WMS, WHS choirs in concert at 7 p.m. Monday
WORTHINGTON — With more than 370 sixth- through 12th-grade ISD 518 choral students set to sing at a 7 p.m. Monday concert, directors Kerry Johnson and Cindy Anderson are joining forces for a satisfying show.
“We’re opening with a mass choir piece, ‘In Meeting We Are Blessed,’” said Johnson, leader of the Worthington High School (WHS) choral program. “It’s a number by contemporary composer Troy D. Robertson that no one here has likely heard before, but it’s cool.”
Monday’s concert, in the WHS gymnasium, will close with another mass choir selection, “Prayer of the Children” by Kurt Bestor.
“Because our fall concert is happening a couple weeks later than in many previous years, we had a little extra time to prepare so we decided to include two songs using all of our singers,” Johnson said. “Our program selections are centered on the idea that every person in the choir and community matters, and that we all bring unique gifts to the table.”
“Prayer of the Children” was composed in 1995 as a gift for the youths who suffered during the 1990s Balkan wars. Hence, a phrase in Croatian is included in the poignant text.
“It holds a lot of meaning for today, too,” said Johnson.
Anderson’s 77 sixth-grade choristers will share Bob Marley’s reggae classic “One Love,” while her 86 seventh-graders rehearsed “Just One Heart.”
“That draws on the simple idea that reaching even just one heart can be a very powerful gesture,” said Anderson. “This is a time when instilling hope through small but significant gestures of kindness is needed more than ever.”
The Worthington Middle School eighth-grade singers will share a tune called “Changes.”
“‘Changes’ speaks to the fact that all of us can be a positive force for change,” said Anderson.
With Johnson’s 70-plus Concert Choir members fresh from a successful day earlier this week at the Big South Choral Festival, they will sing “Ubi Caritas” by Ola Gjeilo, “God Will Give Orders/Sweet Child” by Sarah Quartel and “I Will Sing” by Michael Engelhardt.
“They’re singing well, and Dr. Jennaya Robison, the clinician who worked with them last Monday, complimented the Concert Choir on their sensitive interpretations and great sound,” said Johnson.
Her mostly younger Trojan Choir, with 45 members, will perform a Larry Farrow arrangement of “Turn the World Around,” “Dona Nobis Pacem” by Mary Lynn Lightfoot and Minnesota composer Jake Runestad’s “Dereva Ni Mungu.”
“We’re eager to present this concert,” assured Johnson. “Our opener, ‘In Meeting We Are Blessed,’ is appropriate for our community in that we enjoy the blessing of meeting people from other backgrounds here.”
The WHS/WMS fall choir concert begins at 7 p.m. Monday at the WHS gymnasium. Doors open at 6:30 p.m. There is an admission fee, or ISD 518 activity and student passes will be honored.