By Linda Scherer
The Singing Friends choral group enjoys music and singing, and believes “music is food for the soul,” according to Betty Diers of Winsted, one of the choir members.
They sing a variety of music including sacred and classical works, spirituals and popular songs. Besides English, they can also sing in Latin, French, Spanish, German, and African dialects.
The choral group will be performing at St. John’s Lutheran Church of Winsted, Sunday, April 13 at the 10 a.m. service. Following the service, there will be a chicken dinner from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.
The group of about 30 singers meets each Tuesday for practice at All Saints Church in Norwood Young America.
Carrie Knott, of Winsted, is the accompanist for the group.
The choir was formerly known as the Norwood Chorus but regrouped in 2004 under the direction of Karen de Borer.
The new Singing Friends director, de Borer, sang for several years in the Plymouth Music series (now Vocal Essence) and has also sung with the Rose Ensemble.
“We knew Karen was talented. She has a beautiful voice. Then we found out she has a masters degree in music and never really used it. This was her first experience,” Diers said.
The choir is planning two spring concerts in which the group is to perform “Sister Act” along with several other selections.
The first concert is scheduled for Friday, May 2 at 8 p.m. at the Church of Peace in Norwood Young America, and the second concert, scheduled for Sunday, May 4, will be announced later when the time and place has been determined.
A highlight for the Singing Friends was singing at the Minnesota Capitol Centennial Celebration July 4, 2005 along with 1,000 other Minnesota singers.
The original group, the Norwood Chorus, performed both concert and German music from 1972 to 2000. The choral group averaged about 45 singers. During that time Bill Niebuhr was the director, and the choir performed at many local events. They also toured in Austria and Germany.
After the death of Niebuhr in 2001, Larry Finke, Jim Strehlke, and Chuck Thiel each took over direction of the group for a short time.