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Jamestown College Concert Choir
Dr. Donald G. Christianson, Director


In a series of campaigns against the Turks in the second half of the 18th century, the Russian crown acquired considerable land in the areas of the Volga River and the Black Sea. Wishing to develop this vast region, Catherine the Great and her grandson, Alexander I, issued manifestos inviting immigrants from other countries to settle there. In exchange for their labors, the settlers were offered freedom of religion, freedom from taxation for 10 years, free land (160 acres), and exemption from military service. The offer sounded good to Germans who suffered under the burden of too little land for their large families, and the political and religious upheaval in their own country. Many families packed their wagons and headed east where they settled in small villages, each consisting of a single religious denomination: Lutheran/Reformed, Mennonite or Catholic. There they elected their own village officers, retained their German dialects, and practiced their Christian beliefs.

Life was not easy for these farmers but little by little they built communities with churches and schools similar to those in Glückstal, shown on the program cover. Music, especially singing, was central to village life. Their hymns traveled with them from their native Germany as did the hymnals. Church elders and teacher-deacons led services when a pastor was unavailable. Choirs were formed, and pipe organs became common around the end of the 19th century.

Folk music also flourished – many were brought with them from Germany, while variations and new songs developed in their new Russian homeland. These songs were performed on many different occasions — a cappella, or accompanied by accordion, zither, or harmonica. The young single men especially favored singing on the street corners in the evening, often to serenade prospective brides.

For many, the story does not end in Russia but on the plains and prairies of Canada and the U.S. The freedoms that originally brought them to Russia were being revoked during a period of Russian nationalization. Spurred on by the Homestead Act and other promises of free land, many German Russians sailed for America with few possessions, enormous hope, and their enduring “Hymns of Faith” in a faithful God.


Dr. Donald G. Christianson hails from Naicam, Saskatchewan and is in his sixth year as Director of Choirs at Jamestown College in Jamestown, North Dakota. In the spring of 1998, Dr. Christianson completed his D.M.A. from Arizona State University where he completed a study on “The Life and Choral Techniques of Dr. Douglas Reeve McEwen: Conductor/Educator.” He earned his Master of Music degree in Choral Music under the guidance of Malcolm Edwards at the University of Calgary. Prior to that, Dr. Christianson completed a Bachelor of Arts and
Bachelor of Music Education from the University of Saskatchewan where he sang with the Greystone Singers under the direction of Dr. Robert Solem. He has studied conducting with Weston Noble, Donald Hunsberger, Malcolm Edwards, Timothy Russell, and with Joseph Jennings of Chanticleer.

Dr. Christianson’s classroom duties include conducting two choirs, teaching Music Appreciation, Conducting, Choral Arranging, and Music Education Methods. He has had a long history of involvement in church music and while in Phoenix, was Minister of Music at Christ the Redeemer Lutheran Church where he founded the “Spirit Song Arts Center.” He has been actively composing church music since 1998 and has several works published with KJOS Music Company.

The 60 members of the Concert Choir are excited for Spring Tour 2004 throughout the Mid-west. The German music in our program “Hymns of Faith” will be taped by Prairie Public Television for use in their “Germans from Russia” documentary. The Jamestown College choral program has been acclaimed throughout the Mid-west and beyond for their inspiring concerts.

Rebecca Emter is a senior Music Education major from Jamestown, ND. At Jamestown College, she has been involved in the Concert and Chapel Choirs, SMENC, Jimmie Janes, the Jimmie Dance Team, and the Theater Department. For the past two years she has been the Adult Choir director at Concordia Lutheran Church in Jamestown. After her husband Adam graduates, they plan on moving to Bismarck where she will student teach. She hopes to teach voice and piano lessons in the near future while continuing to work with the Emter Family Theater.

Rachel Erickson is currently a senior at Jamestown College and will graduate in May with majors in Music and English. While at JC, she has participated in Concert Choir for four years and Concert Band for three. She is very active as a sought after accompanist and recital performer. Rachel was named a College Fellow in Music in 2001.

