Sunday, May 30, 2010

Seth Westphal - WSMA Exemplary Soloist

The Exemplary Solo Recognition Project expands recognition of outstanding soloists at the WSMA State Solo and Ensemble Festival. Adjudicators select the most exceptional student soloists at each of the state festival sites. This spring, state festival adjudicators identified 473 truly exemplary soloists, among whom was WLA's own Seth Westphal, for his Parade Drum solo.  Congratulations, Seth!

Thursday, May 27, 2010

2010-2011 WLA Academy Kids

Thank you to all who auditioned! Congratulations to those who were selected to represent WLA to the Fond du Lac area and at the WELS Regional Choralfest Nov. 12-14, 2010 at Manitowoc Lutheran High School. 

Soprano: Megan Galske, Libby Adelmeyer, Samantha Schanilec, Steph Meyer
Alto: Amy Qualmann, Merissa Cutter, Hannah Schmidt, Andi Rupp
Tenor: Bret Skaer, Dan Moldenhauer, Joey Dabringer, David Kell
Bass: John Kammueller, Kyle Mildebrandt

There are still two spots open in the bass section. If there are any WLA students who would like to audition for those two spots, please see me ASAP!

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

WLA Graduation 2010 - Live Stream

Watch the Winnebago Lutheran Academy 2010 Graduation Service here on Sunday, May 30, 2010 starting at 2:00 PM (CDT, GMT-5).  The service starts at 2:30 PM (CDT, GMT-5).

Stream videos at Ustream

Friday, May 21, 2010

WLA Spring Choral Concert - May 23, 2010, 7 PM

Free video streaming by Ustream

You know, reading about the songs in a choral program doesn't even compare to being there to hear it live! Come to WLA Sunday, May 23, 2010 at 7 PM. You won't regret it!

Traveling Choir

Star Spangled Banner, arr. Darmon Meader

Freshman Choir

Irving Berlin’s America, arr. Roger Emerson
Stand By Me, arr. Roger Emerson
For Spacious Skies, arr. David L. Brunner

Academy Kids

Lean on Me, adapted by Roger Emerson
Prayer of the Children, arr. Andrea S. Klouse
Dan Moldenhauer, tenor • Nathan Boerneke, lead • B.J. Otte, baritone • Peter Plagenz, bass
Wicked (Choral Highlights), arr. by Mark Brymer

Viking Choir

Time to Say Goodbye (Con Te Partiró), arr. Carl Strommen
We Are the World 25 for Haiti, arr. Roger Emerson

Traveling Choir

Sure on This Shining Night, Morten Lauridsen
Takwaba Uwabanga Yesu, arr. Ben Allaway
Somebody to Love, arr. Roger Emerson
The Stars and Stripes Forever, arr. Arthur Frackenpohl

All Choirs

The Lord Bless You and Keep You, Peter C. Lutkin

For Don Sippel's Family

Last week was Teacher Appreciation Week at WLA. Zak Stowe put together a very nice photo montage tribute of the 09-10 Music Department which was shown in chapel last Tuesday. This is not that video.

This video is from the 2007-2008 school year. Dion Malenke put this one together. I post it today because Don Sippel, the father of a former Traveling Choir student, Kelly Sippel, was called home to heaven last night. The WLA Traveling Choir has been asked to sing Dan Forrest's "The King of Love, My Shepherd Is" at Don's Christian funeral. The funeral will be Monday, May 24, 2010 at 11 AM at St. Peter's Lutheran Church, Fond du Lac, WI. I do not know any other funeral arrangements at this time.

After finding out this morning that Kelly asked for TC to sing "The King of Love", I pulled it out for TC to rehearse, which they did with more strength and conviction than I could have under the circumstances. It's always hard to hear that a family member of a former student has passed away, especially when it is a sudden, unexpected death. But it's also a truly humbling thing to be asked to sing for their funeral, especially when it is music that TC has sung in past.

