colleagues:

We are very pleased that you will be performing under the baton of Almeda Berkey.

Carnegie Hall has asked that her concert be moved one day earlier from June 15, 2009 to Sunday afternoon June 14, 2009 at 2:00 pm. I have discussed this with Almeda and she has accepted the change.

The reason is that we have a better rehearsal period on Sunday morning prior to the concert rather than Monday afternoon. You should also know that Sunday afternoon is the "prime" concert time in Carnegie Hall.

Your residency will now run from Thursday arrival to Monday departure.

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact me.

Thank you.


Peter Tiboris

General Director, Artistic Director
MidAmerica Productions, Inc.
132 West 36th St., Fourth Floor
New York, New York 10018

happened to us one other time we sang at Carnegie Hall. It will just mean leaving one day earlier. The rough itinerary looks like this now:

Tues., June 9, 2009 – Leave WLA by bus at 6 AM, travel halfway to New York City, evening concert at host congregation around Maumee or Strongsville, OH in return for meal and overnight lodging with hosts (adults in hotels)
Wed., June 10, 2009 – Leave Ohio by bus at 6 AM for New York City, check in to hotel in Manhattan around 6 PM, evening free
Thurs., June 11, 2009 – A full day of sightseeing, including the Statue of Liberty, Ellis Island, and Ground Zero, evening free
Fri, June 12, 2009 – 1st rehearsal sometime during the morning or afternoon. Evening free for sightseeing
Sat., June 13, 2009
2nd rehearsal sometime during the morning or afternoon. Evening free for sightseeing
Sun., June 14, 2009 – Church in Central Park before the Dress Rehearsal at Carnegie Hall in the morning. Performance in Carnegie Hall at 2 PM. Dinner Cruise around Manhattan and Statue of Liberty after concert.
Mon., June 15, 2009 – Travel back to WLA by bus (straight through???)

Monday, November 3, 2008

Dec. 7 Living Water, Oshkosh ***CANCELLED***

Due to construction setbacks and installation delays, the Traveling Choir will not be singing for the dedication service of Living Water, Oshkosh on Dec. 7, 2008 as originally scheduled. Looking at the schedule for the remainder of the 08-09 school year yielded very few open Sundays and none which worked for both Traveling Choir and Living Water. We will try to reschedule Living Water as soon as possible in the 2009-2010 school year.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Fall Concert tonight!

The leaves are falling, the air is cool, and the Packers are playing...must be a October Sunday! If you're not doing anything after the game, drive on over to WLA and take in a bit of musical history. The three choirs of WLA are presenting their Fall Concert entitled "His Truth is Marching On–The Civil War in Story and Song".

The concert is at 7 PM in the WLA Gymnasium, 475 E. Merrill Ave., Fond du Lac, WI. Come early to take in the special displays of Civil War memorabilia. Then get ready for a musical walk through history as the choirs take you from the beginning to the end of the US Civil War in 15 songs. Our special guests for the evening are grade school students from the WLA association schools who will sing along with the choirs on the final song "Battle Hymn of the Republic."

Monday, October 6, 2008

So many singing opportunities for students!

I just opened my mail this morning to find an invitation for WLA girls to sing in the 2nd Annual Youth Festival Sat. Nov. 8 at the Plymouth Arts Center in Plymouth, WI. This women's barbershop quartet festival goes from 9 AM - 5 PM with a free public performance at 5 PM. Instructors are the 1999 Harmony, Inc. champion quartet Change of Heart from Indiana. Call 920-452-5706 or visit their website for more information. Student registration is $15.

I put up a poster in the choir room a couple weeks ago promoting the WSMA State Honors Music Project 2009.
Students selected for the WSMA State Honors Music Project participate in a 3-1/2 day summer camp in June 2009 and perform in Madison during late October 2009 in the Overture Center for the Arts as part of the Wisconsin State Music Conference. The Wisconsin State Honors Music Project is nationally recognized as one of the finest opportunities for young people. Regardless of your future college major, membership in the High School State Honors Music Project helps set you apart from other college applicants.