Jocelyn Suchor is a senior at Jamestown College and will graduate in May with a Bachelor of Arts in Biochemistry. She has been a proud member of the Concert Choir for the past four years and has served as section leader and Tour Director. She plans to attend Pharmacy School this fall.

Dr. Selmer Spitzer (Ph.D., University of Sarasota, Fla.), lecturer, teaches instrumental lessons and conducts the concert band and jazz band. The band tours through various parts of the Midwest and holds a spring festival each year on the JC campus.

Dr. Richard Walentine (D.M.A., University of Colorado), Assistant Professor of Music. In addition to applied voice, he teaches Diction, Song Literature, Vocal Pedagogy, and Performance Workshop. A tenor, Dr. Walentine is best known for his comedic roles.

Dr. William Wojnar (Ph.D., University of Iowa), Associate Professor of Music. In addition to applied piano and organ lessons, he teaches Music History, Music Theory, and is Music Department Chair. Dr. Wojnar is also chapel organist and is enjoying the wide range of registrations available on the new Black-Schlossman Memorial Organ.


The Program will be Selected from the Following
(Please hold applause until the end of each section)

In the October of 1937, Stalin ordered thirty thousand Germans living in western Russia to be loaded onto cattle cars and shipped into the wilderness of Kazakstan. They were unloaded with nothing to survive the winter but the clothes they wore. As they gathered to contemplate their fate, they turned their hearts towards God and began singing Holy God We Praise Thy Name. Of the original group, only twelve thousand survived to see the spring.

Grosser Gott, wir Loben Dich! . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Peter Ritter (1799)
Holy God We Praise Your Name . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . arr. John Ferguson

Grosser Gott, wir loben Dich!
Herr, wir preisen Deine Stärke!
Vor Dir neigt die Erde sich
und bewundert Deine Werke!
Wie Du warst vor aller Zeit,
bleibst Du in Ewigkeit.
Holy God, we praise thy name;
Lord of all we bow before thee!
All on earth thy scepter claim,
All in heaven above adore thee;
Infinite they vast domain,
Everlasting is thy reign.

 

 

 

Schönster Herr Jesu . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 12th century Crusader Hymn
Beautiful Savior . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .arr. F. Melius Christiansen (1871-1955)
Emily Larsen, soprano

Schönster Herr Jesu, Herrscher aller Enden,
Gottes und Marien Sohn:
Dich will ich lieben, Dich will ich ehren,
Du meiner Seele Freud und Kron.
Beautiful Savior, King of Creation
Son of God and Son of Man!
Truly I’d love thee, Truly I’d serve Thee,
Light of my soul, my Joy, my Crown.

 

 

Built On the Rock . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . arr. F. Melius Christiansen
Dana Kocka, baritone

Children Of the Heavenly Father . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .arr. Robert Scholz

Wo findet die Seele . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Lutheran Schicksal Lied

Wo findet die Seele die Heimat, die Ruh’?
Wer deckt sie mit schützenden Fittigen zu?
Ach bietet die Welt keine Freistatt uns an,
Wo Sünde nicht herrschen, nicht anfechten kann?
Nein, nein, nein, nein, hier ist sie nicht,
Die Heimat der Seele ist droben im Licht.
Where findeth the Soul now its Home, and its Rest
Who covers the soul with its protecting wings?
Oh, offers the world then no refuge to us,
Where sins do not govern nor cannot attack
No, No, no, no, it is not here,
The home of the soul is above in the light.

 

 

 

In dem Garten . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . White Gospel style

Ich geh’ in den Garten allein,
Meinem Heiland dort zu begegnen;
Und ich höre schon Seiner Stimme Ton,
Er wird mich sicher segnen.
Un er geht mit mir, und er spricht mit mir,
Und er sagt mir: Kind du bist mein.
Jeder Augenblick ist ein wahres Glück;
Es könnte nicht sel’ger sein.
I come to the garden alone,
While the dew is still on the roses,
And the voice I hear, falling on my ear,
The Son of God discloses.
And he walks with me, and he talks with me,
And he tells me I am his own;
And the joy we share as we tarry there,
None other has ever known.

