Hymn Festival 2019


Hymn Festival at the Downtown Site
Oct. 19, 2019

On Saturday, Oct.19, many gathered together to sing beloved hymns old and new to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the Ronald Wahl organ at First English. We were reminded yet again of this instrument’s glorious power to lead assembly song, support our acclamations of praise, and  inspire our hearts to greater union and harmony with the divine.

Daniel Schwandt sat at the console of the organ and the Rev. Gary Nokleberg read the beautiful reflections written by Daniel, that interspersed the hymns. The power of the organ as a sonic icon to connect our  earthly selves with things heavenly, as Mr. Schwandt put it, was made apparent that night. His poetry, together with the inspired words of the many hymn writers we sang that evening, the sweet melodies of several gifted composers, a brass ensemble, a flutist, and the soaring leadership of the Parish Choir, made for an unforgettable evening of fellowship and song.

Special thanks go to all who helped make this event possible: Daniel Schwandt for his leadership, gift of  poetry and music, and transcendent hymn playing; the Parish Choir and Lawrence University Cantorei members for their beautiful voices and tireless efforts in rehearsing for the event; the Rev. Gary Nokleberg for his reading; the ushers and sound technicians; AJ Frea for organizing the reception; all those who attended and contributed their voices and financial support; the Organ Task Force which will carry on the work ahead of discerning the future of our organ; and Ronald Wahl and all those who built and have cared for this beautiful  instrument over the course of 40 glorious years of  service. 

Permission to podcast/stream the music in this service obtained from ONE LICENSE with license A-703833.