here to return to Immanuel's Home Page
Immanuel Lutheran Church
867 North Pleasant Street
Amherst, MA 01002
Just north of the UMass School of Education
The principal mission and ministry of the Immanuel Choir is to provide musical leadership for the congregation in its worship services. The Choir sings for the weekly Eucharist on Sundays throughout the academic year to assist in the singing of the liturgy and the hymns and to present sacred music to enhance the services. During the summer months and for occasions when the choir is not singing, members of the congregation and outside guests often sing or play special musical offerings during our worship.
Over the years, there have been times when the choir has offered larger works either in concerts, Vesper services, or as a part of the Sunday morning worship. Also there have been numerous anniversaries and other special occasions that stand out in the life of the congregation. Here is a listing of some of these over recent years.
- On Sunday, November 23, 1997, the choir and soloists presented J.S.
Bach's Cantata Nr. 131, "Out of Darkness, Lord, I Sing to Thee,"
with organ and instrumental accompaniment, again within the context of a traditional
choral Evensong service.
- On Saturday afternoon, January 24, 1998, there was a Memorial
Service for Martha Seelig, a long time member of Immanuel Lutheran
Church. The service included Movements I, IV, V, and VII from the "German
Requiem" of Johannes Brahms sung by the Immanuel Choir under the
direction of Christopher
Aspaas, with Kathryn Carlson, soprano, and with Matthew Cron
at the organ. There were also instrumentalists on strings and winds. Liturgists
were Rev. Alice Kerr Laird and Rev. Rudy Beyer, Pastor of Immanuel
Lutheran Church. Remarks and remembrances of Martha Seelig and her life were
given by Rev. Dr. Karl Donfried and the sermon was given by Rev. John
- On Sunday, February 8, 1998, Immanuel had a special service in honor
of Black History Month. Our choir and congregation were led in
special music of the South African tradition by Professor Mzamo P. Mangaliso
of the University of Massachusetts. This was an inspirational and uplifting
event and one that we will long remember.
- On Friday, April 10, 1998, (Good Friday) the Senior Choir with Christopher
Aspaas, Director, sang the
beautiful Seven Words From the Cross by the Norwegian composer
Knut Nystedt interspersed with scripture and homily. The part of the
Evangelist was sung by tenor, Robert Weaver.
- Reformation Sunday, October 25, 1998, at 10:30 am, the choir, organist,
and soloists of Immanuel Lutheran Church and a small orchestra presented J.
S. Bach's Cantata #79, "God, our Lord, is Sun and Shield." This
cantata was performed as a part of the second morning service and highlighted
our observance of Reformation Sunday in the Lutheran Church. The choir and
orchestra were under the direction of Christopher
Aspaas. Matthew Cron is the organist.
here to return to the top of this page
- On Good Friday, 1999, the choir presented the
Heinrich Schutz "The Seven Words of Christ on the Cross"
Aspaas, Director, and vocal soloists Kathryn Carlson, Christopher
Aspaas, and Bob Weaver, violinists Katie Wojcicki and Catherine Seelig; violist
Chris Zoeller; and with Matthew Cron, Organist.
- On Sunday, May 2, 1999, our choir, directed by Anne Weaver, participated in an Amherst
Area Choral Festival in which choirs from our area sang for each other
and then all sang together. It was a very fine event in which we each got
to see and hear the choral traditions of the various religious communities
in the area.
- On Sunday, November 7, 1999, our preacher was the Rev. Dr. Karl
Donfried, a member of Immanuel and freshly returned from Augsburg, Germany,
where he participated in the historic signing, on October 31, 1999, of the
"Joint Declaration On the Doctrine of Justification" -- representing
a significant milestone in the reconciliation of Lutherans and Roman Catholics.
Our Pastor, Rudy Beyer, was the Celebrant for the Eucharist.
- On Sunday, November 21, 1999, the choir sang the Coronation
Anthem Nr. 2 of G. F. Handel in our observance of "Christ the King"
- On Sunday afternoon, February 27, 2000, the choir, soloists
and instrumentalists sang portions of J. S. Bach's Cantata Nr. 100, "Was
Gott tut, das ist wohlgetan," within the context of a traditional
Vesper Service attended by the Western Massachusetts Conference of the
New England Synod.
