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Lutheran Youth Choir of North America Completes 2013 Festival of American Vocal Music in Germany

Location: Illinois, USA
The Lutheran Youth Choir of North America has just successfully completed its second biennial Festival of American Vocal Music in Mansfeld, Germany, July 20-30, 2013. This unique international musical partnership and cultural exchange, begun in 2011, brought twelve select, talented high-school-age singers from throughout the United States together to live and sing with a dozen young German singers at Schloss Mansfeld, a fully-restored 14th-century castle in Sachsen-Anhalt. Directing the choir was Philip Spencer, its Founding Conductor and Festival Artistic Director; Todd Carrico, Assistant Conductor; and Thomas Wagler, Guest Conductor from Germany.
 
The choir presented a new choral service in both German and English composed by Spencer, Evening Prayer for Peace, with additional American choral music dating from the 18th through the 21st centuries. The 2013 Festival featured a joint concert with a German Gospel choir in Eisenach; and worship services led entirely by the young choir in Erfurt, Spandau, Kloster Mansfeld, and at the Kaiser-Wilhelm Memorial Church in Berlin.
In addition to rehearsals and performances, the ten-day Festival included several service projects and sightseeing trips to significant Luther, Bach, and WWII sites.
 
While in Germany, The Lutheran Youth Choir also sang the World Premiere of Psalm 23  by composer Chris Artley of New Zealand, winner of the choir's 2012 International Choral Composition Contest.  Mr. Artley was present in Erfurt to hear the choir perform his winning anthem and to receive his $500 prize.
 
In 2014, all American and German participants from 2013 and qualified new singers will be invited to the Chicago area for the choir's second biennial Festival of Global Choral Music. For more information about the Lutheran Youth Choir, the upcoming 2014 Festival in Chicago and 2015 Festival in Germany, and its International Choral Composition Contest, go to www.lutheranyouthchoir.org.