Host Garrison Keillor answers your questions about life, love, writing, authors, and of course, A Prairie Home Companion.
Send GK Your Question »
February 26, 2007 |
Post to the Host:
In June my town (I live in Germany) is hosting a church choir festival. Choirs are encouraged to perform selections which reflect "the lighter side of Christianity." Do you know of any songs that would fill the bill? We're a small choir, by the way, but enthusiastic.
And as long as I'm writing, I'd like to say how much I enjoyed the Dakotadome show you did last year. Maybe it's just because I'm from South Dakota and a USD graduate, but I thought the way you and your crew used those instruments to connect Bach and Custer and Laura Ingalls Wilder and Johnny Cash was truly meisterhaft. Thanks!
St. Ingbert, Germany
The show in South Dakota was the bright idea of Mr. Al Neuharth, an alumnus of USD and an old newspaperman, so he gets half the credit and the other half goes to the music museum in Vermillion which has a fabulous collection of old instruments.
As for your choir, I recommend that you look into the repertoire of African-American spirituals. When I lived in Denmark, I heard a lot of Danish choirs do those with real joy and grace. Of course you had to get used to the idea of seeing blonde-blue-eyed people singing, "Way down in Egypt land, let my people go" and sometimes they tried too hard to give the music a backbeat, but it was lighter than the German chorale. If by "light" you mean humorous, I don't know maybe "Vatican Rag" by Tom Lehrer.