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Recent News

Caged Bird Indiegogo Campaign

On May 28th, we launched an online crowd-sourcing fundraising campaign on Indiegogo.com to produce a new, special release album, The Caged Bird Sings. In response to the overwhelming demand for a recording of the music from our concerts entitled, "I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings," performed in Arizona and Minnesota in February 2015, this album was born.

Devotion: Telling the Story

Katherine Castille, a member of our soprano section and Choir Representative to the Board, shared this devotion with the choir prior to the final concert of our 2014-15 season. The choir gloriously sang Alexander Gretchaninoff's "Passion Week" at Zumbro Lutheran Church in Rochester, MN, as part of their 150th anniversary celebration.

The theme for our gala this year was “Telling the Story.” The invitation read, “Join us as we tell the story of the National Lutheran Choir -- and celebrate the story that the NLC tells.” So I’ve been thinking about stories lately, why they’re important, why we should tell them. Like songs, they’ve been used in pretty much every culture to entertain, teach and recount histories.   

Devotion: PASSION defined

Prior to our concert at the Basilica on April 30, NLC soprano section leader, Linda Armstrong, gave this devotion before the choir. 
 
Recently we heard some biographical information about Alexandre Gretchaninoff in our devotion time. Some … but not a lot. Because there isn’t a lot. I Googled Gretchaninoff and found about three paragraphs about his life and works.  I checked for books about him at Barnes and Noble…..no such thing.  There are many books about JS Bach, and he wrote passions on St. Matthew, St. Mark and St. John.  I can’t figure out why we don’t know more about Gretchaninoff and his life. 

Devotion: Embrace Silence

Last week's devotion, prior to rehearsal on April 21, 2015, was brought to the choir by NLC tenor section member, Ian Cook. Take a moment to read it, while life continues to hum around you.

I love silence.

As I’m sure many of you are aware by now, I am a very quiet person. Sure, I can talk a lot if the subject is right, but usually I’m content to sit back and listen… so if I haven’t said very much to you yet, don’t worry, it’s not because I don’t like you! You might just have to come talk to me, first. I have found that I learn so much more by listening than I do by talking. I’ve also learned that as soon as I open my mouth, my ears try very hard to close themselves, and I don’t want that to happen. And so I listen.

Devotion: Philosophy of Music 101

This week's devotion was written by NLC bass section member, Dave Michel. Get ready to embrace paradox!

This is Philosophy of Music 101. I am your instructor, Mr. Michel (M-I-no T-C-H-E-one L).

My goal for this class is to identify some distinctive aspects of music as an art form, and explore how music might inform life and spirituality. This course being about philosophy, just about everything I say today will be derivative and based on other's work. This won't surprise those of you who've had any of my other classes - derivative is just another way of saying "relational.” This is not a bad thing.

Passion Week Rehearsal Notes: March 17, 2015

Following rehearsal on March 17, 2015, Artistic Director, David Cherwien shared these thoughts with the choir regarding their preparation of Gretchaninoff's Passion Week:

We are deep into this marvelous work. It is mesmerizing music to be sure. Without a doubt it takes us into a different plane of being - losing a sense of time and space, to be sure. I'm amazed at how Gretchaninoff can take such a simple statement and make it achingly beautiful. It's taxing, though - don't let tension creep in - that's what will wear you out. Maybe we can do as I do with organ students: I just very lightly touch the shoulder when I see tension and it's like a release button. Should we do that for each other? Fortes do not need tension to be intense. Breath and support, indeed but not tension. 

Bach's Birthday Bash

Members of the National Lutheran Choir have been invited to perform for one of five concerts celebrating Bach's 330th birthday on March 21! Join us in person for the concert, listen live on Classical MPR stations or stream live onlinePlan ahead to participate in the “Bach’s Birthday Bash” on Saturday, March 21, 2015, a sequence of five hour-long all-Bach performance events at five Minneapolis churches, featuring organists, pianists, singers and other instrumentalists in celebration of Johann Sebastian Bach’s 330th Birthday (b. 3/21/1685).

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