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.