Lawrence Children's Choir prepares for spring concert and London tour

Sunday, March 2, 2003

It's only a few months into 2003, and the Lawrence Children's Choir is already in the midst of another busy season.

The young vocalists sang at inauguration festivities for Kansas Gov. Kathleen Sebelius. They also performed at the Kansas Family Festival in Topeka. And Friday, they sang at the Kansas Music Educators' Assn. conference at Wichita's Century II Convention Center.

But audiences still have a chance to hear what the choir is up to before it embarks on its London tour in late May. The group's spring concert will be at 5 p.m. Saturday at Grace Episcopal Cathedral, 701 S.W. Eighth Ave., Topeka.

"Grace Cathedral invited LCC to be part of their concert series for the year," choir director Janeal Krehbiel said. "Since venues are hard to find in Lawrence, we were pleased to be asked. It is a beautiful cathedral, good acoustically, and only 25 minutes from Lawrence."

Choristers, the preparatory group for the Lawrence Children's Choir, will sing before the touring group. The younger group's program includes "Come with Hearts and Voices Sounding," "The Little Birch Tree," and "Two Tongue-Twisters" (Betty Botter's Butter and Moses' Toeses.) Much rehearsal time has been spent learning to sing phrases like "Betty Botter bought some butter, 'but,' she said, 'the butter's bitter ...'" which are challenging to speak, let alone sing.


Aaron Lindberg/Journal-World Photo

Janeal Krehbiel leads the Lawrence Children's Choir during a rehearsal at Southwest Junior High School. The children are preparing for their spring concert, which will be held 5 p.m. Saturday at Grace Episcopal Cathedral, 701 S.W. Eighth Ave., Topeka.

The Children's Choir will perform "This Shall Be For Music," "Circle Around the Moon," "Care selve" (Beloved woods), "May Song," "Herbstlied" (Autumn Song), "Shannon Castle Reel," "O Salutaris" (O Blessed Redeemer), "I'se The B'y" (I am the Boy), "There Is A Garden," "The Pasture," "Ise Oluwa" (God's Work), "At The River," "Micma'Q Honour Song," "The Poet Sings," "Jordan's Angels," "Will You Walk A Little Faster," "Sahayta," "Can You Hear," and "The Balloon Man."

"The Balloon Man" includes a special feature. Composer James McCray, professor of music at Colorado State University in Fort Collins, Colo., wrote the music but left out the text for two verses to encourage young singers to write lyrics. Choir members Jordon Williams and Clara Kundin won the lyrics contest for the choir's performance of the composition.

These are the same songs the choir will sing during its spring tour. The group has been invited to sing at St. Martin in the Fields in Trafalgar Square, Windsor Parish Chapel in Windsor, St. Albans Cathedral in St. Albans, and St. Paul's Cathedral in London.

"The tour is proceeding nicely. The kids are getting excited," Krehbiel said. "We leave on Memorial Day and have some great venues and look forward to the thrill of sharing our music there."

What: Lawrence Children's Choir and Choristers spring concert.When: 5 p.m. Saturday.Where: Grace Episcopal Cathedral, 701 S.W. Eighth Ave., Topeka.Tickets: $5. Can be purchased from any choir member or at the door.