Sunday, October 5, 2014

WLA Homecoming Skit Night 2014

With all the live streaming of WLA concerts and events now being embedding into  WLA's website (look for the Videos link on the right side of the home page), I haven't been posting streams on my blog for a couple of WLA events now.  But I have gotten a number of questions about how to see the 2014 Homecoming Skit Night video, probably because it was on a Thursday this year instead of normally being on a Friday.  So, here are the video streams from Skit Night 2014.  There are two of them because, apparently, internet dropped during the live stream.  I'm not sure if that's Ustream's problem or WLA's.  That's what we get for trying to do live streaming for free, I suppose.  Click here for the 2014 Skit Night Program.
Part 1
Part 2

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Auditioning to Sing the National Anthem for Professional Sports Teams

The WLA Traveling Choir has been singing a new SATB arrangement of the Gaither Vocal Band setting of the Star-Spangled Banner this school year.  After one of our recent performances for the 6th Annual Derek Dobogai Memorial Run/Walk, an audience member pulled me aside and said,"I go to about 17 or 18 Brewers games a year.  The version your choir sang today was way better than anyone I have heard sing for the Brewers.  You should audition to sing for the Brewers."

I have had this same encouragement from other parents in the past, so it's high time we did it.  So how does one audition?  Here is the most current information I have found for Wisconsin teams:

To apply to sing the anthem prior to a Brewers game, please send in an audition of the anthem sung a cappella, 90 seconds or less, plus a performance history (if any) to:
  • Milwaukee Brewers Baseball Club
  • Attn: Aleta Mercer
  • One Brewers Way
  • Milwaukee, WI 53214
Audition CDs are accepted in the off-season, between November 1 and February 14 each year.

National Anthem Auditions – Wednesday, September 17th

Registration begins at 7:00am Doors close at 7:00P
BMO Harris Bradley Center 
  • Entrance: Potawatomi Gate – 4th & Highland
  • Perform in the order you enter (each candidate will receive a number)
  • Open to all ages - 18 and under need to be accompanied by a legal guardian
  • Encouraged to bring a performance resume but not mandatory
  • Must find your own parking
  • The audition will be open to the public and will require each individual / group to sing the entire song to be considered.
What do I need to bring to auditions? Driver’s License, or other form of photo identification

Green Bay Packers | National Anthem Requests

The Green Bay Packers thank you for your interest in singing the National Anthem at Lambeau Field on gameday. As the Packers collect and review your request to sing the national anthem, please note that many of our games are themed, have special requirements, and have been booked well in advance. In order for your request to be considered, please submit the following information: (online form at

Please provide a URL to any audio/video clips of your performances. If you are sending a hard copy, please indicate. [Send performance samples] by e-mail to or mail hard copy information/samples to: Gameday Entertainment P.O. Box 10628, Green Bay, WI 54307

Please note that the Packers will keep all items they receive by mail. Samples of work will not be returned. We look forward to your request.

UW Athletics seeks National Anthem performers (Sept. 23, 2012)

Badgers looking for talented performers to sing the National Anthem. Would you like to sing the National Anthem at a UW sporting event?

The University of Wisconsin Athletic Department is looking for performers to sing the National Anthem at Badger sporting events this season.

The search committee is looking for a variety of Madison-area solo artists, duets, groups, etc. with and without instruments to perform. Please note that due to NCAA rules, high school performers/groups cannot be considered.  

Those interested in participating should submit their audition materials (link to performance or performance on CD/DVD) including contact information to or via mail to:

Wisconsin Athletics
Attn: National Anthem Search
Marketing Office
1440 Monroe Street
Madison, WI 53711


 After the selection committee has reviewed all performances, individuals will be contacted to schedule a performance at a game. 

Deadline for receipt of audition materials is Friday, Oct. 12 (2012) at 5 p.m.

