The Sonshine Singers will be getting a little help from the younger generation at this year's March Music Ministry on Friday.
The powerful 125-voice choir, whose members represent 45 area churches this year, will be joined by children from Community Christian and St. Edmond schools.
"This is the first time we've had a children's choir for while - I think the last one was in 2009 or 2010," said Director Armona Redenius. "These are younger kids, I think they range from second through fifth grade.
"They've been working diligently on this song called 'We are a Children of Promise,' which basically tells how the next generation will be the generation that continues to bring hope."
Kjerstin Grindberg, a junior at Fort Dodge Senior High, is the soloist for that song. This will be her second year with the group, but her first time singing a solo.
"I like the people," Grindberg said. "It's fun for a high school kid to interact with the adults in the community who we don't usually get to see."
If you go:
What: "Be Still and Know that He Is God," Sonshine Singers 13th annual music ministry
When: March 9, 7 p.m. and March 10, 2 p.m.
Where: Decker Auditorium, Iowa Central Community College
Admission: Free. Freewill donations will be received
Directed by Armona Redenius. Jive for Five will play before and after the concert.
The show will be Friday and March 10 at the Iowa Central Community College auditorium. Admission is free, although donations will be accepted.
Redenius said, "This year's show has a very powerful message ... it again reflects the message of God our Father sending his son Jesus Christ into a fallen world to save us."
As usual, the show loosely follows a progression through the Bible, with one of the first songs, "Lord Have Mercy," reflecting the people of the Old Testament's desire for a savior, Redenius said. The show builds with "Come Emmanuel," a celebration of Jesus' birth, and continues into songs about the teachings of Jesus, his death and resurrection, and the promise of heaven and new life.
The songs range from heartfelt anthems like "Midnight Cry," "I Will Rise," and "Via Dolorosa;" to upbeat gospel songs such as "Shut de Do'," "Gonna Sit Down and Rest Awhile," and "A Foolish Man."
"With the addition of the kids' choir, our prayer is to pack Iowa Central with praise," said Redenius.
Sue Feltman will be returning as the pianist. Feltman and Redenius have been in their positions with the group since it began 13 years ago. The group will be accompanied by an 11-piece orchestra, and on some songs by the Jive for Five brass group.
In addition to Grindberg, other soloists include Susan Allers-Leman, Jason Laird, Joe Lawler, and Kevin Nagel; Joe Svendsen and Ben Ahlers will sing a duet.
The singers come from towns all over the area, from as far away as Ankeny, Spencer, or Waterloo.
Many of the group members point to the welcoming atmosphere as a reason to keep coming back.
Pat Shaw said, "I've been in this group since 2004 or 2005 - long enough to feel like I'm truly a member of the family."
Rhonda Wiley said, "I've been in it 10 years, because I love it. We have wonderful people, wonderful music, a wonderful message, and I love the people I sit next to.
"I love to sing in quartets. There's a tenor right here, and a soprano on the other side, and I can hear a bass right down here - in other choirs you always sing in sections."
For more information, visit the group's website at www.sonshinesingers.org
Contact Joe Sutter at (515) 573-2141 or email@example.com