Music has been the center of the 50th anniversary celebrations this year at Corpus Christi Parish in Lansdale. Numerous concert events have highlighted the joy of faith and expression of the spirit through musical composition, and on May 12 the electricity of music was memorably felt in the voices of two talented choirs performing in the church.

Parish Director of Music Matthew Klenk, also director of the North Penn High School Choir, brought together the beautiful voices of the North Penn youth and the brilliant voices of the Waldorf College Choir.

The program began with the North Penn choir breaking into “A Joyful Noise,” followed by several pieces that highlighted soaring harmonies and even more tremendous arrangements of classical compositions.

Closing their portion of the program, the students presented a vivid choral arrangement of the “West Side Story” classic “Somewhere.” Beautifully performed, they painted a complete picture of the legendary show captured in one moment, in song.

Following a brief change of set, the Iowa-based Waldorf College Choir took the center stage led by director Adam Luebke. The choir painted images with a flourish of emotion and character that made the songs come alive. Their program included pieces from Christmas hymns, contemporary compositions, and an entire set dedicated to the times of William Shakespeare to celebrate the 550th anniversary of his birth.

The most memorable highlight of the program, however, was the choral arrangement of an African-American spiritual titled “City Called Heaven.” The a cappella voices created a strong bass and rhythm, out of which one soulful cry to heaven could be heard filling out the melody above the crowd.

The entire show closed with a special group performance of the traditional hymn “Beautiful Savior.”

The sheer number of both choirs performing together was astounding, and their voices were even more magnificent — a perfect combination of faith and music echoing in the acoustics of the house of the Lord.

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Marimah Branch is a freelance writer in North Wales.