Back to the Classics
By Catherine Wethington, Dir. of Children’s & Youth Choirs
Our Children’s Choir will start its season with a well-known Traditional American Spiritual, He’s Got the Whole World in His Hands. First published in 1927 this song made it all the way to #1 on the Pop Singles Chart in 1958 sung by Laurie London with the Geoff Love Orchestra. This is the only gospel song to ever reach #1 on the Pop Charts. I’m excited for the children to learn this song and to see what movements they come up with for the verses.
Our Youth Choir will start working on a new arrangement of a recognizable tune, Beethoven’s Ode to Joy from his Ninth Symphony. The poem written specifically to fit Beethoven’s Ode to Joy is called Hymn of Praise. We sing this hymn often in church. This arrangement takes the classic tune and lyrics and popularizes them with pop rhythms, solos, duets, and trios. This is Hymn of Praise like you’ve never heard it. It will show off the wonderful talent we have in our youth choir and teach them a classic piece of music.
Rehearsals for both choirs begin at 6 p.m. on Wednesdays.
By Jerry Rich, Director of Music
Now Thank We All Our God is a comforting hymn and classic anthem. Lutheran minister Martin Rinkart, who was inspired by verses from the Jewish book of wisdom Sirach, wrote its original 17th-century German text. Rinkart worked in the walled German city of Eilenburg during the Thirty Years’ War; the city, a sanctuary for war victims, was invaded three times and suffered overcrowding and famine. The Rinkart home cared for the needy despite his own family’s straitened circumstances. During the plague of 1637, Rinkart became the only surviving pastor in Eilenburg; that year he performed over 4000 funerals, including his wife’s.
Rinkart envisioned Now Thank We All Our God as a short prayer before meals. By the time the Thirty Years’ War ended with the signing of the Treaty of Westphalia in 1648, it was being widely sung in Germany. The hymn’s stirring tune, attributed to Johann Crüger, was composed ca. 1647 and can be found in several of Johann Sebastian Bach’s church cantatas. Felix Mendelssohn created the now-standard harmonization in 1840 when he wrote his monumental Hymn of Praise; his version is now often sung in weddings and on occasions of national thanksgiving. Our musicians will offer music based on this chorale during Trinity’s October 30 morning worship services; we hope you will join us!