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Concordia Seminary Offers Epiphany Celebration

Concordia Seminary invites the St. Louis community to its annual Epiphany Celebration on Sunday, Jan. 13, 2002 at 3:00 p.m. in the Chapel of St. Timothy and St. Titus. Participating in the celebration will be several vocal and instrumental groups from the Concordia Seminary community, including the Concordia Seminary Chorus, Pro Musica Sacra, Brass Choir and handbells. They will be joined by the adult choir and the school choir from St. Paul Lutheran Church in Des Peres, Mo. The celebration will include an extended choral prelude and a service of evening prayer.

As a special feature of the celebration, a new setting of the “Nunc Dimittis,” composed by Dr. Carl Schalk, will be heard publicly for the first time. The Concordia Seminary Chorus commissioned Schalk to compose the new setting as a part of its 100th anniversary in 2002. Schalk’s contribution to liturgical music will be recognized, and he will conduct several of his compositions during the celebration.

One of the most recognizable names in Lutheran hymnody, Schalk is the distinguished professor of music emeritus at Concordia University, in River Forest, Ill. Previously, he was a teacher and director of music at Zion Lutheran Church in Wassau, Wis., and director of music for the International Lutheran Hour. He also served as editor of the journal, “Church Music,” from 1966 to 1980. He has served on various boards and committees for The Hymn Society, the National Association of Pastoral Musicians and the Inter-Lutheran Commission on Worship. He has written over 50 hymn tunes and carols, and his choral compositions and hymn settings are used extensively throughout the church.

Rev. Henry Gerike, director of choirs at Concordia Seminary, also has composed a new carol, “Oh Jesus So Sweet,” which will debut at the celebration. The new carol will be joined by Artur Honegger’s setting of Psalm 117 from his “Christmas Cantata.”

Special recognition also will be given to pastors and church musicians of St. Louis area Lutheran parishes. Because of their concentrated work during the recent weeks of the church year, Concordia Seminary desires to express its appreciation for their work of proclaiming God’s Word and leading God’s people in worship and in song.

“The Epiphany Celebration will include an extended choral prelude beginning at 3:00 p.m., followed by formal recognition of Carl Schalk’s contributions to Lutheran hymnody, as well as the contributions of the St. Louis area pastors and church musicians,” commented Gerike. “The evening prayer service will follow, and it will include special prayers for pastors and musicians. We encourage everyone to join us for this very special celebration.”

For more information, contact Seminary Relations, Concordia Seminary, 801 DeMun Ave., St. Louis, MO 63105; 314.505.7370; semrelations@csl.edu.