I guess it was inevitable that we would run into some of our colleagues from the Association of Lutheran Church Musicians in Leipzig. Today we attended the Motetten at St. Thomas, which was performed by the Valparaiso University Chorus under the direction of Christopher Cock,whom we met last year when we attended the Bach Collegium Japan’s performance of the B-Minor Mass.
Who would walk up to our pew was none other than Rick Erickson, organist-choirmaster of Holy Trinity Lutheran Church in New York City. Rick has a Bach cantata series of his own and performs a cantata nearly every week.
After the service, we went up to the gallery to greet Christopher Cock, and look who we bumped into — Linda Kempke, a Lutheran church musician from Ohio who we’ve seen at many ALCM conferences, as well as here in Leipzig five years ago.
The Valparaiso Choir sang quite a lot of American music: Saints bound for heaven (arr. Robert Shaw), Hold On (arr. Eugene Tharnon Simpson), A Child’s Prayer (James MacMillan), E’en so Lord Jesus quickly come (Paul Manz). and Praise to the Lord (f. Melius Christiansen). I’ll tell you, it did seem a little strange to hear American music sung by an American choir in St. Thomas.
The pastor in her opening remarks, also welcomed The Rev. Robert Moore, from Christ the King Lutheran Church in Houston, TX (where Vicki Gorman’s family now attends.)
At dinner in a nearby German restaurant, Michael Costello came over and greeted us. He is the director of music from Grace Lutheran, River Forest, IL where they also have a Bach cantata series.
The American Lutherans are here!
Guess who else is here with us! Vreni Griffith from the LCH Choir!