Online registration for high school students opens Sat. Nov. 1. The final application deadline is Dec. 5. Auditions are either Feb 7, 2009 in Eau Claire, Appleton, and Waukesha or Feb. 14, 2009 in LaCrosse, Middleton, Milwaukee, or Stevens Point. Click here to read audition details and requirements for both vocal and instrumental students. Audition fee is $19.

AND...I just heard this morning about a WELS Youth Chorale which is being formed. I'll post more information when I get it.

Friday, September 26, 2008

Grace, Waupun

Traveling Choir sings Sunday, September 28, 2008 at Grace Lutheran Church, Waupun, WI. Service time is 9:00 AM, Warmups will begin at 8:00 AM. The bus leaves WLA at 7:30 AM.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Good Shepherd, FDL

Traveling Choir sings tomorrow at 8:00 and 10:30 AM at Good Shepherd, Fond du Lac. This is out first Sunday performance of the school and about three weeks earlier than we normally go out. The kids have been working very hard for the past four weeks and have four songs ready to go tomorrow:
  1. Alleluia (Ralph Manuel)
  2. He is Not Here! (Russel Nagy)
  3. Lord, Let at Last Thine Angels Come (Hans Leo Hassler)
  4. Precious Lord, Take My Hand (arr. Jack Schrader)
I'll post recordings to this article tomorrow after the service. Students should be to Good Shepherd by 7:00 AM for warmups. We will be singing in two places before the sermon in both services, and leave after we are done in the second service. There should be a snack provided in between by the congregation.

View Larger Map

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

WLA Theme Song 2008-2009

"I Watch in Hope for the Lord" (MP3, Sheet Music)
recorded live in chapel, 9/17/08 by the WLA student body

I didn't intend to write this song. It just happened.

It was the Friday before the school year was about to begin and I was reading Ps. 32. I was preparing the choir devotions for the year and read Ps. 32:7 ("You are my hiding place; you will protect me from trouble") and a melody immediately popped into my head. As is typical for me, I wondered if I had ever heard it before. I hummed/sang it for a couple people that night. Only one person said it sounded somewhat familiar, but when they sang back to me what they thought it sounded like, I knew what I was hearing in my head was different enough to be unique.

So the next day, the Saturday before the school year, I sat down at school and started singing it, playing it, and writing it down. The verses came first, but the refrain was more like a descant, with long notes and octave leaps. It didn't sound at all like a vocal meloday for a refrain. So I played the chord changes on the piano under the descant and, slowly, a vocal refrain emerged. It wasn't until this point that I realized that I could set this year's theme, Micah 7:7, to that melody. Then I knew a new song was born.

Thank you, God, for letting me hear it.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

The Bonnie Blue Flag

Can a song incite a riot or get you thrown in jail?

The Bonnie Blue Flag was such a song for the South during the early years of the Civil War. It made Confederate hearts burst with pride for their newly formed "Confederate States of America", but it was so powerful that it was banned by the Union generals towards the end of the Civil War . Anyone caught singing it could be fined or even thrown in jail (even though John Wilkes Booth got away with singing it)!

"The Bonnie Blue Flag" from Wikipedia
"Harry Macarthy: The Bob Hope of the Confederacy" from Civil War Times, 6/12/2006
YouTube video of Bonnie Blue Flag as sung in the Warner Bros. movie "Gods and Generals"

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Civil War Concert Posters

Need more posters to put up at your school for the WLA Fall Choral Concert "His Truth is Marching On – The Civil War in Story and Song"? Click below to download PDF files of your favorite posters. Watch this article for more posters every week showing different historical figures from the Civil War. Collect the entire set!

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Michael Stowe (1967-2008)

Students and Faculty from WLA will form a choir to sing In Christ Alone on Saturday, Sep. 13, 2008 for the 11:00 AM Christian funeral of Michael Stowe at Immanuel Lutheran Church, Oshkosh, WI. The choir will meet at Immanuel at 10:30 AM on Saturday to warm up. Students in need of a ride should call Mr. Witte at 920-251-4490.

