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Concordia Seminary Announces Special Epiphany Celebration

Concordia Seminary, St. Louis is pleased to invite the public to a special service in celebration of Epiphany on Sunday, Jan. 14, 2007, at 3:00 p.m. in the Seminary’s Chapel of St. Timothy and St. Titus.

This year’s service will feature the music of the renowned Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod pastor, poet and hymn writer, Rev. Jaroslav J. Vajda. The choir of Peace Lutheran Church, Lemay, Mo., under the direction of Sherry Bierwagon, will join the Concordia Seminary choirs and instrumentalists to offer music that demonstrates Vajda’s significant contribution to the hymnody of the church.

The service will also provide the debut of a new setting of a Vajda text, “While Shepherds Lately Knelt,” commissioned by the Concordia Seminary Chorus and written by Dr. Paul Bouman of Oak Park, Ill. The setting of the text masterfully combines male voices, strings and organ. Bouman is the former church musician at Grace Lutheran Church, River Forest, IL. He is well-known for his work with children’s choirs and his many compositions for choirs.

A revised version of Rev. Henry Gerike’s setting of “Shepherds of Bethlehem” will also make its debut at the Jan. 14 service. Vajda wrote the translation of this historic Slavic carol. Gerike serves as director of choirs and coordinator of musical and cultural activities at the Seminary.

The Epiphany service continues the Seminary’s tradition of honoring St. Louis area pastors and church musicians for the work they do in preparing for the Advent, Christmas, and Epiphany seasons. They will receive reserved seating and will also be acknowledged in remarks by Dr. Dale A. Meyer, Concordia Seminary’s president.

The service is the first of several Seminary events in early 2007 that will highlight sacred music. They include a January 20 Choir Member Workshop, featuring Dr. Timothy Peter of Luther College, Decorah, Iowa; a January 21 Bach at the Sem concert featuring guest organist Lynn Trapp of St. Olaf Parish and Seminary, Minneapolis, Minn.; a February 11 Bach at the Sem concert featuring Bach’s Cantata 80, Ein’ feste Burg ist unser Gott (A Might Fortress Is Our God); and a March 18 celebration of the life and music of Paul Gerhardt, including an address by renowned composer Dr. Karl Schalk.

For more information, contact Seminary Relations, Concordia Seminary, 801 Seminary Place, St. Louis, MO 63105; (314) 505-7370; semrelations@csl.edu.