I invite former Traveling Choir students who know this piece of music to sing with us at the funeral on Monday. We have a rehearsal tentatively planned for 10 AM in the church sanctuary at St. Peter's, FDL. I'll post more information here or on my Facebook and Twitter accounts as I know more.

The King of Love My Shepherd Is
By: Henry W. Baker

The King of love my shepherd is,
Whose goodness faileth never;
I nothing lack if I am his
And he is mine forever.
Where streams of living water flow,
My ransomed soul he leadeth
And, where the verdant pastures grow,
With food celestial feedeth.
Perverse and foolish oft I strayed,
But yet in love he sought me
And on his shoulder gently laid
And home rejoicing brought me.
And so through all the length of days
Thy goodness faileth never.
Good Shepherd, may I sing thy praise
Within thy house forever.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

AK Auditions 2010-2011

Mon., May 24, 6-8 PM
Wed., May 26, 6-8 PM

Sign up on the Choir Room Door

Music: I Gotta Feeling (Black Eyed Peas)

It's that time of year again!  Auditions for next year's Academy Kids will be held two nights next week.  It is important that students are at both audition nights because the choreography will be taught on Monday night and the final auditions will happen Wednesday night.

There were 13 Seniors in this year's AK and with only 16 spots to fill (four in each section), MANY NEW SINGERS ARE NEEDED!  If you are going to audition, please sign up on the Choir Room door by this Friday, May 21, 2010.

Music can be picked up from Mr. Witte at the Choir Room Door.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

2002 WLA Traveling Choir at the Weidner Center in Green Bay, WI

This is the performance that started it all.

Short story:

An audio recording of this perfomance (John Rutter's Te Deum, Petri Laaksonen's Täälla Pohjantähden älle, Hans Leo Hassler's Lord, Let at Last Thine Angels Come, and Moses Hogan's I Can Tell the World) was sent to the Wisconsin Choral Directors Association to audition the WLA Traveling Choir to sing for the 2002 WCDA State Convention at UW-Oshkosh.

There, TC performed an all sacred concert including Randoll Alan Bass' Gloria and Jackson Berkey's View Me, Lord, a Work of Thine. In the audience of choir directors was Dr. James Kinchen, director at UW-Parkside, who recommended the WLA Traveling Choir to sing under his direction at Carnegie Hall the next year.

While it didn't work to join Dr. Kinchen at Carnegie Hall, the WLA Traveling Choir did sing Randall Thompson's Frostiana at Carnegie Hall in 2004.  We have gone back twice since then, in 2007 and 2009 singing works of Jackson Berkey and Aaron Copland under the direction of Almeda Berkey.

In the past school year alone, I have had five more direct invitations to bring the WLA Traveling Choir back out to New York to sing at either Carnegie Hall or the Lincoln Center.  God certainly has blessed us!

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Contemporvant Worship

A friend of mine sent this to me. He's been working on his Masters in Church Music at Concordia University, Mequon WI. I got mine in 1997 from Concordia University, Chicago, IL. Every time I see something like this, it makes me think about a class I took in Contemporary Issues in Church Music during my MCM work. At that time (1997) it was the beginning of the Praise and Worship Band era in the LC-MS. It was filtering in from non-denominational mega-churches. Today, we see it from place-to-place in the WELS. Everytime you hear the phrase "contemporary worship," ask yourself the question, like a good Lutheran, "What does this mean?", because it means something different to everyone who says it depending on their background.

This video is an extreme, albeit humerous example. Unfortunately, this is what I think a lot of people think contemporary worship is, or should become. I hope not. There is a lot to be said for doing Lutheran liturgical worship well:

  • the musicians and pastors planning each service so well that the the same message is preached from the balcony by the choirs, instrumentalists, and organist as the pastor preaches from the pulpit and lectern,
  • that message is evident to all worshippers as they are worshiping, and
  • it is memorable enough that they can tell someone else who was not there what worship was about that week.

There also is a lot to be said for remaining true to the heritage of the Lutheran Church, reclaiming who we are, boldly proclaiming what it means to be Lutheran, and not experimenting with whom we are not.

Can you tell which side of the argument I'm on?