We are all saddened by this sudden loss of the Stowe family's father, but we rejoice with them that Michael is now enjoying the place that Jesus has prepared for him in heaven. We all watch in hope for the second coming of Jesus and wait for God, our Savior, to take us to be with Him.

Obituary / Directions to Immanuel Lutheran Church

(Updated 9/13/08: Mrs. Stowe talked to me briefly after the service today and wanted me to be sure to tell all of the singers, both students and faculty, how marvelously they sang in the service today. Your service to her family and the guests was very much appreciated by both the Stowe family and Pastor Pagel -- Thank you. D.W.)

Saturday, September 6, 2008

In Tune's Best Music Schools 2009

(Jon Koepsell, this article is for you, and for all my music students at WLA, and their parents, and my kids, and for anyone else who needs to know how to start selecting a music school.)

More than 1,200 schools in the US and Canada offer some form of music education. In Tune Monthly picked the best of them in their October 2008 issue. You can view their college list here. The article acknowledges that many "traditional" music schools are now updating their technology and contemporary music offerings because the way music is created, composed, performed, recorded, and produced is constantly changing.

One nearby music school was mentioned in this article:
McNally Smith, in St. Paul, MN is a contemporary music school that offers degrees in Music Performance, Music Business, Recording Technology, and Composition. The school is beginning a new Bachelor of Science in Music Production program for music producers this fall. Students oversee and album production form start to finish and are required to study music theory, composition, arranging and performance, technology and business, and general liberal arts subjects designed to round out their educations.
Sites with links to music schools
Bridge to Music - THIS IS AN AMAZING SITE!
Do Something
College Bound

Other Resources:
Great Jobs for Music Majors by Jan Goldberg
Schools that Rock: The Rolling Stone College Guide by Jenny Eliscu
The Student's Guide to College Music Programs by Hal Leonard Corp.
Fiske Guide to Colleges by Edward Fiske

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Oops! I forgot to tell you...

Freshman Choir students need to bring black pants and white dress shirts (guys need a tie) to school tomorrow (Thursday, Sep. 4, 2008) for Picture Day. I forgot to mention this in choir today. My apologies!!!

WSMA 2008-2009 Festival Music List

View the 2008-2009 Festival Music List

The Wisconsin School Music Association offers a music list of more than 5,000 carefully selected titles to promote musical growth through practice, performance, and evaluation at WSMA-sanctioned music festivals. Each year, more than 220,000 students take the initiative to participate in WSMA festivals, and use the music from the WSMA Music Festival List. Wisconsin teachers annually volunteer many hours to review and select music for this list.

WLA Music Students (choir, band, piano, and handbells)Use this list to select music for you to perform at this year's Flyway District Solo Ensemble Festivals:

March 7, 2009 – Instrumental & Piano @ Laconia High School
March 14, 2008 – Vocal & Piano @ Laconia High School

Sunday, August 31, 2008

Civil War Museum opens in Kenosha

I was reading the Fond du Lac Reporter this morning (Travel, B7, at the end of the Sports section), and I came across an almost full page article on the opening of a new Smithsonian-affiliated Civil War Museum in Kenosha, WI. I heard about this museum during the summer when I was reading the book that goes along with Ken Burns' Civil War documentary.

I think I need to go to this museum in preparation for WLA's Fall Choral Concert "His Truth is Marching On – The Civil War in Story and Song". The concert will be performed at 7 PM on Sunday, October 19, 2008 in the Winnebago Lutheran Academy gym by the WLA choirs and will feature narrations and first person quotes by Mr. David Wege.

Thursday, August 28, 2008


Click here to view and listen

The final song of the WLA Fall Choral Concert "His Truth is Marching On – The Civil War in Story and Song" will be "The Battle Hymn of the Republic", arranged by Peter Wilhousky for band and choir. I would like to invite all of the grade schools in the WLA association to learn the children's choir parts of this song as heard in the link above and perform it with the WLA choirs and band on October 19, 2008 at the 7 PM concert.

