Music on demand

Wickersham heads project
to create church choir CD

The CD includes organ music
and was a Bicentennial effort

By Tara Gentile
Contributing Writer

(July 2009) – As a way to take part in the Madison Bicentennial, local churches pooled together their best choir voices and compositions to create a compact disc titled, “Our Heritage in Praise.”

Our Heritage in Praise

The idea for the CD originated with Prince of Peace Catholic Church’s choir director and organist, Larry Wickersham. It stemmed from a nine-year-old event called the Spring Choir Festival, held the second Sunday after Easter and sponsored by the Madison Ministerial Association. During the festival, local choirs perform their individual selections after which all the combined choirs sing together in finale.
With a generous donation from the Morgan and Nay Funeral Home, choirs from six churches and 120 singers from 10 churches and elementary schools recorded 17 of their favorite hymns and anthems including “Amazing Grace,” “When I Survey the Wondrous Cross” and Mozart’s “Ave Verum Corpus.”
“The CD is a celebration of 200 years of music and song in Madison churches. We wanted to commemorate that music through the combined talents of an ecumenical choir like the one that assembles every year for the choir festival,” said Wickersham.
In keeping with the theme of the Bicentennial celebration, four historic organs are featured on “Our Heritage in Praise.” The organs remain in their original configurations with only the addition of electric blowers to supply air. They are known as fine examples of organ building from their eras, said Wickersham. Local recording engineer, Dennis O’Neal. recorded the four organs inside the churches that house them.
“The whole recording process was a lot of fun. We were able to play around, but we did a lot of work, too,” said Fern Sexton, who played the piano accompaniment for several of the combined choir selections. It’s one of the few times that all the different denominations get to see each other, she said.
“I love to see the different faiths intermingle and to hear all the voices. The experience brought so many people together for a glorious project,” said Sexton.
“Our Heritage in Praise” costs $10 and proceeds will benefit the Spring Choir Festival. The CD can be found at any of the participating churches – Christ Episcopal, First Assembly of God, First Baptist, First Christian, Hanover United Methodist, Madison Presbyterian, Prince of Peace, Resurrection Lutheran, St. John’s and Trinity United Methodist.
The CDs also are available at Hertz Shoe Store, Jefferson County Historical Society, Lanier Mansion Gift Shop, Madison City Hall, the Madison Courier, Madison Main Street Program, Ohio Theatre and the Village Lights Book Store.

Back to July 2009 Articles.



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