- On Good Friday, April 21, 2000, the
service at 7:30 PM included the presentation of Francois Couperin's "Troisieme
Lecon De Tenebres" by vocal soloists Christopher
Aspaas and Robert Weaver and organist Matthew Cron.
- On Sunday, June 4, 2000, The Choir of Immanuel,
directed by Christopher
Aspaas, with Matthew Cron, organist, and a small orchestra,
presented Bach's Cantata Nr. 29 in its entirity
at the beginning of the morning service. This cantata, "Wir danken
dir, Gott, wir danken dir," was written in 1731 for the occasion
of the innauguration of the Church Council in Leipzig. Vocal soloists included
Kathryn Carlson, Kristen Asplin, Christopher Aspaas, and Neville Crabb.
The cantata was offered as a celebration of the Rite of Confirmation
of several young people in our congregation as well as a celebration
of the three years that our Choir Director, Chris Aspaas, had served at our
church. We wish him well as he assumes the full-time choral position at
Mount Holyoke College during the next year.
here to return to the top of this page
- On Sunday, September 17, 2000, our choir joined two other choirs
in the New England Synod in participating in the Installation of The Reverend
Margaret G. Payne as Bishop of New England held at Trinity Lutheran Church
in Worcester, MA. In addition to leading in the singing of the hymns and presenting
several anthems, the choir joined the large congregation (of over 1000 people)
in singing an arrangement of Psalm 16 that was composed by Anne
Weaver of Immanuel (our choir co-director). Choir member, Robert Weaver,
was the Worship Assistant for the installation service.
- On Sunday, October 29, 2000, the choir of Immanuel, directed by Thomas Kim, presented the main chorus of J. S. Bach's, Cantata Nr. 80, "Ein
Feste Burg ist Unser Gott" as a part of the 10:30 service. Matthew
Cron accompanied at the organ along with instrumentalists (oboes, horns,
and timpani). This was offered by the choir as a part of the service marking
what has traditionally been called "Reformation Sunday" and was
also done in commemoration of the 250th anniversary of the death of the great
Bach. Preaching for the service was The Rev. Dr. Karl Donfried, a member
of Immanuel, who is a noted biblical scholar from Smith College. Also playing
in the service was David Ertel, trumpet.
- On Sunday, December 16, 2001, the Senior Choir joined the young people
of the church and the Junior Choir, directed by Nancy Simkins, in a
spectacular and meaningful pagent for Christmas during the 10:30 service.
- On Sunday, February 10, 2002, the Senior Choir, directed by Anne
Weaver, presented "Rejoice in the Lamb" by Benjamin Britten
with soloists Kristin Asplin, Soprano, Jeanette Miller, Alto,
Robert Weaver, Tenor, and Frederick Sienkiewicz, Bass.
- On Sunday, April 21, 2002, Jeanette Miller, soprano, gave an inspiring
lecture-concert on The American Spiritual. She discussed this type
of music and sang a number of spirituals from the African-American tradition.
Jeanette was accompanied by Ruth Bass Green, of Mount Holyoke College.
- On Sunday, March 9, 2003, Jeanette Miller, soprano, led us in a service
of spirituals from the African-American tradition during our regular Sunday
- On Sunday, December 14, 2003, the choir, soloists, 7 brass players
and timpani performed "The Christmas Story" by composer Ron
Nelson, as a benefit for the Visiting Nurse Association and Hospice
of Cooley Dickinson. This cantata, in the context of an evening candlelight
service, was directed by Dr. Anne Weaver with organist Matthew Cron
and narrator Dr. Deborah Smith. Soloists were Robert Weaver
and Geert deVries.
- May, 2004, our organist, Matthew Cron, received his PhD in
musicology from Brandeis University.
here to return to the top of this page
- On Sunday, October 24, 2004, we had an "open sing through"
of Gloria by Antonio Vivaldi with Dr. Anne Weaver directing,
Dr. Matthew Cron as the keyboard and a splendid small orchestra.
Approximately 65 singers showed up for a wonderful sing-through of
this great work.
On Saturday, March 5, 2005, internationally acclaimed pianist,
Estela Olevsky, played a brilliant piano recital in our church in
dedication of the Kathleen M. Moser Memorial Piano. In addition to
the piano recital, the evening's program included music by the Immanuel
choir, directed by Dr. Anne Weaver and accompanied by Dr.
