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Music

Music enriches our community life! We invite anyone who wishes to participate in the choir opportunities listed below to simply join in, or contact the director for more information.

Would you like to offer instrumental music in our worship? Our pianist, Joan Christensen, coordinates the music for our Table of Mercy worship setting (usually the second Sunday of the month) and would welcome your instrumental talents! Please contact Joan at jerjoanchriste@hotmail.com.

Adult Choir

The adult choir sings most Sundays in our 10:30 worship. Robes are worn for festival Sunday worship services.

The adult choir sings most Sundays in our 10:30 worship. Robes are worn for festival Sunday worship services.

The Adult Choir is open to anyone who wishes to sing! Rehearsals are Sundays 9:20-10:15 am, September–May.

We sing a variety of music from Christian tradition, old and new.

Want to join? If you’re interested in joining the adult choir, talk to a current choir member (plainly visible during the anthem) or to Stephen Self, Minister of Music (music@graceattheu.org).

Saturday Morning Choir Rehearsals – Fall 2015:

Come join us as we kick off our choir season! On Saturday, September 12 from 9:30-11:30 am all our voice choirs will rehearse at Grace.  This fall, Adult choir will hold an extra rehearsal one Saturday each month: the Saturday before the second Sunday; the Children’s and Youth choirs will also rehearse during this time. Childcare will be provided for those not of choir age. There will be fun, snacks and lots of music. Please contact Joey Wehrman with any questions at johanna.wehrman@gmail.com.

Children’s Choir

children choirFor children grades K-4. We rehearse one Saturday per month; singing is followed by prayer and social time. Rehearsals take place at Grace, and performances occur the next day—usually the second Sunday of each month. Stefan Wolf, director & Siri Garnaas, accompanist (stefanjwolf@gmail.com)

Youth Choir

For youth grades 5-12. We rehearse one Saturday per month, September–May. Rehearsals take place at Grace, and performances occur the next day—usually the second Sunday of each month. Eric Vollen, director & Janelle Bussert, accompanist (eric.vollen@gmail.com)

Handbell Choir

Rehearses the second Sunday, September–May, from 9:20-10:20 am in the sanctuary, and then play in the 10:30 am worship that day. Open to adults, youth, University students, and newcomers! Patti Regan, director (regan.patti@gmail.com)

Keyboard Choir

For ALL AGES. Rehearsals take place at Grace, and performances occur 2-3 times per year. Janelle Bussert, director (jbussert2@aol.com)

Composer in Residence Program

Grace University Lutheran Church’s composer residency program creates a valuable partnership with the University of Minnesota School of Music. Grace’s residency employs a graduate student in music composition from the University to create several new works that are premiered in the church’s worship services throughout the academic year.

We are pleased to have a new resident composer at Grace for 2015-16, Josh Bauder.  Josh’s music is accessible and creative, while also rooted in solid compositional technique.  He will be publicly presented to the congregation upon the premier of his first composition this fall.  Please take a moment to greet him when you see him at church.

Josh holds a B.A. in music and philosophy from the University of St. Thomas and a M.A. in theology from Central Seminary. Currently he is pursuing a Ph.D. in composition from the University of Minnesota. He has written for local professional and semi-professional ensembles, including Indånde (a flute, oboe, and piano ensemble with whom he partnered to receive the 2010 Jerome Grant for New Music) and Deo Cantamus of Minnesota (a local choir that premiered his 2014 oratorio Abraham).

In addition to writing music and studying for courses, Josh stays busy teaching music theory, co-directing the St. Thomas Alumni Choir, and serving at Northwest Bible Church in St. Michael, MN.

Grace’s composers in residence since 2007:

Eric Brook
Joomi Park
Heath Mathews
Matthew J. Olson
Joshua Clausen

The story of Grace’s first Composer in Residence:

Eric Brook, a M.M. student at the University, served as the church’s first resident composer. He created a work for brass and organ that was premiered on Reformation Sunday and a choral setting of “O Magnum Mysterium” that was premiered during the Epiphany season. His other two projects include a work for piano trio based on the passion hymn “Ah, Holy Jesus” for Palm Sunday, and a work for combined adult and youth choirs that was presented in May.

At the conclusion of the residency, the church presented a recital of Brook’s works that included works from the residency year as well as other works from his catalog.

Selection process

In 2007 the selection process began with a brief presentation by Stephen Self, the organist/choir director at Grace, to the composition students from the University. Students who were interested in being considered submitted a résumé and two representative works. Each student was interviewed in person. The final decision was made in consultation with the composition faculty from the University.

The residency has been highly successful in every respect. Eric Brook has commented frequently that it has been a very valuable learning experience for him. The ensembles for which works have been composed have grown musically and in their appreciation for new music. The congregation has been reminded that new music appropriate to both worship and the concert hall is still being created and can still have the depth associated with treasured worship repertoire. The church has also been reminded that part of our mission is to serve and strengthen ties with the University’s constituencies. And the University has taken note of the openness of Grace church to nurture young and promising composers.

If you are interested in more information about the residency, please e-mail Stephen Self at music@graceattheu.org.