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Joining many voices for MCC
It was standing room only at the Mennonite Men’s Choir Festival, and those in attendance were not disappointed. Over 200 men performed together in the concert on Saturday, June 11, in Sauder Concert Hall on the campus of Goshen College.
Three choirs from MCC relief sales came together for this event: the Michiana Men’s Chorus, directed by Darrel Hostetler; the Kansas Mennonite Men’s Chorus, directed by Greg Bontrager; and the Ohio Mennonite Men’s Chorale, directed by Tim Shue. Altogether, the three choirs included singers that hail from Indiana, Ohio, Kansas, Oklahoma, Nebraska, Colorado, and Missouri.
The choirs first performed individually, and then combined as a mass chorus to perform works by Alice Parker, Allen Pote, Glen Burleigh and J. Harold Moyer. The large audience joined in on several of the songs, including a rousing rendition of “Praise God from whom” that ended the concert.
A freewill offering was taken to support MCC’s relief, development and peace work around the world.
The Kansas choir stopped in Goshen as part of a cross-country tour, which also included events in Bloomington, Illinois, and Berne, Indiana. Bontrager was excited about the success of the joint choir event. “Sauder Hall is a great place to perform, but the fact that so many men came together to sing from so many different states was truly incredible,” he said.
Bontrager and Shue, who are lifelong friends, had been talking about an event like this for years, and they were pleased to have Hostetler and his choir get involved as well. “I thought everything went well and the attendence was more than any of us expected,” said Bontrager. “Maybe this will be the start of a tradition for the Mennonite Men’s Chorus’ throughout the states.”