Matthew Cron, and with special soloists, Kathryn Carlson, Neville
Crabb, and Robert Weaver.
- On Sunday, May 8, 2005, the Immanuel Choir and a brass and woodwind
orchestra presented three sections from J.S. Bach's Cantata 31, "Der
Himmel lacht, die Erde jubilieret" as a part of the morning service.
The choir was directed by Dr. Anne Weaver with Dr. Matthew Cron
at the organ.
- On Sunday, December 11, 2005, our Choir together with vocal soloists
and a small orchestra presented the complete Cantata 140 by J. S.
Bach, "Wachet auf ruft uns die Stimme" as parts of the
Advent liturgy of the morning service.
- On Sunday evening, February 26, 2006, a joyful "Hymni Gras"
(hymn sing) took place in our church followed by a very fine pot-luck supper.
This was a joint effort by our congregation and that of Wesley Methodist Church
and it included a large group of singers. This was our musical recognition
of the last days before the penetential season of Lent, which began on Ash
Wednesday, March 1.
- On Sunday, March 12, 2006, the Immanuel Choir, instrumentalists,
and vocal soloists presented the complete "Te Deum Laudamus"
by Henry Purcell as a part of the liturgy for the 10:30 service. Instrumentalists
included Eric Dewar and Karl Schultz, trumpets; Catalina
Arrubla and Lauren Kapalka, oboes; and Greta Rosen, basoon.
Vocal Soloists include William H. Albritton, Randall Bausor, Sarah Boy,
Cynthia Caporaso, Helen Drake, Christine Gentes, Yvonne Nicholson, Susan Wall,
Robert Weaver, and Lauren Wilfong. All of the vocal soloists are voice
students of Lois Sayres Smith. The Director was Dr. Anne Weaver
and Dr. Matthew Cron was at the organ.
- On Sunday, May 6, 2006, we were treated to a Hymn Festival
led by Dr. John Weaver. John Weaver has recently retired as Director
of Music of the Madison Avenue Presbyterian Church of New York City and as
Chair of the Organ Departments of both the Juilliard School of New York and
the Curtis Institute of Music of Philadelphia. We were very pleased at the
wonderful singing and enjoyable musical fellowship that that evening brought
here to return to the top of this page
- On June 11, 2006, the liturgical parts of our morning worship service
consisted of the Mozart Missa Brevis, K. 129. The choir of Immanuel
under the direction of Dr. Anne Weaver was accompanied by instrumentalists,
vocal soloists, and organist, Dr. Matthew Cron.
- On February 25, 2007, during the 10:30 service,
we had a presentation of Benjamin Britten's musical Canticle, "Abraham
and Isaac". Directed by Lois Sayers Smith, the parts of Isaac
and Abraham were sung by Susan Wall and Bob Weaver, with Dr.
Matthew Cron at the piano. This is a dramatic presentation of that most
moving event in the life of Abraham where he, in obedience to God's command,
nearly sacrifices his beloved son, Isaac. Britten's stirring music and text,
adapted from a medieval Chester Miracle Play and inspired by Genesis 22, brings
to light the Lenten theme of sacrifice, reflected in the morning's lessons
for that day. Also, it meaningfully has led us into the Lenten time in our
Church Year in which we reflect on God's sacrifice and the ultimate redemption
for us all as shown in God's sparing of the life of Isaac.
- In the week of April 23, 2007, Dr John Weaver was celebrated on the
Public Radio program "Pipedreams" on the occasion of his 70th birthday.
John has long been a friend of this congregation as the brother of choir member
Bob Weaver and brother-in-law of our Choir Director, Anne Weaver. John played
the dedicatory recital for our organ in 1974 and last spring led us in a wonderful
Hymn Festival. He has recently retired as Chair of the organ departments of
both the Curtis Institute in Philadelphia (1971-2003) and the Juilliard School
of Music in New York (1987-2004). He was Minister of Music at the Madison
Avenue Presbyterian Church in New York for 35 years until 2005. Also in 2005,
John Weaver was named "International Performer of the Year" by the
New York City Chapter of the American Guild of Organists. You can hear the
entire Public Radio Program -- an interview by Michael Barone interspersed with John's music --
at the address http://pipedreams.publicradio.org/listings/2007/0717.
