The 12th Annual Church Choir Festival, chaired and organized by Greg Zielke, was hosted at Presbyterian Church of the Cross in Omaha under the leader ship of Kristi Treu, and co-sponsored by five churches to support worship music and benefit the OPEN DOOR MISSION of Omaha.
This year’s concert included five mass choir selections with over 100 singers, brass, organ, and piano; as well as solo selections from each of the five participating faith communicates. See the program for more information on specific titles, directors, and churches involved.
Over the past 12 years this event has develop and grown. It has raised over $10,000 for the Open Door Mission, and has fostered development of choirs and directors across the Omaha area. The event planning begins in the summer prior to the festival day (usually the last Sunday of February) with all the directors coming together to do a reading session and discuss details like location, repertoire, and leadership responsibilities. The director’s then meet 1-2 more times to finalize details and discuss needs for the festival day. Many emails and drafts of programs later, the churches gather for a great day!
The day begins with warm-ups with Greg Zielke. There is rehearsal on each of the mass choir pieces with each guest choir director taking a turn at the baton for at least one selection. This incredible diversity in conductors and leadership adds to the enjoyment and education for all the choirs. The rehearsal continues with all the choir finding there sections on the risers, getting to know other singers from other communities, and running the mass choir selections with brass and any other guest artists like solo instrumentalists and singers. There is break for a community dinner. During this time singers continue to build relationships with other churches and each choir has a chance to run through their solo anthems in the sanctuary space. At 7pm the concert begins with an organ prelude and welcome from the Festival Chair and representative of the host church, as well an invocation and an opening hymn. Each choir performs a few solo selections (there is always a huge variety in styles and sounds). There is a presentation from Open Door Mission. An offering for Open Door Mission is taken with music from guest musicians, like brass players or organists. Another hymn is sung. And then the mass choirs come together to conclude the concert with a great variety of music and excitement.
This event is always very successful and fun. Every year there is a need for new church venues to host and new congregations to participate. Please consider joining the 13th Annual Church Choir Festival in 2019.
Respectfully submitted by Jason Horner, NCDA Music in Worship R & R Chair