Choral singing has been a beloved Mennonite activity for more than 100 years, and Canadian Mennonite University (CMU) will commemorate its 10th anniversary with two spring concerts: Mar. 26 at 7:30 p.m. in Westminster United Church, Winnipeg, and Mar. 27 at 3:00 p.m. in Mennonite Collegiate Institute’s (MCI) Buhler Hall, Gretna, Man.
Both events, based on the theme “Hope, faith, life, love,” will feature four CMU choral ensembles – the 40-voice CMU Singers, the 20-voice CMU Chamber Choir, the 50-voice CMU Women’s Chorus, and the 30-voice CMU Men’s Chorus – and various solo instrumentalists.
“The concerts will highlight CMU’s choral tradition, not only of the last 10 years, but also the longstanding traditions of both Canadian Mennonite Bible College (CMBC) and Concord College/Mennonite Brethren Bible College (MBBC),” says Rudy Schellenberg, associate professor of music and co-conductor of CMU’s choirs.
“Invigorating choral partnerships provided strong links between CMBC and Concord College/MBBC long before CMU was imagined, and helped paved the way for CMU,” adds Cheryl Pauls, associate professor of piano and music theory. “The choral art continues to bring diverse voices together and to thrive in the CMU era.”
Ontario composer Jeff Enns was commissioned to write a celebratory piece for the CMU Singers and Chamber Choir to perform together. “What Does the Lord Require of You?” is based on a Micah 6:8-themed text penned by California Mennonite writer/poet Jean Janzen.
Tickets for the Westminster concert ($20.00 for adults, $10.00 for students) are available at CMU’s reception desks, at the door, and online at www.cmu.ca/choralconcert.
There is no admission charge for the MCI concert; however, there will be an opportunity to contribute to the work of CMU. This concert will also include personal reflections and multimedia presentations related to the 10th anniversary, and refreshments.
Schellenberg says attendees at both concerts will hear and participate in a variety of outstanding choral music, both new and familiar. “Singing together, whether in the congregation or the choir,…unites us in a common purpose and faith in God that few other expressions can.”