SATB Choral Score – View PDF or order from J.W. Pepper

Thursday, August 7, 2008

WLA Singing Schedule 2008-2009

ALL SUNDAYS HAVE BEEN CONFIRMED!!! All concert dates and times are final. Sundays in green have been confirmed. Abbreviations: Traveling Choir (TC), Viking Choir (VC), Freshman Choir (FC), Academy Kids (AK) UPDATED 8/19/08

Sep. 21, 2008 Good Shepherd, Fond du Lac 8:00 & 10:30 AM (TC)
Sep. 28, 2008
Grace, Waupun 9:00 AM (TC)
Oct. 12, 2008
St. Luke’s, Oakfield 8:00 & 10:15 AM (TC)
Oct 19, 2008
WLA Fall Choral Concert – The Civil War 7:00 PM (TC, VC, FC)
Oct. 26, 2008
Area Reformation Service 2:00 PM (TC, VC, FC)
Nov. 2, 2008
St. John’s Princeton 8:00 & 10:00 AM (TC)
Nov. 14, 2008
West Regional Choralfest Pops Concert @ Minnesota Valley Lutheran High School, New Ulm, MN 7:00 PM (AK)
Nov. 16, 2008
West Regional Choralfest Sacred Concert @ Minnesota Valley Lutheran High School, New Ulm, MN 2:00 PM (AK)
Nov. 30, 2008
Bethlehem & Martin Luther, Oshkosh 9:15 & 10:30 AM (TC)
Dec. 7, 2008
Living Water, Oshkosh (Church Dedication) 9:00 AM (TC)
Dec. 14, 2008
Grace, Oshkosh 8:00 & 10:30 AM (TC)
Dec. 21, 2008
Zion, Van Dyne 10:00 AM (TC)
Dec. 22, 2008
WLA Christmas Concert 1 7:00 PM (TC, VC, FC)
Dec. 23, 2008
WLA Christmas Concert 2 1:00 PM (TC, VC, FC)
Jan. 11, 2009
Faith, Oshkosh 10:00 AM (TC)
Jan 18, 2009
St. Peter’s, Theresa 9:30 AM (TC)
Jan. 25, 2009
Let’s Celebrate Day 11:30 AM - 5:00 PM (TC, VC, FC, AK)
Feb. 1, 2009
St. Paul’s, Brownsville 8:00 & 10:30 AM (TC)
Feb. 8, 2009
Redeemer, Fond du Lac 7:45 & 10:15 AM (TC)
Feb. 15, 2009
St. Peter’s, Kekoskee 9:00 AM (TC)
Feb. 22, 2009
St. Paul’s, North Fond du Lac 7:45 & 10:15 AM (TC)
Mar. 1, 2009Trinity, Hartford 10:00 AM (TC)
Mar. 14, 2009
WSMA Flyway Vocal Solo/Ensemble @ Laconia HS 8:00 AM - 4:00 PM (TC, VC, FC, AK)
Mar. 29, 2009
Jaroslav Vajda Hymn Festival 1 3:30 PM (TC, VC, FC)
Mar. 29, 2009
Jaroslav Vajda Hymn Festival 2 7:00 PM (TC, VC, FC)
Apr. 19, 2009
St. John’s, Fox Lake & St. Paul’s, Manchester 8:00 & 10:00 AM (TC) CHANGED 8/12/08
Apr. 29, 2009
State Solo/Ensemble Finalists Recital 6:00 PM (TC, VC, FC, AK)
May 2, 2009
WSMA State Solo Ensemble Festival @ UW-O 8:00 AM - 4:00 PM (TC, VC, FC, AK)
May 3, 2009
Emmanuel, Hartford 8:45 AM & Zion, Theresa 10:15 AM (TC) CHANGED 8/19/08
May 24, 2009Spring Choral Concert – The Music of Jackson Berkey 7:00 PM (TC, VC, FC, AK)
May 31, 2009
WLA Graduation Service 2:30 PM (TC)
Jun 15, 2009
Carnegie Hall, New York, NY - Traveling Choir in Concert with Almeda & Jackson Berkey 8:00 PM – In Memoriam: Kassarjian, Thoughts and Remembrances (TC)

Thursday, July 17, 2008


For the last year, David Morneau has been composing a new one-minute piece everyday and posting it on his blog. In her Radar - Field Report, Inescapable Creativity: Composing 365, Molly Sheridan, interviews Morneau for NewMusicBox, the web magazine for the American Music Center.

