Invitation Letter to Parents

Dear Friends,

The church has a long and deep tradition of praising God through singing. In order for this to continue it is up to parents and the faith community around them to encourage their children with opportunities that develop a love for music in worship. You do not need to be Mennonite to sing in this festival and all young people who are in grades 3-9 are invited to participate. This festival is unique in that it brings together young singers from Illinois, Indiana, Michigan and Ohio (and sometimes beyond!) to learn sacred repertoire.  Songs are chosen each year that offer the singers tunes from master composers and text that encourages a strong faith in God.  This is and has been the vision and goal of the annual Sacred Music Youth Choir Festival since it began almost a quarter century ago.

We invite the singers from your community in grades 3 through 9 to participate in this event to be held on Saturday and Sunday, March 11 & 12, 2017, at the Goshen College Music Center in Goshen, Indiana. Singers learn and memorize the music in their home with the help of a rehearsal CD or with other young people in their home community.  The Goshen area offers 4 Saturday morning rehearsals in January and February which are open to all participates who wish to attend.  The date and location are listed under the Registration tab.  Singers will come together for the festival rehearsal on Saturday March 11, 2017 followed by the festival program Sunday afternoon March 12.  Young people coming from a distance are welcome to accept housing with Goshen area families or in local motels as they prefer.

We are looking forward to having Hal Hessdirector serve as guest director for our 2017 Choir Festival.

Hal is a retired educator having taught in Atlanta’s Frederick Douglass High School and serving as both music teacher and administrator in the Winton Woods Middle School in Cincinnati. Hal is a graduate of Goshen College and has a performance degree from Indiana University having studied in both the opera and conducting schools. Hal lives in Cincinnati with his wife, Christine Schumacher. Hal attends Cincinnati Mennonite Fellowship. He serves as docent leading Saturday tours at the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center. He serves as board member of Camp Friedenswald. Hal also chairs Mennonite Arts Weekend, a biennial celebration of Mennonite artists and their work. Both golf and gardening contribute to his good mental health.

We encourage young people and their parents to become involved in this faith-based festival by registering for the up-coming March 2017 festival.  A registration form is available on this website under the Register tab.  If you have questions, feel free to contact a festival planning committee member.  Phone and e-mail addresses for committee members can be found under the Contacts tab.


The Festival Planning Committee: Lola Gingerich, Lisa Keim, Sheryl Miller, Tonya Karpovich, Jen Yoder,

Printable Version of Invitation Letter 2017 Parent Invitation