’16 Singing Men’ to perform during Tabor homecoming

Tabor’s 60+ program Thursday, Oct. 5, will feature a concert at 10:10 a.m. by “Sixteen Singing Mennonite Men” under the direction of Jonah Kliewer, professor emeritus.

The concert will take place in Tabor’s Wohlgemuth Music Education Building. Jim Pauls will be the accompanist.

The group took a two-week trip to Paraguay and Brazil six months ago, giving numerous concerts. They will also be singing as a part of Tabor’s homecoming weekend.

Because of the bonding experienced by the 30 travelers-most of the spouses traveled with them-they agreed to meet again at Tabor’s homecoming.

The singers, most of whom are Tabor alumni, hail from Kansas, California, Oregon, British Columbia, Manitoba and Ontario.

The repertoire in the more than 20 settings where they sang included Spanish, German, English and Low German selections.

Arrangements made by tour director Clarence Hiebert through contacts with South American Tabor alumni resulted in a wide variety of experiences and friendships for participants.

Though most of the concerts were in churches, the group also sang at a university, a women’s retreat, and provided an outdoor concert for Lengua Indians.

The travelers were impressed by the diversity of ministry involvements in which these German-speaking Mennonite refugees from Russia and their offspring have been engaged since first arriving there seven decades ago.

The impact of their endeavors is widely recognized-spiritually, educationally, medically, culturally, agriculturally and in entrepreneurial endeavors and communication media developments.

In addition to the music offered at Thursday’s concert, Walter Friesen of Newton, one of the participants, will offer some reflections on the trip.

Additional appearances of this group will be at the 6:30 p.m. Friday evening homecoming festival dinner at Wichita’s Hyatt Regency Hotel and a full concert at 9:30 a.m. on Saturday at the Tabor College Chapel.

The festival dinner performance will be a mixed choir with 12 of the women who made the trip singing as well.

Tour participants have cooperated in creating some trip memoirs for themselves-a 180-page, pictorial journal, a video and a CD. More than 500 CDs have been distributed, necessitating a second run.

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