Hymn Festival for Unity

Renowned organist and creator of hymns, David Cherwien, and hymnologist, Susan Palo Cherwien, were joined with 140 choir members from nearly 20 Peninsula churches for a Hymn Fest for Christian Unity. The Hymn Fest was at Saint Bede Catholic Church on Sunday, January 29, with a crowd of nearly 750 in attendance in addition to the Festival Choir.

The Hymn Fest was sponsored by St Stephen Lutheran Church and Saint Bede Catholic Church. It is the 500th anniversary of the Protestant Reformation. Last year, the Catholic Church and the Lutheran Church issued a joint statement to commemorate the Reformation in 2017. The Hymn Fest was the start in the Week Christian Unity in a a year of activities: see www.reformation500williamsburg.com for upcoming events and activities in 2017.

The 140-member Festival Choir rehearsed on Saturday January 28 and attended two workshops. The first was by Susan Cherwien, who spoke about the importance of words, poetry and the text to hymns in our lives. David Cherwien's workshop was a survey of hymn types through the ages including chant, baroque music, classical romantic, modern and contemporary. He illustrated each of these asking where the music came from, what was the context for the music, and who and where was it first sung.

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