Wisconsin Timber Rattlers | National Anthem FAQs

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

WSMA Festival Music Lists 2014-2015

On the first day of each school year, the Wisconsin State Music Association releases its new Festival Music List for the current school year.  This list is important for all music students who are preparing for Solo Ensemble (Vocal/Piano is the last Saturday in Feb. 2015 at Omro HS, Instrumental/Piano is the first Saturday in March at Omro HS) and Concert Festivals (Horace Mann HS, North FDL is hosting the Large Group Choir Concert Festival on Wednesday, March 25, 2015).

See Mr. Witte if you have any other questions.

1000s – Vocal
2000s – Orchestra
3000s – Band/Woodwind
4000s – Brass
5000s – Percussion
6000s – Jazz/Show Choir/Alt. Strings
7000s – Piano
8000s – Handbell/Guitar
9000s – Misc./Ethnic

Monday, September 1, 2014

I Love My Love

One of the songs that the WLA Traveling Choir will be singing for the WLA Fall Concert on October 19, 2014 is a setting of the Cornish folksong, I Love My Love (1916) by Gustav Holst.

Abroad as I was walking, one evening in the spring,
I heard a maid in Bedlam so sweetly for to sing;
Her chains she rattled with her hands, and thus replied she:
"I love my love because I know my love loves me! 

O cruel were his parents who sent my love to sea,
And cruel was the ship that bore my love from me;
Yet I love his parents since they're his although they've ruined me:
I love my love because I know my love loves me! 

With straw I'll weave a garland, I'll weave it very fine;
With roses, lilies, daisies, I'll mix the eglantine;
And I'll present it to my love when he returns from sea.
For I love my love, because I know my love loves me."

Just as she sat there weeping, her love he came on land. 

Then hearing she was in Bedlam, he ran straight out of hand.
He flew into her snow-white arms, and thus replied he:
"I love my love, because I know my love loves me." 

She said: "My love don't frighten me; Are you my love or no?"
"O yes, my dearest Nancy, I am your love, also
I am return'd to make amends for all your injury;
I love my love because I know my love loves me."

So now these two are married, and happy may they be

Like turtle doves together in love and unity.
All pretty maids with patience wait that have got loves at sea;
I love my love because I know my love loves me. 

Sheet Music
6 Choral Folksongs, Op.36 (Holst, Gustav) – IMSLP Petrucci Music Library (
No. 5 I Love My Love (Gustav Holst) – Choral Public Domain Library (

Part Predominant Recordings
MIDI, MP3 & Scorch Files – John Fletcher Music

Program Notes and Short Biography–San Francisco Lyric Chorus

The Gustav Holst Website by Kenric Taylor
Gustav Holst – Wikipedia
Holst Birthplace Museum
Bedlam (Bethlem Royal Hospital) – Wikipedia

Other Arrangements 
Gustav Holst's own Second Suite in F, Movement 2 (Song without Words) (1911)

Monday, August 18, 2014

WLA Orientation Day 2014 Handouts

Welcome back! Here are Mr. Witte's handouts from the August 18-19 WLA Orientation Days:

Concert Choir - Handout | 2014-15 Syllabus
Music Technology - Handout | 2014-15 Syllabus
Music Theory - Handout | 2014-15 Syllabus
Traveling Choir - Handout | 2014-15 Syllabus
Study Hall - Handout

Sunday, August 10, 2014

We Preach Christ Crucified

This year's theme passage in the Winnebago Lutheran Academy Association is 1 Corinthians 1:23a: "We preach Christ crucified." Each year I challenge myself to compose a song based on the theme passage as a way of embedding the passage in the hearts and memories of our students.

Sheet Music: We Preach Christ Crucified (Dale A. Witte) –  To be published by NPH in Oct. 2018!
Bulletin Inserts: Letter half sheet (5.5" x 8.5") | Legal half sheet (7" x 8.5")

Some years, I use the passages before and after the theme passage as lyrics for either the verse or refrain. This year, I decided to center in on developing the meaning of "We preach Christ crucified." For the person who doesn't know what that passage means, I explain that the cross isn't supposed to be a frightening tool of torture and execution.  When the believer looks at the cross of Christ, they see hope, salvation, and a victory won, both for Jesus–the Son of God and Son of Man–and for the believer in Jesus.

