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A tale of two musical evenings


By Loni Kemp

Fri, Dec 13th, 2013
Posted in All Columnists

On a sunny and cold Thursday afternoon, I hear my husband’s car crunching up the driveway, home from work at the unusual hour of four in the afternoon. Moments later, our friends appear, and we tumble into their car for our annual trek to Decorah, Iowa, to launch the holiday season. It is the first night of Christmas at Luther, and we are anticipating yet another world-class choir concert.

So in demand are these concerts, that even with five performances stretched over four days, only college alumni, parents and students can reserve tickets. The only way the public can squeeze their way in is to show up early and ask if any tickets have been turned in. Fortunately, so far, we always manage to get in. Even if our seats are in the back row of the balcony, it matters not, because the Center for Faith and Life concert hall is so acoustically perfect that we will hear every note.

We luck out once again, and after greeting friends from Harmony, we thread our way upstairs to the very back and settle in our seats. Memories of these concerts come to mind, stretching back two decades when we brought our young daughters to hear the moving vocal performances under musical icon, director Weston Noble. It must have made a deep impression, as they both sang in school, competed in contests, sang with the Honors Choirs of Southeastern Minnesota, and joined their college and community choirs. I miss their concerts, and now focus my yearning for live choir performance on Luther.

The seats fill up and the lights go down. Six choirs file into their places on a massive set of risers, as well as in the aisles and balconies. The orchestra tunes up, and a hush falls until several directors appear in tuxedoes and evening gowns. After the applause, we are asked to hold further applause until the end of the performance. I love this traditional touch, as we have the chance to breathe in the feeling of each piece as it ends, without making an obligatory response.

The elegant and yet passionate concert unrolls, with a variety of classical, modern, religious and secular music. The mass choir is astounding in their unity and power. I am moved by the synergy of the words and the music. You know there are a majority of church choir singers in the audience when we all stand and unabashedly sing out the well-known hymns in which we get to participate.

At the final candlelight number, each of the singers passes a flame, .....
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Ultimate Sugar Cookie

By Judy Thomas

Fri, Dec 6th, 2013
Posted in All Columnists

I am a proud new great-grandmother of three new members of the family. Two, a little girl Sydney and boy Branden both living near Dayton, so I have only made their acquaintances through pictures and Facebook correspondence and I’m not to adept at ..... 
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Summer Savory, AKA the Bean Herb

By Becky Hoff

Fri, Nov 29th, 2013
Posted in All Columnists

Summer savory is a lesser known but useful herb traditionally used in bean dishes and meat dressings. It has the distinction of being the only herb (aside from dill) that was grown in my Grandma Raway’s garden. The holiday turkey dressing would no ..... 
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Thank You

By Tammy Danielson

Fri, Nov 22nd, 2013
Posted in All Columnists

During this season of being thankful and reading all of the thankful statements on Facebook, I thought it would be good to recognize happy moments and give gratitude. Granted, this will be an abbreviated list because I only get so much space in thi ..... 
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Creamed Tomato Soup

By Jeanette Schmidt

Fri, Nov 15th, 2013
Posted in All Columnists

By now the garden is done producing for another year, except the carrots still in the ground. We did find out carrots don’t survive even when covered with straw, so we will have to dig them soon. It was really hard to let all of the green toma ..... 
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A little of this, a little of that

By Kathy Little

Fri, Nov 15th, 2013
Posted in All Columnists

“Happy Hallo-thanks-mas”! Remember when stores didn’t display Christmas decorations until after Thanksgiving? Probably not, but in my youth that was the norm. Now Christmas decorations pop up around Halloween. Thanksgiving is a forgotten holi ..... 
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Pressing Cider

By Loni Kemp

Fri, Nov 1st, 2013
Posted in All Columnists

My heart sank as I heard the news. The Amish family who had pressed our apples into cider for many years was not home. Indeed, nothing was left in the house at all, reported a friend who tried to reserve our pressing date. A neighbor reported that t ..... 
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Musings from the back porch!

By Judy Thomas

Fri, Oct 25th, 2013
Posted in All Columnists

There once was once a lady who requested a ‘pie’ oh my, and not just any pie, not canned and not made with fresh peaches covered with glaze, but an old fashioned peach pie, thickened with tapioca! This lady is a very dear friend of mine and does ..... 
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Old Fashioned Apple Cake

By Judy Thomas

Fri, Oct 18th, 2013
Posted in All Columnists

As I write this article, we are into the middle of October the 10th month of the year. Birthstone being the Tourmaline or Opal. Flower the Calendula and Zodiac sign Libra. There are many Holiday celebrations too numerous to mention all, but to menti ..... 
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