La Grange church shares good news of the gospel in song
Kathy Rauch of LaGrange Park and other members of the handbell choir rehearse a song in the aisles of St. John's Lutheran Church. | Steve Johnston~for Sun-Times Media
Updated: February 4, 2013 1:17AM
LA GRANGE — Musicians from St. John’s Lutheran Church and School are preparing to lift spirits heavenward with a sacred concert Sunday.
The Raise Up a Song of Joy program features a 25-piece orchestra, two children’s choirs from the school, two adult groups, the Senior Choir and the Praise Singers, two hand bell choirs and sacred dancers.
The performance begins at 6:30 p.m. at the church at Brainard Avenue and 47th Street. There is no charge for the concert or baby sitting, but donations will be accepted to help continue the concert’s tradition of nearly 20 years.
“We have a mix of classical and contemporary songs, some new and some old, also with audience participation,” said music director David Christian.
“One of our centerpieces will be ‘Raise Up a Song of Joy’ for our combined groups,” Christian said. “One of our children’s groups will be doing ‘Joy to the World,’ with a contemporary spin on the traditional hymn.”
Christian said about 100 members of the church and school choral groups have been rehearsing since the fall for the concert expected to draw 500 to 600 listeners.
“We fill every nook and cranny,” he said.
Mozart’s “Jubilate Deo” will be sung in Latin, and another carol is of Spanish origin, Christian said.
“I keep an eye out for what’s new, and it’s always an interesting thing to match music with the singers available,” he said. “We want to do some new things and spend time with a traditional repertoire as well.”
Christian said the singers and instrumentalists look forward to imparting a message with their music different from other holiday concerts.
“Our concert is a celebration of the nativity of our Lord,” he said. “It’s a statement of faith for us.”