Monday, July 7, 2008

A Pipe Organ from the Hand of God

I was searching the web for a good link for J.S. Bach's Orgelbüchlein setting of Nun komm, der Heiden Heiland (BWV 599) when I stumbled across a YouTube video showing someone playing this organ. Check out one of the most unique organs you'll ever see at the church's website.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008


Wordle is a toy for generating “word clouds” from text that you provide. The clouds give greater prominence to words that appear more frequently in the source text. You can tweak your clouds with different fonts, layouts, and color schemes. The images you create with Wordle are yours to use however you like. You can print them out, or save them to the Wordle gallery to share with your friends.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Approval for 3rd Carnegie Hall Performance Secured

On Monday, June 16, 2008 the WLA Executive approved the WLA Traveling Choir to sing at Carnegie Hall in New York City for a 3rd time on June 15, 2009. The conductor will again be Almeda Berkey and the pieces that we are scheduled to perform are Jackson Berkey's In Memoriam: Kassarjian and Thoughts and Remembrances.

Please send all deposits to WLA Carnegie Trip, 103 WeGo Trail, Fox Lake WI 53933. Please email me at if you have any questions.

Thursday, May 8, 2008

150 Years Built on the Rock

St. Peter's Lutheran Church in Fond du Lac, WI is celebrating its 150th anniversary this year with a series of festival services throughout the year. This weekend the Traveling Choir was invited to sing for a combination Pentecost and Christian/Lutheran Education festival. They sang tonight, Thursday May 8, for the 6:30 service and, as I've been doing since the middle of April, I recorded their songs. St. Peter's is a wonderful church to sing in–there's lots of natural reverb which just makes it so easy to sing. The softs can be softer because they just float around the room on their own. And you don't have to work so hard to be loud either. I just hope they can capture that same feeling in their new church!

We sang in two sets and I left the songs together instead of cutting them apart into separate tracks. I also recorded my introductions so you can get an feeling for what it's like to come and listen to us sing. You'll have to let me know if these files are too big to download quickly.

First Set: This Is My Word, In Christ Alone, The King of Love (39.2 MB)
Second Set: O Christ the Same, Witness (24.5 MB)

The two accompanists were Hannah Sugars (This is My Word, The King of Love) and Charis Scharf (In Christ Alone). They are both wonderful accompanists!

Monday, April 28, 2008

Traveling Choir records in rehearsal

One of my students has been asking me for a couple of weeks for recordings of the Traveling Choir singing "In Christ Alone" and "The King of Love" for a friend of their family. Last Friday we finally had time in our rehearsal schedule to do a recording day. You can listen for yourself by clicking the links above.

Friday, April 25, 2008

WLA Musicians Advance to State Solo Ensemble Festival

Congratulations to the following WLA music students for advancing to the State Solo Ensemble Festival at UW-Oshkosh on Saturday, April 26, 2008:

  • Dion Malenke (drum set & concert snare drum solo)
  • Ashley Kuhlow (piano)
  • Beth Geisthardt (piano)
  • Tanya Wilsmann (violin & flute)
  • Nick Schmidt (trumpet solo & trio)
  • Jordan Jindra (trumpet trio)
  • Levi Wolff (trumpet trio)
  • Seth Westphal (concert snare drum solo)
  • Britt Kerr (french horn)
Click here for WLA's schedule (aka FONDY WINN LUTH), Room Key, General Information, UW-Oshkosh campus map, and Driving Directions

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

2008-2009 Traveling Choir Auditions Announced

Auditions for the 2008-2009 WLA Traveling Choir will be held April 28-May 2, 2008 in the WLA Choir Room. Students should sign up for their audition time on the Choir Room door. Students who have sung in a WLA choir for one year are eligible to audition for the 2008-2009 Traveling Choir. Students may audition before school, during Block 1, 2, 3, Noon A, Noon B, Block 5, or after school as the audition schedule allows. Auditions take 15 minutes.