I pray that this year's theme song, like all the others that I've written, serves to help explain God's Word and to firmly fix it in our minds and hearts.  In the coming weeks, I hope to make a recording of the WLA student body singing the theme song and post it on this blog.

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Jerusalem the Golden | THAXTED

The 7th triennial WELS National Conference on Worship, Music, and the Arts was just held this past week, July 22-25, 2014, at Carthage College, Kenosha, WI.  What a full week of worship, recitals, and workshops on every topic related to current worship in the WELS! I wish there was a way to experience all of the offerings (maybe the WELS Commission on Worship will post not only handouts but videos of the presentations).  I was responsible for two things at this conference: the piano music for worship reading session (42 pieces in 75 minutes) and I was given the commission to arrange the closing hymn of the closing service, the hymn that has closed every WELS Worship Conference since 1996: Jerusalem the Golden, set to the Gustav Holst tune, THAXTED.

While I've been blessed to be asked to compose a number of orchestral settings for the WELS Worship Conference over the years (The Tree of Life, 2002–soon to be published by CPH, Let Children Hear the Mighty Deeds, 2011), Jerusalem the Golden was well known by every attendee to be the final hymn of the conference: it was the one you waited to sing with a thousand other voices, it was the one during which you knew you were going to have a hard time singing through the tears of joy and longing for heaven.  I still remember exactly where I was sitting in the Carthage College chapel in the summer of 1996, sitting next to my brother for the closing service of the first WELS Worship Conference, balling my eyes out while trying to sing along to Richard Proulx's arrangement.  I remember that feeling of never wanting to leave the conference and desperately longing for the joys heaven.  So when the commission came to me last summer to make a new setting of Jerusalem, I was very humbled and honored, and more than a little nervous knowing that Jerusalem was so loved and so anticipated by so many conference goers.

Professor James Tiefel, Professor of Worship and Preaching at Wisconsin Lutheran Seminary and spokesman for the WELS Commission on Worship and the planning committee, shared with me in the commissioning email one of the reasons for wanting a new setting of THAXTED:
Over the years we have used several settings of the tune THAXTED, none of which was actually composed with the Jerusalem text in mind!  Our planning committee feels it’s time that the text and tune were featured in an original composition.
How was this new commission received in worship? I'll take what Pastor Caleb Bassett wrote as a very positive review.  Other reviews came in quickly over Twitter:

My prayer is that this setting helps people to pray
"Jesus in mercy bring us
To that dear land of rest
Where sings the host of heaven
Your glorious name to bless." 
(Christian Worship Supplement 728, st. 2)
and that this setting serves the Church at large to be
"The shout of them that triumph,
The song of them that feast.
To God enthroned in glory
The Church’s voices blend." 
 (CWS 728, st. 3)
Soli Deo Gloria 

Friday, July 25, 2014

A Free Piece of My Piano Music (and a link to buy my book!)

For all those who were at one of my piano music reading sessions at the WELS National Conference on Worship, Music, and the Arts, thank you for coming! To those who bought my first book of piano improvisations based on hymn tunes, here is the link to the "corrected" version of "Let Us Ever Walk With Jesus".  The NPH publication has a wrong note in the right hand in the opening pattern (an A where there should be an E–it's the melody!).

Let Us Ever Walk With Jesus - arr. Dale A. Witte (free PDF)

So here's my request: please go to NPH and buy a copy of my piano book so that the first printing sells out and we can fix the mistake in the 2nd printing.  Deal? ;)

Sunday, May 18, 2014

WLA Spring Concert 2014 - Live Stream

Looking for the live stream of tonight's WLA Spring Concert?  Head over to WLA TV and watch the stream starting at 7 PM CDT (GMT-5).  But first, click here for the program!

Monday, April 21, 2014

WLA's State Solo Ensemble 2014 - RESULTS

UPDATED Mon., Apr 28, 2014 – What an outstanding weekend! WLA's music students brought home 17 firsts (with 3 perfect scores), 5 seconds, and 2 Exemplary Soloist Awards! Congratulations to Senors Naomi Haag (An die Musik, Schubert) and Andi Franklin (O Thou that Tellest Good Tidings to Zion, Handel) for being awarded Exemplary Soloist Awards!

Click here for a PDF of WLA's schedule for Saturday, April 26, 2014 at UW-Oshkosh

Click here to go to WSMA's page for more information (maps, general info, other schedules, etc.) about the UW-Oshkosh festival

Here are the results from this weekend.  Congratulations to all of these students for their hard work and using their musical gifts to God's glory!  I'm proud of all of you!

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

WLA Traveling Choir 2014-2015 Auditions

Students of Winnebago Lutheran Academy who desire to sing with WLA Traveling Choir in the 2014-2015 school year must audition between April 22–May 2, 2014.  To be eligible for WLA's Traveling Choir, students must have sung in a WLA choir for one year or have the consent of Mr. Witte.

1. Click to sign up for a 15-minute audition time slot on Google Calendar.
  • Choose any available time slot which works for your schedule.
  • Type your name into the "What" field, replacing what I have typed there.
  • If you need to change or delete your appointment time, go to your own Google calendar (click on the Rubic's cube button on the top right corner of the page and choose "Calendar"). Go to the day and date that you reserved and click on your appointment on your calendar. Look for "Going?" on the bottom of the popup and click on "Delete".  Then go back to the appointment link in #1 above and choose a different time slot.

2. Click to download the 2014-2015 audition requirements.

3. Click to download America the Beautiful: Soprano 1, Soprano 2, Alto 1, Alto 2, Tenor 1, Tenor 2, Bass 1, Bass 2

4. Click to download "God So Loved the World" from The Crucifixion by John Stainer.

5. Fill out the following form before your audition:

Sunday, April 6, 2014

WLA Hymnfest "On Christ, The Solid Rock, I Stand"

Tune in at 2 PM Central for the WLA Hymn Festival 2014 live stream from St. Peter's Lutheran Church, Fond du Lac, WI. Click here for the program. This stream is also hosted at

Live streaming video by Ustream

Monday, March 3, 2014

2014 District Solo Ensemble Results

What a great couple of weekends the WLA music students have had at the Flyway District Solo Ensemble Festivals hosted by North Fond du Lac High School! God's musical gifts are being certainly used and God's blessings certainly have been showered on these students. Congratulations to all of them for their hard work, preparation, and performances!

 Students who have qualified for the State Solo Ensemble Festival are marked with a 1* (aka "starred first). They will perform in a State Finalists' Recital at WLA on Wednesday, April 23 at 6 PM in the WLA Choir Room and then at UW-Oshkosh for the State Solo Ensemble Festival on Saturday, April 26, 2014.

Saturday, February 15, 2014

March 1 2014 Solo Ensemble Checklist (NFDL HS)

(Updated 2/25/14) Click here for WLA's Final Schedule (and Site Map) for the March 1 Flyway District Solo Ensemble Festival
Saturday, March 1, 2014
Hosted at North Fond du Lac High School (website)
  1. Have you paid Mr. Witte for your entry? (Solos: Class A $10, B & C $8; Ensembles $14 ÷ # people in your ensemble)
  2. Do you have a clean score for the judge? (WLA provides, see Mr. Witte)
  3. Have you numbered the measures in the judge’s score (required)?  In your own?
  4. Have you and your accompanist been practicing together? 
  5. Does your accompanist know when and where you perform?
  6. Have you written your introduction?  “Good morning.  My name is (say your name)  and I’m from Winnebago Lutheran Academy in Fond du Lac.  This is my accompanist (say accompanist’s name) and I will be singing a (name of category, e.g. “Soprano Solo” or “Barbershop Quartet”) entitled (say name of piece) by (say composer’s name).  Then briefly describe something interesting about your piece (an aspect of style, form, technique, harmony, rhythm, or melody.)  Musical Theater introductions should also set the scene for the performance (i.e. describe who you are portraying and what the piece you are singing has to do with the musical from which it is taken).
  7. Dress up!  You can impress the judge with how you are dressed even before you sing.
  8. Be at Horace Mann HS at least 45 minutes before you perform.  Walk the building to find out where you perform (look at the site number on the schedule and find it on the map) and where the warm up rooms are.  Then go warm up your voice! Sing!
  9. Be at your performance room 15 minutes before you are scheduled to perform.  Announce yourself to the door monitor so they know who you are and that you are ready to perform.
  10. If you have a conflict with your performance time (e.g. your accompanist is late because they are accompanying someone else) then tell the door monitor and give them a time estimate when you can perform so that they can do some schedule juggling.
  11. It’s your choice whether to sit in your room and watch performances before you or wait in the hall.  Take deep breaths.  Relax!  The judge wants to hear your best and wants to help you get even better.  Remember to thank God for the blessing of singing He’s given to you and ask His blessing on your performance.  Prayer works! (pray early, pray often!)
  12. When it’s your turn to perform, give you judge’s copy to the room monitor so they can give it to the judge.  Go to the front of the room and stand in a formal manner, but RELAX!  Take deep breaths and think about your piece and how it will sound.  The judge will tell you when you may begin.
  13. If you perform with your own copy of the music, don’t bury your eyes in the score.  Put it on a music stand so you can look up at your audience and the judge.  Smile (if you piece calls for it) or show other emotions that show you understand what you are singing.  If you can perform from memory, all the better!
  14. After your performance the judge will call you back to their table and tell you things that you did well and things that you can improve upon.  Be polite and agreeable.  If the judge asks you to sing a part over, do it as they ask.  Sometime they are looking more for potential and workability than for what they just heard.
  15. When they are done, stick around to get your judge’s copy of your piece and go out into the hall to relax and reflect on how you performed and what the judge said.  Remember, you’re using someone else’s gifts for the weekend (God’s).  Make Him proud by using them well.  Thank Him for the opportunities He gave you to use His gifts.  Take the judge’s copy back to WLA on Monday, March 2.
  16. Results are usually posted by an hour after your performance.  There will be a central location with a lot of sheets taped to a wall with many people crowded around either crying, screaming, or being quiet.  If you choose not to wait for your results, you may leave.  I’ll stay around until the end and get everyone’s critiques and results and bring them back to WLA to be handed out.
  17. If your performed a Class A solo or ensemble and got a *1, then you have been advanced to the State Solo/Ensemble Festival, Saturday, April 26, 2014 at UW-Oshkosh.  Congratulations!  Given the length of time in between, you have to option of keeping your current piece going or starting a brand new class A piece for State.  See Mr. Witte for details.  If you make it to State, you will also perform in the State Finalist’s Recital at WLA on Wednesday, April 23, 2014.
  18. Remember to give Mr. Witte the judge’s copy (because it’s WLA’s music).  Monday in class would be a good time to do this.


Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Let's Celebrate 2014 Performance Schedule

Live streaming video by Ustream
PerformanceGroupWarm Up Warm Up Area
12:15 PMPep Band11:45 AMBand Room
12:45 PMTraveling Choir #112:15 PMBand Room
1:00 PMSt. Paul's, Brownsville12:30 AMChoir Room
1:15 PMExplorer Band12:45 PMBand Room
1:30 PMSt. Paul, Mt. Calvary1:00 PMChoir Room
1:45 PMCadet Band & Jazz1:15 PMBand Room
2:00 PMPeace, Green Lake1:30 PMChoir Room
2:15 PMAcademy Kids1:45 PMBand Room
2:30 PMConcert Band2:00 PMBand Room
2:45 PMConcert Choir2:15 PMChoir Room
3:00 PMLive Auction
3:45 PMTraveling Choir #23:15 PMChoir Room

Sunday, January 26, 2014 marks the 21st annual WLA Let's Celebrate Day.  Come for the pie, stay for the entertainment. Or come for the entertainment and stay for some pie! Bid on a silent auction item in the hallways or go crazy at the live auction at 3:00 PM in the gym – it's all to support the work and ministry of Winnebago Lutheran Academy! Performers and parents are invited see a more detailed Performing Group Information Sheet.