The Excellent Gift of God - A Hymn Festival

October 29, 7:00pm
Fairchild Chapel, Oberlin


Sing with Martin Luther as we commemorate the 500th anniversary of the Reformation. We’ll sing 16th-century hymns in this beautiful stone chapel with the First Choir and John Brombaugh's magnificent Renaissance-style organ.


The modern hymn festival was created by Paul Manz, a Lutheran organist and composer who worked in Minneapolis and Chicago. A hymn festival is something of a cross between a worship service and a concert. Hymns are presented in elaborate arrangements, usually with choral leadership, and instrumental music also usually plays a large role. But the “audience” is expected to sing along, becoming a sort of congregation. Reflective readings between the songs help to tie everything together.


Brian Wentzel, FAGO, is First Lutheran’s Director of Music and will be leading this hymn festival: playing the organ and piano, directing the choir, arranging the hymns, and writing the reflections. He has studied with some of the finest hymn festival presenters of today, including John Ferguson and David Cherwien, and presents hymn festivals at least once a year at First Lutheran.


This hymn festival is free and open to the public. It is part of First Lutheran's FIRST•music concert series, whose goal comes from the church's vision statement: to "use our musical resources to enhance our experience of God and as a gift to the community."


Click here for a printable poster.