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Ecumenical Hymn Festival featured hymns from different Christian heritages

Trinity Lutheran Church in Hagerstown hosts event featuring choir members from at least six churches

January 20, 2013|By JULIE E. GREENE | julieg@herald-mail.com

Trinity Lutheran Church in Hagerstown on Sunday afternoon hosted an Ecumenical Hymn Festival in honor of the Week of Prayer and Christian Unity.

“A worship service and a music concert all rolled into one,” the hymn festival featured hymns from different Christian heritages, including a chant hymn from Roman Catholic tradition, said Wayne Wold, who chose the hymns for the concert.

Wold is chairman of Hood College’s music department and a former music director for St. John’s Lutheran Church in Hagerstown, according to the event program.

Choir members from at least six churches made up the choir, which rehearsed together for the first time shortly before the concert. Participating churches included Trinity Lutheran, St. Mark’s Lutheran, St. John’s Episcopal, St. John’s Evangelical Lutheran, Christ’s Reformed United Church of Christ and St. Mark’s Episcopal in Lappans, choir members said.

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“I think this is great. I think we need more activities like this,” with hymns being sung and people from different churches getting together, said Virginia Altman, 77, who attends St. Mark’s Lutheran Church in Hagerstown.

Among the hymns for the concert, Altman, an alto, said she was particularly fond of “Abide With Me” and “Shall We Gather at the River.”

Trinity Lutheran choir member Sarah Schofield, 23, said before the concert that she was excited to hear the history of the hymns.

“This is such a great way for everyone to come together and celebrate our commonness, what we have in common with each other,” said Mark King, a bass who is minister of music for St. John’s Episcopal Church in Hagerstown.

After the rehearsal, choir member Gail Farmer said there was a lot of talent and skill in the choir and among the musicians.

“It makes this wonderful, joyous sound and I think that’s great,” said Farmer, 60, a Martinsburg, W.Va., resident who attends St. John’s Evangelical Lutheran Church in Hagerstown.

In addition to about 30 choir members, Wold played a Schantz pipe organ and other musicians played trumpet, flute, oboe and timpani.

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