By Starrla Cray
WINSTED, MN A melodic mix of Americana, folk, sacred, and patriotic music will fill the Blue Note (320 3rd Street South in Winsted) Thursday, Aug. 9 at 8 p.m.
The special Winsted Area Community Choir performance is part of the city’s 125th anniversary celebration, which will take place Monday, Aug. 6 through Sunday, Aug. 12.
“We started practicing the end of May,” said Pastor Mark Loder of St. John’s Lutheran Church in Winsted. “I was asked to start it because of the anniversary, but the group would like to keep going. We hope to do two to three concerts a year.”
As many as 30 people have been meeting for two hours or more every Sunday evening, in order to perfect their songs.
Their debut performance was at St. John’s 140th anniversary celebration July 22, and they also plan to sing at St. Mary’s Care Center in Winsted Sunday, Aug. 5.
“We’ve had good feedback so far,” Loder said.
Although it’s too late to participate in the choir for the Winsted 125th concert, singers are welcome to join at a later date.
“After the concert, we plan to get together for a picnic and talk about what to do next. We plan to rehearse a couple months before each concert, so it’s not an all-year thing,” Loder said.
There is no need to be part of St. John’s Lutheran Church or to live in Winsted to join.
“It’s open to anyone,” Loder said. “We have a few people from surrounding communities, as well.”
One is never too young or old to join the choir, either. Currently, the youngest participant is 10 years old.
Loder, whose undergraduate degree is in vocal music performance, is not new to choir directing.
While studying at the University of South Dakota in Vermilion, he directed his college choir, and started a community choir.
Loder then served in law enforcement, and later went on to seminary to become a pastor, but never lost his passion for singing.
Loder’s wife, Molly, is also part of the Winsted Area Community Choir and has a musical background.
“She directs our church choir; she’s an organist and pianist, and she used to teach band,” Loder said.
To learn more about the Winsted Area Community Choir, contact St. John’s Lutheran Church at (320) 485-2522.