1. Sing This Is My Beloved Son by Pepper Choplin (Streaming: mp3, Real Audio, Download mp3s: Full performance, Accompaniment only)

The music is available in the Choir Room. Students must prepare to sing the entire song in the voice part that they are auditioning for. Applicants will be judged according to the Wisconsin State Music Association vocal solo rubric in the following areas:
  • Tone--the shape of the vowel and the beauty of the sound
  • Intonation--staying on the right pitch, neither sharp nor flat
  • Accuracy--singing the correct notes and rhythms
  • Interpretation--singing musically and expressively
  • Technique--breathing at logical spots and showing clear and clean diction
2. Tonal Memory Exercises
Students will hear short melodic phrases played at the piano and sing them back on “La” to test their aural memory

3. Sightreading Exercises
Students will sing a series of short graded examples to determine their sightreading ability.

4. Range Vocalization
The student will sing scales on “AH” to the top and bottom of their range.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Traveling Choir at St. Marcus, Milwaukee

Today, Traveling Choir got up WAY before the sun was even thinking about shining and boarded a school bus, not for a WLA association church, but for St. Marcus Lutheran Church in Milwaukee. We were invited by their music director, Jeff Krumbein, to sing for morning services and to join in singing with their gospel choir. Even though we were singing in an inner city church in Milwaukee, the day turned out to be more of a Fond du Lac day because not only is Jeff Krumbein the director of the Fond du Lac choir Joyful Witness (formerly known as the Winnebago Lutheran Chorale), but everyone's favorite "Irish" musician and WLA grad, Joey Schumann, played bagpipes, whistles, and violin for both services as well.

The Traveling Choir sang three songs after the sermon in the first service:
Between services, we were served a huge breakfast and then rehearsed with the gospel choir for our joint piece in the second service.
The second service was video taped for Time of Grace ministries. We sang four selections before the sermon:
and joined with who we thought was the gospel choir, but ended up being the United Voices of Praise, backed by a full gospel band (piano, bass, drum set, congo, bongos, Hammond B3 organ), Joey Schumann on flute, and a special guest saxophonist.
In all the excitement of the day, I forgot to bring my camera along to take pictures of Traveling Choir singing and rehearsing. Did anyone get pictures? Please let me know or send them my way and I'll post them here. Thanks!

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Traveling Choir's 1st Sunday Recording

I got a new toy which I had to try out this morning when Traveling Choir sang at Faith Lutheran Church, Fond du Lac, WI. I've been wanting to record the Traveling Choir on Sunday mornings when they go out to the WLA Association congregations, but I didn't have a good way of doing it. Well, I was at the MENC National Convention in Milwaukee the past couple of days and found a solution– the Edirol R-09 handheld digital recorder.

So, this morning I took it along to Faith and was going to record both services. Halfway through the 1st service I realized that I never took the recorder out of my pocket! So, between services I did a little reading of the manual (which I NEVER do), popped in new AA batteries, and handed the recorder to a gentleman in the congregation who I knew wouldn't be afraid of technology, and went about directing the Traveling Choir. I was eager to get home and listen to the recordings just to see if it worked right out of the box.

Well, listen for yourself–I think not only did the recording go well, but TC sang very well this morning!

Friday, April 11, 2008

African Children's Choir Performs at MENC National Convention in Milwaukee

WSMA Concert Festival at Mayville H.S.

The WLA Traveling Choir will perform

Gloria (Randol Alan Bass)
The King of Love (arr. Daniel Kallmann)
Witness (arr. Jack Halloran)

on Wednesday, April 16, 2008 at Mayville High School for the Wisconsin School Music Association Flyway Conference Choral Concert Festival.