 

 

 

 

Gedenke, Herr an mich . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .from a book of Easy Anthems

Mein Heiland ist der Sünder Freund
Als Sünder komme ich;
O Liebesabgrund, Friedefürst
Gedenke auch an mich.
Gedenke an dein Gnadenwort,
Gedenke, dass du dich
Geopfert hast auf Golgatha,
Und so gedenk’ an mich!

My Savior is the sinner’s friend
I come as a sinner;
Oh source of love, Prince of Peace
Also remember me.
Remember Thy divine word
Remember, that You
Offered yourself on Golgotha,
And thus remember me!

Garbe und Krone . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .from Die Kleine Palme

O singt eure Lieder dem Heilande heut’
Der euch zu erlösen erschien;
Seid Jesu mit Freuden zum Dienste bereit,
Und sammelt die Garben für ihn.
Die Garben sind reif, Drum sammelt sie ein,
Die Köstlichen Stunden des Lebens entfliehn;
Bald winkt uns die Rast Nach Mühe und Last,
Drum sammelt die Garben für ihn.

Oh sing your songs to the Savior today
Who appeared to deliver you;
Jesus was prepared with serve with joy
And collects the sheaves for you.
The harvest is ripe, so gather it in
The valuable hours of life flow on by;
Soon beckons us rest from trouble and debts
So gather the harvest for him.

Praise to the Lord (Lobe den Herren) . . . . . . . . . . . transcribed by Hugo Distler (1908-1942)

Bach’s explosive output of some 300 church cantatas is a most amazing musical feat. In his role as church musician, Bach provided music for services on a weekly basis . Jesu, Joy of Man’s Desiring is a section of a typical Bach cantata. Composed in 1716 in Weimar, Cantata No. 147
was an Advent cantata, intended for use in the weeks prior to Christmas, and did not include “Jesu, Joy of Man’s Desiring.” But in 1723, newly arrived at Leipzig and eager to impress, Bach revived the work and reshaped it as a cantata for the Feast of the Visitation of Mary. Bach’s style of setting chorale tunes is nowhere more beautifully shown than here. To the simple rising melody, Bach adds a flowing line of triplets that envelopes and carries the momentum forward.

Jesu, Joy of Man’s Desiring (from Cantata 147) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .J. S. Bach (1685-1750) Emily Larsen, violin

There Is No Rose Of Such Virtue . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Stephen Caracciolo

Ave Maria . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Franz Biebl (1906-2001)

He Came Here For Me . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Ron Nelson

O Day Full Of Grace . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . F. Melius Christiansen


Within the past five years, gospel music has become a favorite genre for choirs everywhere.
It is no longer performed just by black choirs with Baptists roots but by groups that are drawn to the infectious rhythms and vibrant energy. It is fun to sing because it fills our hearts with joy and gets our reluctant feet moving. John the Revelator was first recorded in the South by Blind Willie Johnson around 1930 and was identified as a “traditional” gospel blues. Such pieces were used by practitioners of charismatic religions to lead worshippers into an ecstatic, trance-like state of being that could glimpse the world described by John in the book of Revelation.