- On Sunday, May 6, 2007, during the 10:30 service,
our choir, soloists, and instrumentalists presented the entire Magnificat
in D by J.S. Bach. The work was directed by Dr. Anne Weaver with
Dr. Matthew Cron at the organ. The Magnificat, Mary's response
to Gabriel's announcement that she would bear God's son (My soul magnifies
the Lord...), was the framework for the 10:30 service on May 6. This beautiful
and stirring - truly magnificent - work was presented by the choir accompanied
by a small orchestra. Bach uses all sorts of musical devices to make the text
come alive: breaking into full orchestra and chorus for the word "all";
using the old-fashioned strict fugue form for the Old Testament reference
to Abraham and his seed; using triplets, three notes in one beat, for the
Glory to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit; repeating the opening
music at the end for "as it was in the beginning." Vocal soloists
for the Magnificat were Kathryn Carlson, soprano, Mary Carlson,
alto, Susan Wall, alto, Robert Weaver, tenor, and Brit Albritton,
- On Sunday, December 9, 2007, our choir under
the direction of Dr. Anne Weaver presented portions of J.S.Bach's Cantata
BWV 182, Himmelskonig, wei willkomen (King of heaven, Thou art welcome). The
choir was accompanied by instrumentalists Kristen Dye (flute), Carol
Hutter (violin), Christian Nelson (cello), John Mange (trumpet),
and Dr. Matthew Cron (organist). This cantata is especially appropriate
for the Advent season. Bach's music was written for the church and he always
signed it "To the glory of God;" it was meant to enhance worship.
- On Sunday, April 13, 2008, during the morning
service, our choir and a small orchestra performed portions of Cantata BWV
100, Was Gott tut, das ist wohlgetan (What God does, that is well done), by
J. S. Bach. This musical offering was directed by Dr. Anne Weaver,
with Dr. Matthew Cron accompanying at the organ. Vocal soloists included
Kathryn Carlson, soprano, Dorie Goldman, alto, and Robert Weaver,
tenor. Instrumentalists included John Mange and Steve Felix
(trumpets), Sonny Circinone (timpani), Catalina Arrubla (oboe),
Kristen Dye (flute), and Carol Hutter (violin).
here to return to the top of this page
- On Sunday, May 11, 2008, trumpet player, John
Mange gave a special recital in our church for our congregation and his
many friends at the University of Massachusetts, where he is a music major.
John was joined by a brass group that he has organized among his fellow
music majors. Our church is richly blessed by John's frequent participation
in the Sunday services doing descants and special arrangements on our hymns
or playing preludes, postludes, and other special music!
- On Sunday, October 19, 2008 in the afternoon,
Immanuel hosted pastors and congregants from area churches in a wonderful
Celebration of Ministry, marking the 11-year pastorate and the retirement
of The Rev. L. Rudy Beyer at Immanuel. The following Sunday morning
was Pastor Beyer's last Sunday as our Pastor, and a special service was held
to say Thank You and God Speed for Rudy and Judy for their years of
- On Sunday, December 7, 2008, we welcomed The
Rev. Dr. Randall K. Wilburn to Immanuel. Pastor Wilburn will serve as
our Interim Pastor during the transition time until the congregation
calls its fifth regular Pastor.
- On Wednesday, February 11, 2009, UMass student,
John Mange, again presented a recital of trumpet music in our church
for a large and enthusiastic audience.
- On Wednesday, March 25, 2009, The
Rev. Kirianne Weaver gave a dramatic presentation of the Gospel
of Mark, entirely from memory as a part of this year's Lenten observance
at Immanuel. This was a return engagement for Rev. Weaver as she had done
this previously here in October of 2005. She has done this presentation at
many places around the country. Her parents, flutist Marianne Weaver and
Weaver provided special music and accompaniment for congregational
- On Sunday, March 29, 2009, the choir of Immanuel,
soloists, and instrumentalists under the direction of Dr. Anne Weaver
presented the Coronation Mass of W. A. Mozart. The sections of the
Mozart Mass become the corresponding part of our morning service. Organist
is Dr. Matthew Cron. Vocal soloists included Kathryn Carlson,
soprano, Susan Wall, alto, Bob Weaver, tenor, and Britt Albritton,
bass. The orchestra consisted of Carol Hutter and Carolyn Walker,
violins, Catalina Arrubla and Polyanna Mead, oboes, plus John
Mange and Roger Grette, trumpets.