Performance Times – Auditorium

8:00 Mayville Mens Choir
8:30 Horicon 6th grade
9:00 Lomira Middle School
9:30 Lomira High School
10:00 WLA Traveling Choir
10:30 Horicon 7/8th Grade
11:00 Mayville Cappella Choir

12:30 Mayville Concert Choir
1:00 Faith Lutheran Middle School
1:30 Mayville Treble Choir
2:00 Mayville Middle School Choir
2:30 Springs High School

TC will be at WLA for the first class of the day (Block 8), then change into their concert attire, board a bus, and travel to Mayville High School by 9:30 am. Warmups are 9:30-10:00. After performing at 10:00 am, we'll stay to listen to at least one choir, maybe two, before returning to WLA. It's a WSMA requirement to listen to other choirs and evaluate them at concert festival. We should be back to WLA for Block 5, but we'll probably have to catch lunch on the road.

Friday, April 4, 2008

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Academy Kids sing for Waucousta "Spring Fling"

Where in the world is Waucousta???

View Larger Map

4th Quarter Choir Performances

Sat. Apr. 5 AK @ Waucousta (8:30-9:15 PM) be there by 8:00 PM
Sun. Apr. 6 TC @ St. John's Montello (8:15 AM) and Emmanuel, Meccan (10:30 AM)
Sun. Apr. 13 TC @ Faith, Fond du Lac (7:45 & 10:30 AM)
Wed. Apr. 16 TC @ Mayville H.S. WSMA Concert Festival (time TBA)
FC/VC/Band/Piano @ St. Francis Home, Fond du Lac (2:00 - 3:00 PM)
Sat. Apr. 19 AK @ Campbellsport H.S. – Campbellsport Women's Club (2:00 PM)
Sun. Apr. 20 TC @ St. Marcus, Milwaukee (leave WLA 6:00 AM, services 8 & 10:30, return by 2 PM)
Wed. Apr 23 WLA State Finalists Recital (cancelled)
Sat. Apr. 26 WSMA State Solo Ensemble Festival @ UW-Oshkosh
Thurs. May 8 TC @ St. Peter's, Fond du Lac 150th Anniversary (6:30 PM)
Sun. May 11 TC @ St. Peter's, Fond du Lac 150th Anniversary (7:45 & 10:30 AM)
Sun. May 18 WLA Spring Choral Concert: Van Gogh's "Starry Night" (7:00 PM)
Mon. May 19 & Wed. May 21 2008-2009 AK Auditions (6:00-8:00 PM)

Friday, March 14, 2008

Irish Hymn Festival

The three choirs of Winnebago Lutheran Academy will present a hymn festival of Irish hymn tunes on March 17, 2008 at 3:30 and 7:00 PM at Faith Lutheran Church, 55 Prairie Road, Fond du Lac, WI. The concert is free and open to the public. The audience will be invited to sing along on many of the hymns. A free will offering will be taken.

The hymn selections will be: (click here for PDF of Concert Program)

1. I Bind Unto Myself Today (ST. PATRICK'S BREASTPLATE)
3. This Is My Will (EMLY/SUANTRAI)
4. In Christ Alone

Offering: Handbells
  • Jesus, I Will Ponder Now
  • Good Christians All, Rejoice
5. O Christ the Same (LONDONDERRY AIR)
6. The King of Love (ST. COLUMBA)
7. Be Thou My Vision (SLANE)

Monday, March 10, 2008

Dem Dry Bones

The Old Testament reading in my church this weekend was Ezekiel 37:1-14 which is the story of the Valley of the Dry Bones. As I was sitting in church yesterday listening to this Bible story, my church musician brain clicked in and remembered the hymn in which one of the last verses has the text "for such dry bones as we". Sure enough, we sang Isaac Watts hymn "Lord, We Confess Our Numerous Faults" in place of the hymn of the day, "My Song Is Love Unknown", which opened the service.