Steal Away . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Joseph Jennings
Evan Entze, Tom Brademeyer, tenors

John the Revelator . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Paul Caldwell & Sean Ivory

It Is Well With My Soul . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .arr. Tom Fettke

Praise His Holy Name . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Keith Hampton


The Battle Of Jericho . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .arr. Moses Hogan (1958-2003)

Four Strong Winds . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . arr. Larry Nickel

Goodnight Canon . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Anonymous

Selected German Folk Songs . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Traditional


Dr. Donald G. Christianson, Director
Rebecca Emter, Assistant Director
Rachel Erickson, Accompanist
Jocelyn Suchor, Organist

Anderson, Rowena. . . . . . Driscoll, ND
Anderson, Samuel . . . . . . . .Kulm, ND
Anderson, Seth . . . . . . . . .Kulm, ND
Ault, Jessica . . . . . . .Jamestown, ND
Bakker, Gina . . . . . . . .Marshall, MN
Bendewald, Carly . . . . . Jamestown, ND
*Brademeyer, Tom . . . . . . LaMoure, ND
Brewer, Ben . . . . . . . . .Broadus, MT
Bugbee, Josh . . . . . . . . . Tioga, ND
Buxa, Brian. . . . . . . . . .Harvey, ND
Clute, Megan . . . . . . . . . Minot, ND
Colin, Rochelle . . . . . . . .Kelso, WA
Cosgriff, Cara . . . . . .Big Timber, MT
*Emter, Rebecca . . . . . .Jamestown, ND
Emter, Adam. . . . . . . . Jamestown, ND
*Entze, Evan . . . . . . . . .Beulah, ND
*Erickson, Rachel . . . . New London, MN
Ferderer, Paul. . . . . . . . Linton, ND
Fiskness, Luke. . . . . . . . Osakis, MN
Folkestad, Amy . . . . . . Williston, ND
Halberg, Hallie . . . . . . . Winner, SD
Heinzen, Mary . . . . . Grand Rapids, MN
Hickel, DeAnn . . . . . . . . .Minot, ND
Hicks, Carrie . . . . . . . . Conrad, MT
Himle, Julae . . . . . . . Jamestown, ND
Jamison, Ali . . . . . . . . . . Ada, MN
Johnson, Kara . . . . . . . . Beulah, ND
Jorgerson, Kim . . . . . . Elmsworth, SD
Kalin Keahey . . . . . . . .Aberdeen, SD
Ketterling, Travis . . . . Fullerton, ND
*Kocka, Dana . . . . . . . . Willmar, MN
Leas, Brittany. . . . . . . . Rolla, ND
Larsen, Emily . . . . . . .Jamestown, ND
Larson, Jennifer . . . . . Hillsboro, ND
Lee, Jesse . . . . . .Seoul, South Korea
Leier, Meghan. . . . . . . . .Harvey, ND
Lindorff, Maren. . . . . . .Sheyenne, ND
Lybeck, Matthew. . . . . . . . Cando, ND
*Mohs, Adam . . . . . . . . Wahpeton, ND
Moser, Kelan . . . . . . . . . Cando, ND
Meyer, Aron . . . . . . . . Renville, MN
Ogden, Tom . . . . . . . . .Annadale, MN
Paulson, Ashley. . . . . . Jamestown, ND
Pennington, Ryan . . . . . .New Town, ND
Peter, Kirstin . . . . . . . Wolford, ND
Prokes, Joanna . . . . . .New Prague, MN
*Royal, Nikki . . . . . . . . Spicer, MN
Shannon, Steve . . . . . Grand Forks, ND
Shannon, Tim. . . . . . .Grand Forks, ND
Shannon, Rachel . . . . .Grand Forks, ND
*Suchor, Jocelyn . . . . . .Larimore, ND
Stinar, Amanda . . . . . . . Chaska, MN
Tande, Tara . . . . . . Cooperstown, ND
Treleaven, Lauren. . . . . . Hannah, ND
Vaastag, Tyler . . . . . . . .Fargo, ND
Vigue, Caleb . . . . . . . . Center, ND
Volk, Tim. . . . . . . . . . Harvey, ND
Walsh, Brian . . . . . . . . Harvey, ND
Walstad, Daniel . . . . . .Bismarck, ND
Whitaker, Crystal . . . Cooperstown, ND
Zempel, Emily . . . . . . . .Morris, MN
* Denotes Section Leader

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Germans from Russia Heritage Collection
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