- On Saturday, May 16, 2009, the church held a "Fun(d) Raising"
evening to begin the process of raising money for the repair of the leaking
roof. As part of the program, the choir presented the operetta "Lilypad"
which highlighted the problems with the roof. Other musical selections were
presented by Jeanette Miller, Jack Stebbins, and the Dallmann Family Singers.
- On consecutive Sundays, May 17 and May 24, 2009,
the Immanuel choir, directed by Dr. Anne Weaver and accompanied by
Dr. Matthew Cron, presented the complete Five Mystical Songs of
Ralph Vaughn Williams. Soloists included Jeanette Miller, Soprano,
Horace Moody, Baritone, and Robert Weaver, Tenor.
here to return to the top of this page
- On Sunday, November 8, 2009, we observed the
bicentennial of the death of Franz Joseph Haydn using the parts of Haydn's
Missa Brevis in F as the parts of our own liturgy of the Mass. The
Immanuel Choir, vocal soloists, and a small orchestra directed by Dr. Anne
Weaver presented this beautiful work. Also, the orchestra, directed by
John Mange, presented the Haydn Organ Concerto in F Major as
the Prelude, Offertory, and Postlude. The entire musical portions of the service
were accompanied by Dr. Matthew Cron. Along with Haydn, our special focus of the morning involved our
celebration of the twentieth anniversary of the service of Dr. Matthew
Cron as the organist of our church.
- On Sunday, November 15, 2009, our service was
built around the African-American Spiritual Music. Dr. Jeanette Miller,
a member of Immanuel and a recognized expert on and performer of the African-American
Spiritual, put together a moving program for our service in which many of
the parts of our liturgy were from the Spiritual tradition, mostly taken from
the African-American hymnal "Lift Every Voice and Sing," edited
by Horace Clarence Boyer.
- On Sunday, February 21, 2010,
Immanuel hosted a Community sing of Vivaldi's
"Gloria" as a benefit for Haiti
Relief. This was directed by Dr. Anne Weaver with instrumentalists
and Dr. Matthew Cron at the piano. A free-will offering was received
for the cause.
- On Saturday, September 25 and Sunday, September
26, 2010, the church had the "Kickoff" for the Capital Campaign,
Immanuel Rising, with three special events, all well-attended
and extremely successful.
- On Sunday morning, Immanuel had a special
Celebratory Service and Dedication of the new refurbishments in our building
and our revitalization of ministry. In attendance were former Immanuel
Pastors, Richard Koenig, Paul Bosch, Rudy Beyer, Lyle Larson, and
our current Interim Pastor, Randall Wilburn who officiated at the
Eucharist Celebration. Also attending was Assistant to the Bishop of the
Synod, the Rev. Alice Kerr Laird. Pastor Koenig, our Founding Pastor,
preached the sermon. Special music was provided by the Immanuel Choir
with our organist, Dr. Matthew Cron accompanying.
- Saturday evening was a "Family Sing"
around the piano in the social hall led by Dr. John Weaver
- and Sunday afternoon, we were treated to
a concert of organ, flute, trumpet and choir music "John Weaver
and Friends." John, currently living in northern Vermont, is
Director of Music Emeritus at the Madison
Avenue Presbyterian Church, New York City, and former head of the
organ departments (simultaneously) at the Curtis
Institute of Music in Philadelphia and the Juilliard
School in New York. He was joined by his wife, Marianne Weaver,
flutist, as well as flutist, Andrea LeBlanc, trumpeter, Fred
Sienkiewicz, and the Immanuel Choir, directed by Dr. Anne
here to return to the top of this page
- On Saturday and Sunday, December 11, 12, 2010,
Immanuel Lutheran Church presented complete staged performances of the beloved
opera, "Amahl and the Night Visitors." Saturday's event was
a final Dress Rehearsal but open to the public. Starring in this presentation
were Brandon Dallman as Amahl, Yvonne Field as the Mother, Junius
Harris as King Balthazar, Jack Stebbins as King Melchior, Robert
Weaver as King Kasper, and Jonathan Niedzielski as the Page. Also
featured were dancers and the Immanuel Choir. Dr. Matthew Cron was
the piano accompanist assisted by a small orchestra of players from the
Amherst area. Dr.
