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National Lutheran Choir returns to St. Louis for annual Christmas performance

Courtesy National Lutheran Choir
The National Lutheran Choir returns to St. Louis this weekend.

This weekend, the Minneapolis-based National Lutheran Choir will return to St. Louis for its annual Christmas concert at the First Presbyterian Church of Kirkwood.

On Thursday’s St. Louis on the Air, the choir’s Artistic Director David Cherwein joined contributor Steve Potter to discuss the performances and how the group works to preserve sacred choral music in the United States:

“It’s not just an emotional feeling, remembering the birth of Jesus every year, but more what it has to do with today,” Cherwein said. “We’ve had a rough year in 2016. There’s been a lot of violence, displaced people, people feeling not heard.”

Related: ‘Don’t have to be Lutheran to love us:’ National Lutheran Choir makes Christmas stop in St. Louis

This year’s Christmas program is about angels.

“Angels really are a symbol we’re not really alone,” Cherwein said. “Going through something difficult is easier when you feel like you’re not alone.”

One of the unique parts of the program that National Lutheran Choir will present on Saturday is the fact that it moves about the room as the choir moves to different parts of the story they are singing about.

“There’s nothing static and there are no breaks,” Cherwein said. “It is one solid thread.”

However, there are a couple parts of the performance where audience members can participate. On “Angel’s We Have Heard on High” and “Once, in Royal David’s City,” audience members are invited to sing along.

But don’t clap during the performance, Cherwein said. It is orchestrated as such there are no pauses in the program.

“We want people to be removed from a sense of time and space, like a good movie, and they don’t need the performance to be broken up.”

Related Event

What: National Lutheran Choir Presents "Angels Hovering Round"
When: Saturday, Dec. 17 at 11:00 a.m. and 2:30 p.m.
Where:  First Presbyterian Church of Kirkwood, 100 East Adams Avenue, Kirkwood, MO 63122
More information.

St. Louis on the Air brings you the stories of St. Louis and the people who live, work and create in our region. St. Louis on the Air host Don Marsh and producers Mary EdwardsAlex Heuer and Kelly Moffitt give you the information you need to make informed decisions and stay in touch with our diverse and vibrant St. Louis region. 

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Kelly Moffitt joined St. Louis Public Radio in 2015 as an online producer for St. Louis Public Radio's talk shows St. Louis on the Air.
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