"Sunday's Coming" Movie Trailer from North Point Media on Vimeo.

Friday, May 7, 2010

2010-2011 WLA Traveling Choir Audition Results

There will be a meeting Monday, May 10, 2010, Noon A in the Choir Room, to give more information about next year's Traveling Choir, to discuss tuxes and dresses, and to answer any questions which new members may have. Thank you to all students who auditioned!

Soprano 1
Lexi Herrewig, Allison Schulz, Libby Adelmeyer, Alyssa Stowe, Megan Galske, Becky Meyer

Soprano 2
Steph Meyer, Jennee Newhauser, Lydia Mathwig, Abby Phillips, Erin Jacobs, Bethany Westphal

Alto 1
Danielle Gieschen, Andi Rupp, Merrissa Cutter, Rachel Thiesfeldt, Hannah Schmidt, Natalie Schmidt

Alto 2
Amy Qualmann, Kayla Goeglein, Samantha Kraus, Kirby Reehl

Tenor 1
Dan Moldenhauer

Tenor 2
Kyle Mildebrandt, Aaron Markgraf, Bret Skaer, Matt Diederichs, Adam Breister

Bass 1
Jimmy Krug, Jon Kammueller, Tom Knuth, Evan Seibel, Jonathan Witte, Josh Mose

Bass 2
(no one)

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

New Solo Ensemble Dates Announced for 2010-2011

I just got back from the Flyway Directors Meeting at Bublitz's Restaurant in Lomira.  All the band and choir directors of the Flyway Conference schools who are available meet on the first Tuesday in May and another on the first Tuesday in October every year to discuss Solo Ensemble and Concert Festival dates and locations, which schools are next in the rotation of hosting duties, etc.

Next year, 2010-2011, Kettle Moraine Lutheran High School in Jackson, WI will be hosting the Flyway Conference District Solo Ensemble Festival on two separate weekends:

  • March 5, 2011 – Instrumental
  • March 12, 2011 – Vocal & Piano
WLA's band students who are also in choir should know that March 12, 2011 is also the weekend of the WELS National Bandfest at Arizona Lutheran Academy in Phoenix, so if they are selected for Bandfest and they want to participate in vocal or piano solo ensemble events, they will have to schedule their events for March 5, 2011.  See me for more details.

A number of other dates and concerts were discussed at our meeting:
  • Jan 26, 2011 – Flyway District Honors Band (MS & HS) @ St. Mary's Springs, FDL
  • Late April - Early May – Large Group Band Concert Festival @ Lomira HS 
  • Some Wednesday in April or May - Large Group Choir Concert Festival @ Mayville HS
The dates for the two concert festivals will be firmed up by October 4.  WLA's Traveling Choir sang in this school year's choir concert festival which I hosted at WLA.  Next year the Choir Concert Festival will be back at Mayville HS if everything goes as planned.  WLA and Mayville seem to trade off hosting duties for the Choir Concert Festival because we both want to see the festival continue.  Sure would be nice if Horace Mann HS in North FDL would host.  They've got a great auditorium!

If life were perfect, and I had a fellow choir director on staff at WLA, I'd prepare all three WLA choirs for Concert Festival, but it's difficult to be the "head coach" of three "teams" who are all "playing games" back-to-back on the same day.  Honestly, that happened to me a couple years ago when I took all three WLA choirs to Lomira HS a number of years back and had to be on stage with one group performing for a judge while the next choir was warming themselves up backstage.  Not a good thing.

The Honors Band at St. Mary's Springs next January is not something that the WLA Band normally participates in because of our own WELS Bandfests, but it is always a possibility for them to send students to.  Generally, each high school and middle school band would recommend their top six students to the host director to make up an honors band of up to 80 pieces.  There would be one middle school and one high school honors band, for a total of almost 160 students.  Clinicians from regional college or university band programs would rehearse the students during the day and present a joint concert in the evening.

I'll put these dates on the WLA music calendar, which, incidentally, can also be accessed on Google Calendars
This is what it looks like: