Perry County Lutheran singers embark on weekend concert tour

Saturday, July 19, 2008
FRED LYNCH ~ flynch@semissourian.com Tyson Wunderlich directed the Perry County Lutheran Chorale in a concert Thursday at Immanuel Lutheran Church in Perryville, Mo. The group will present the program "Praise to Our Shepherd! Praise to Our King!" on a tour.

PERRYVILLE, Mo. -- The Perry County Lutheran Chorale is taking God on the road.

The chorale, under the direction of Tyson Wunderlich, will embark on a limited-engagement tour entitled "Praise to Our Shepherd! Praise to Our King!" the weekend of July 25 to 27. Concert locations will include Campus Lutheran Churchin Columbia, Mo.; St. Mark Lutheran Church in Lee's Summit, Mo.; and Trinity Lutheran Church in Cole Camp, Mo.

The chorale was formed in February 2006 with about 10 members, said the Rev. Thomas Handrick, pastor of Immanuel Lutheran Church in Perryville.

"The idea was to mimic the Houston Lutheran Chorale in Houston, Texas," Handrick said.

The Houston Lutheran Chorale is composed of members from more than 20 Missouri Synod Lutheran congregations. It has carried the gospel "in song" throughout Texas, Missouri, Illinois, Michigan and California. The chorale has toured Germany, France and Austria; participated in festivals in Coventry, England, and Salzburg, Austria; and was included in NBC Christmas Specials in 1986 and 1988. The music of the chorale is broadcast over the airwaves of the international ministry of The Lutheran Hour.

The chorale consists of 17 singers who live from Ste. Genevieve to Cape Girardeau and range in age from high school students to senior adults. Janet Seibel provides accompaniment.

"This tour will take the chorale to another new level of musical ability and quality as they proclaim the good news of Jesus Christ to all people through song and word," Wunderlich said. "As they do so, the chorale members will strive to make a lasting impression upon audiences throughout the state of Missouri as they sing in locations beyond our local scenes. It is truly a wonderful opportunity for this group of quality singers."

Next week's tour is what Handrick calls the chorale's "maiden voyage." The group plans to make more trips in the future.

Locally the chorale has performed at Saxony Days in Frohna, Mo., and at the Christmas concert at Cape First in Cape Girardeau.

The concert will combine old classics and contemporary music. "'Lift High the Cross,' 'My Shepherd Will Supply My Need,' and 'A Mighty Fortress Is Our God' are pieces that have stood the test of time and are still loved today," Wunderlich said. "New pieces that will be presented are 'When the Saints Go Marching In,' 'How Majestic Is Your Name' and 'Agnus Dei.'"

Handrick said there is room for more singers; the chorale would like to grow to as many as 40 members. Participation is open to members of The Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod in and around Perry County.

lredeffer@semissourian.com

335-6611, extension 160

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