Anne Weaver directed the production. There were many others from the church
and the community who assisted in ways too numerous to mention. The production
was featured on Amherst Community TV (Channel 12) the following Sunday. For
more information and some scenes from our production, click here.
- On Saturday, February 5, 2011, the Rev. Steven
Wilco was ordained to the Christian ministry by the New England Synod
of the ELCA in a service at Grace Lutheran Church in West Springfield, Massachusetts.
The Rev. Alice Kerr Laird was the preacher and Bishop Margaret G.
Payne presided over the ordination and the celebration of the Eucharist.
Rev. Wilco began his service as the fifth Pastor of Immanuel on Sunday,
March 6, 2011. The Service of Installation for Pastor Wilco will take place
on Sunday, May 8, 2011, at 4 PM in our church. Click
here to view the Feb. 5 Service of Ordination.
- On Saturday, May 8, 2011, the Rev. Steven
Wilco was officially Installed by Immanuel Lutheran Church as its fifth Pastor at a joyful service at our church.
The Rev. Dan Wilfrid, Pastor of Immanuel Lutheran Church of Holden, MA, preached the sermon and the Reverend John Vaught, Dean of the Western Massachusetts Conference of the New England Synod, presided over the installation. The music was glorified by the addition of a brass quartet consisting of trumpeters, John Mange and Steve Felix, with trombone players Chris Leone and Chris Moehringer. William Helmke played the marimba and piano accompaniment was provided by Dr. Harry Seelig. Dr. Matthew Cron was organist for the service. One of the anthems, "Satan, Down!" was composed by Dr. William A. Pasch, a former member of the Immanuel Choir, now a prominent organist and composer in the Atlanta area. The choir of Immanuel was directed by Dr. Anne Weaver. Following his Installation, Pastor Wilco presided at the Eucharist.
- On Thursday, October 27, 2011, Immanuel hosted the Innaugural lecture in the Immanuel-Grace Lectureship in Amherst with a splendid talk to a large audience in our fellowship hall presented by Dr. Gary Dorrien, a distinguished social ethicist and historian of theology, who is the Reinhold Niebuhr Professor of Social Ethics at Union Theological Seminary and Professor of Religion at Columbia University. This lecture, which was later shown on Amherst Community TV, generated much interesting discussion.
here to return to the top of this page
- On Sunday, November 20, 2011, our choir sang four movements from Gioacchino Rossini's "Petite messe solenelle" during portions of our Sunday morning service. This 'little solemn mass' is scored for vocal soloists, choir, and the very unusual accompaniment of two pianos and reed organ. Dr. Anne Weaver directed the choir of Immanuel with vocal soloists Maki Matsui, Cathy Butterfield, Helen Drake, Bob Weaver, and Junius Harris. Michael Sampson and Harry Seelig on two pianos were joined by Dr. Matthew Cron on the reed organ. The service also included the "Harvest Hymn" by Percy Grainger in the composer's own arrangement for three players at one piano!
- On December 10, 11, and 17, 2011, an enthusiastic group of members from Immanuel presented Christmas carols and solos of the season at three different assisted living facilities in our area, Elaine Manor in Hadley, Rockridge in Northampton, and The Arbors in Amherst. Organizing and facilitating these programs of outreach for our congregation were Patrick and Corrie Tamburro. We are extremely grateful to them and to the singers and instrumentalists who participated in this ministry to citizens who were cheered by hearing the message of Christmas and the holiday season.
- On Sunday, January 29, 2012, Immanuel Lutheran Church kicked off its celebration of the 50th Anniversary of the congregation with a worship service modelled after the first service that was conducted by the late Pastor Richard E. Koenig at the Odd Fellows hall in downtown Amherst in January, 1962. The liturgy for this service was taken from The Lutheran Hymnal (1941), the same service book and hymnal that was used by Immanuel at the time of its founding. The choir was directed by John Mange. Pastor Steven Wilco preached and presided, and Dr. Matthew Cron was at the organ. After the service, a special coffee hour featured displays of photographs and other memoribelia and a program hosted by Elizabeth Larson. This was the first of what is planned as a series of events throughout the anniversary year, 2012.