Then in chapel this morning at WLA, Pastor Putz had the exact same text, Ezekiel 37:1-14, and sang for the WLA student body the African-American spiritual "Dem Dry Bones", much to the amusement of the student body. Pastor Putz demonstrated something that has amazed me before and reinforces what I believe: music needs to be taught to little kids–if it is, they will remember it all of their lives.

He related the story of when he learned "Dem Dry Bones", which has the familiar refrain
...Your knee bone connected to your thigh bone,
Your thigh bone connected to your hip bone,
Your hip bone connected to your back bone...
I was amazed that he could remember this song that he was taught in grade school and that he could sing it word for word for the entire student body even after more than 50 years. It stuck with him! Plus he got the student body clapping along with him!

I had to look up in my Bible the reference to "Lord, We Confess Our Numerous Faults" (Christian Worship 398:5). I could only remember the last line "for such dry bones as we".

Shouldn't we teach our children the truths of God's Word in ways that they can remember them all of their lives? I've wanted to make a list for a while now showing songs, hymns, and spirituals which teach the truths of God's Word and correlate that list with Bible stories and Bible lessons in grade school and Bible readings in church.

Monday, March 3, 2008

March 8 Instrumental Solo Ensemble Schedules (ULTRA FINAL!)

UPDATED 3/7/08 1:16 PM


Below you will find links to the schedules for the March 8, 2008 WSMA Flyway Conference Vocal & Piano Solo/Ensemble Festival which is being hosted by Winnebago Lutheran Academy (Click here for directions to WLA).

Please note: Each school has two schedules (performers and accompanists) sorted in two different ways, (1) by the time they are performing and then the site where they are performing and (2) by the site where they are performing and then the time that they perform. There are also master room schedules for the entire day, master accompanist's schedules, and a map of WLA with site numbers marked.

Any questions? Dale Witte, WLA's choir director, is the festival manager for both the March 1st and March 8th festivals. You can reach him at his school number: 920-921-4930 ext. 310 or by email:

FINAL Room Schedules:
Site 1, Site 2, Site 3, Site 4, Site 5, Site 6, Site 7, Site 8, Site 9, Site 10, Site 11

Bessie Allen Middle School (BAMS):
Time-Site, Site-Time, Accomp Time-Site, Accomp Site-Time

Brandon Middle School (BMS):
Time-Site, Site-Time, Accomp Time-Site, Accomp Site-Time

Faith Lutheran Grade School (FAITH):
Time-Site, Site-Time, Accomp Time-Site, Accomp Site-Time

Horicon High School (HHS):
Time-Site, Site-Time, Accomp Time-Site, Accomp Site-Time

Horace Mann High School (HMHS):
Time-Site, Site-Time, Accomp Time-Site, Accomp Site-Time

Laconia High School (LACHS):
Time-Site, Site-Time, Accomp Time-Site, Accomp Site-Time

Lomira High School (LHS):
Time-Site, Site-Time, Accomp Time-Site, Accomp Site-Time

Lomira Junior High School (LJH):
Time-Site, Site-Time, Accomp Time-Site, Accomp Site-Time

Mayville High School (MHS):
Time-Site, Site-Time, Accomp Time-Site, Accomp Site-Time

Mayville Middle School (MMS):
Time-Site, Site-Time, Accomp Time-Site, Accomp Site-Time

Oshkosh West High School (OSHW):
Time-Site, Site-Time, Accomp Time-Site, Accomp Site-Time

Rosendale Middle School (RMS):
Time-Site, Site-Time, Accomp Time-Site, Accomp Site-Time

St. Mary's Springs High School (SMS):
Time-Site, Site-Time, Accomp Time-Site, Accomp Site-Time

Van Brunt Middle School (VBMS):
Time-Site, Site-Time, Accomp Time-Site, Accomp Site-Time

Waupun High School (WHS):
Time-Site, Site-Time, Accomp Time-Site, Accomp Site-Time

Winnebago Lutheran Academy (WLA):
Time-Site, Site-Time, Accomp Time-Site, Accomp Site-Time

Winnebago Lutheran Area Band (WLAB):
Time-Site, Site-Time, Accomp Time-Site, Accomp Site-Time