A wing and a song

Upcoming concert a prelude to Lawrence youth choir's spring tour of Germany

The elementary and junior high school students who comprise the Lawrence Children's choir just finished recording their fourth professional CD and are gearing up for a tour of Germany.


Thad Allender/Journal-World Photo

The Lawrence Children's Choir practices under the direction of Janeal Krehbiel on Monday at Southwest Junior High. The choir will perform its fall concert at 5 p.m. Saturday at Grace Episcopal Cathedral in Topeka.

Not a bad gig for a bunch of kids who don't even have driver's licenses yet.

The choir will preview music from its upcoming German tour at 5 p.m. Saturday at Grace Episcopal Cathedral in Topeka. The hour-long performance will mark the third year the choir has been invited to participate in the cathedral's concert series.

"We're having to work very hard. We're still learning," says Janeal Krehbiel, co-founder and artistic director of the choir. "It's a great acoustical facility, and we're just very fortunate to be invited back as part of their concert series."

The cathedral's series also includes an African children's choir, which performed last month, and a jazz concert later in November.

The 75 choir members, students in fifth through ninth grades, will sing a variety of American music -- folk songs, spirituals and Native American tunes -- and selections from Germany, Samoa and England. The Choristers, a training choir of third- through sixth-graders, will join the choir for the performance.

The cathedral concert will be the choir's last performance of the year. The group will take a break until after the winter holidays and perform another concert in January. After school lets out in May, about 70 members of the choir will travel to Germany to sing in cities such as Berlin and Luebeck.

The choir, founded in 1991, has toured England and performed at regional and national choral director conventions. Members come from as far away as Atchison, Hiawatha and Kansas City for Monday night rehearsals. About 30 choir members are ninth-graders who have been involved with the choir for a few years.

"We've brought this area a lot of acclaim," Krehbiel says. "A lot of people know the Lawrence Children's Choir."


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