- On Sunday, February 19, 2012, the Immanuel Choir, led by Interim Director John Mange, sang all four movements of the Marian Antiphon, "Regina Coeli", K. 108, by W. A. Mozart at different parts of the service. Soprano soloist was Maki Matsui, and Dr. Matthew Cron was organist. This is one of the four hymns to Mary that have been sung since the 13th century. The "Regina Coeli" is intended for the Easter season and prominently features the word "Alleluia". This will be the last time we will sing or speak an Alleluia until the Easter Vigil service on April 7. Mozart composed three different settings of this text, and on this Sunday, we sang the first of these -- a piece that Mozart wrote when he was 15 years old. Maki, a member of the Immanuel Choir is a graduate voice student at UMass.
- On Saturday, March 31, 2012, members of the church presented a musicale at the assisted living home, The Arbors in Amherst. There were vocal, instrumental, and piano pieces to entertain a full complement of residents as well as a number of group songs for the entire assembly of residents and guests. As with the Christmas program, Patrick and Corrie Tamburro organized the program with the introductions and opening prayer led by Pastor Steven Wilco. Pianists Dr. Matthew Cron and Michael Sampson accompanied the music. Refreshments followed the music.
here to return to the top of this page
- Our Palm Sunday and Good Friday services, April 1 and 6, 2012, was marked with particularly outstanding instrumental and solo vocal musical offerings from J. S. Bach. Our organist, Dr. Matthew Cron, accompanied soprano Maki Matsui, tenor Eric Christopher Perry, violinist Christie Cho, and flutist Andrea LeBlanc in works from Bach's Flute Sonatas, his Cantata BWV 26, Glori - BWV 191, the Saint John Passion, and the Saint Matthew Passion. Easter Sunday, April 8, featured bass soloist Junius Harris with trumpeter (and our choir director) John Mange. While John was accompanying the choir on trumpet, guest conductors Dr. Anne Weaver and Jack Stebbins led the choir in several anthems.
- On Sunday, May 6, 2012, the Immanuel Choir, directed by John Mange, presented J. S. Bach's Cantata, BWV 73, Herr, wie du willt, so schick's mit mir as part of the regular Sunday morning worship service. Vocal soloists included soprano Kathryn Carlson, soprano Donna Griffin, tenor Robert Weaver, and tenor Steven Williams. A small orchestra from the area and organist Dr. Matthew Cron accompanied the cantata.
- On Sunday, September 23, 2012, Immanuel Lutheran Church observed its 50th Anniversary as a Congregation with a celebratory Festival Service. The Choir, under the direction of Geoffrey Herrmann and Dr. Anne Weaver, sang several anthems accompanied by organist, Dr. Matthew Cron and trumpeter, Fred Sinkiewicz. Pastor Steven Wilco delivered the sermon. Following the service, the congregation and the many former members, former pastors of Immanuel and guests enjoyed a luncheon in the social hall with many talks by a number of members and former members who had remembrances about the church and displays of pictures and other items regarding the history of Immanuel.
- On Sunday, November 18, 2012, Bishop James Hazelwood visited Immanuel and preached for our service as a part of his getting to know the congregations of the Synod and our getting to know him. A special reception was held after the service in his honor. The choir, directed by Geoffrey Herrmann sang special music for the service including the G. F. Handel Ode to St. Cecelia with soprano Maki Matsui, trumpeter John Mange and oboes, and strings. Dr. Matthew Cron accompanied on the organ.
- On Saturday, December 15, 2012, an enthusiastic group of members from Immanuel visited the assited living facility The Arbors in Amherst to sing and lead songs and carols for the residents of the center. Once again, leading and organizing this program of outreach for our congregation were Patrick and Corrie Tamburro. We are extremely grateful to them and to the singers and instrumentalists who, for the second year, participated in this ministry to citizens who were cheered by hearing the message of Christmas and of the holiday season.
- On Sunday, January 27, 2013, the Immanuel Choir observed the birthday of W. A. Mozart by singing the "Gloria" from the Coronation Mass
and the "Laudate dominum" from the Solemn Vespers. The choir, directed by Geoffrey Herrmann, was joined by vocal soloists Maki Matsui, Deb van Iderstine, Tim Chenette, and Junius Harris and by instrumentalists Carolyn Walker, Abby McCarthy, Torsten Nelson, Carol Hutter, Jennifer Allen, John Mange, Roger Grette, Ruth Kjaer, and Anderson Paes. In addition, clarinetist Anderson Paes and our organist Dr. Matthew Cron played the Mozart Clarinet Concerto.
