Singing Friends Chorus plans spring concerts

Karen de Boer is the director of the Singing Friends Chorus. (Submitted photo)
Karen de Boer is the director of the Singing Friends Chorus. (Submitted photo)

The Singing Friends Chorus, a central Minnesota ensemble, performs a spring concert series with an “International Flair Repertoire” in the communities of Glencoe, Gaylord, and New Germany. The choir sings musical numbers in German, English, Hebrew, and Old Hawaiian — along with Scottish and Caribbean folk songs.
The first concert is Saturday, May 4 at First Congregational United Church of Christ (1400 Elliott Avenue North) in Glencoe. The second is Sunday, May 5 at Gaylord United Church of Christ (318 Fourth St.) in Gaylord. The third performance is Sunday, May 12 at St. Mark Lutheran Church (500 Broadway Street E) in New Germany. All concerts begin at 2 p.m.
With Sunday, May 12 being Mother’s Day, the Singing Friends Chorus dedicates this musical show to “Mothers & other key Women.” A special anthem, Beautiful Savior, is sung in honor of all ladies.
During the concerts, a free-will offering is taken. Money goes toward the purchase of new concert music and to defray other chorus expenses. After each concert is over, dessert and coffee/juice is served.
Singing Friends Chorus draws its “International Flair Repertoire” from many different eras and traditions. From “classic” choral literature, the chorus performs the prayerful German chorale, J.S. Bach’s, Jesu, Jesu, du bist mein. They sing a rich Scottish folk tune, Loch Lomond; a fascinating Caribbean song, Halle, Halle, Halle; a stately Old Hawaiian chant, E Ala E; and a traditional Hebrew folk song, Hine Ma Tov.
American folk songs and spirituals make an appearance, including a Stephen Foster favorite, Oh, Susanna! and Jack Halloran’s rousing spiritual, Witness! The chorus performs Minnesota’s composer F. Melius Christiansen’s delightful anthem, Beautiful Savior — which is also St. Olaf College Choir’s signature song. Finally, the singers present a bit of Broadway: Pick a Little, Talk a Little, from The Music Man and Do You Hear the People Sing? from the musical and recent hit movie “Les Miserables.”
The 33 members of the Singing Friends Chorus perform in Carver, McLeod, Sibley and surrounding counties. Directed by Karen de Boer and accompanied by Carrie Knott of Winsted, the central Minnesota singers range in age from their 30s to their 80s — and come in many walks of life. The Chorus believes that singing is a joyous happening and should not be limited to people of a certain age or level of musical training.
Chorus singers are from Cokato, Cologne, Glencoe, Green Isle, Hamburg, New Germany, Norwood Young America, Waconia, Watertown, and Winsted. Local members include, from Waconia:  Dawn Ascher, Liz Beiersdorf, Mona Gillett, Donald Herrmann, Carol Hobert, Sheila Munsterteiger, Roger Sauerbrey, Ken Schwalbe, and Rachel Schwalbe; from New Germany: Franklin Schoenke and Earl Wendorf; from Watertown: Gladys Bartels.
The SATB choir presents two annual singing events: Christmas concerts in December and Spring musical shows in April/May. The Singing Friends Chorus also entertains at nursing homes, local churches, senior centers, and civic and community events. They sing a wide range of musical compositions, including Broadway musicals, folk songs, patriotic numbers, world music, spiritual songs, classical choral music, and popular tunes from all different eras. The Chorus experience is captured by one of the group’s favorite pieces, How Can I Keep From Singing, which has become a signature number for the choir.
For more information or to volunteer to sing in the Chorus, contact de Boer at (320) 864-2742.