- On Saturday, February 2, 2013, Immanuel Lutheran Church was treated to a concert performance of "The True Story of Cinderella," a small opera composed by the late Warren Martin. It was brought to us by Jack Stebbins who directed and narrated the performance. Participants (in order of appearance) were Amanda Bistolfo (the Queen), Junius Harris (the King), Debora Van Iderstine (the Stepmother), Lorie Healy (the First Stepsister), Heather Davies (the Second Stepsister), Maki Matsui (Cinderella), Jon Niedzielski (the Prince), Yvonne Nicholson (the Fairy Godmother), Pastor Steven Wilco (the First Hermit), Geoffrey Herrmann (the Second Hermit), Robert Weaver (the Third Hermit), Marvin Daehler (the Herald), Michael Sampson (the Chime Player), Matthew Cron (the Piano Accompanist), and last, not least, Anderson Paes (the Page Turner). The large audience in attendance gave a standing ovation at the conclusion of the opera and all performers wished they could do it again sometime!
- For Good Friday, March 29, 2013, a quartet of singers, Ben Durfee, Joshua Harper, Geoffrey Herrmann, and Junius Harris sang "De Profundis" (Psalm 130) by Arvo Pärt, also "The Mild Mother" by Ned Rorem and "The Crucifizion" by Samual Barber. These anthems added a special beauty and meaning to our Good Friday Eucharist service. They were accompanied by Michael Sampson and Dr. Matthew Cron.
- On May 26, 2013, the choir presented the complete "Five Mystical Songs" by Ralph Vaughn Williams with our choir director Geoffrey Herrmann, baritone doing the vocal solo parts. The five songs were presented within the context of our morning worship service.
- On Sunday, June 16, 2013, the choir presented a performance of "The Lord's Prayer" composed by John Cooper, of our congregation. Kathryn Carlson was the soprano soloist. They were accompanied by Michael Sampson and Dr. Matthew Cron and several other instrumentalists.
- On Sunday, November 24, 2013, our Special Music consisted of the choir's presenting the entire cantata, "Rejoice in the Lamb" by Benjamin Britten with movements interspersed within the morning worship service. Under the leadership of our Choir Director, Dr. Greg Brown, the soloists included Kathy Carlson, soprano, Geoffrey Herrmann, bass, and Bob Weaver, tenor. Accompaniment was by our organist, Dr. Matthew Cron.
- On Sunday, December 15, 2013, our Eucharist service was built around Lessons and Carols appropriate to the Advent season with readings by congregation members and reflections on the readings by Pastor Steven Wilco. The prelude for the service was the "Vocalise," Op. 34, No. 14 with Maki Matsui, soprano, Anderson Paes, clarinet, and Harry Seelig, piano. Following the service, they presented J.S. Bach's "Quia respexit" from MAGNIFICAT. As this was the final service with Dr. Greg Brown as Director of our choir, the congregation presented a gift of appreciation for his work with us this year. The choir sang Greg's arrangement of "Still, Still, Still" which he had written a number of years earlier for our choir.
- On Sunday afternoon, March 30, 2014, the world renouned composer, arranger, conductor, and teacher, Alice Parker, led us in one of her famous HYMN SINGS. Included in the sing were solos by our choir director, Maki Matsui and by Junius Harris, who sang and led us in a spiritual offering. Alice Parker will return on April 12, 2015, to present another SING at Immanuel.
- Our worship service on Sunday, June 1, 2014, was blessed by the choir's presentation of Sections I-IV, VII and VIII from J. S. Bach's Cantata, BWV 182, Himmelskönig, sei willkommen, ("Welcome, King of Heaven"). The choir, led by Maki Matsui, was accompanied by Dr. Matthew Cron, our Organist, and other instrumentalists: Anderson Paes - recorder, Romina Kostare and Torsten Nelson - violin, Carol Hutter and Carolyn Walker - viola, Jennifer Allen - cello. Horace Moody was bass vocal soloist. The various sections of the cantata were interspersed within the worship service.
here to return to Immanuel's Home Page