U of M, Crookston Choir Revives Tradition Started 55 Years Ago

As a backdrop to the upcoming concert by the University of Minnesota, Crookston Choir will be a cross built by Crookston resident and retired highway department employee Bill Matzke. The lighted cross, constructed in 1955, was a fixture at the annual concert by Civic Music League when they were singing the cantata, The Seven Last Words of Christ. The same cantata will be performed by the U of M, Crookston choir under the direction of George French on Tuesday, March 30, 2010, in Kiehle Auditorium beginning at 7:30 p.m.

The cross was used every year until sometime in the 1970s when it ended up in Glen Choir_concert.jpgTorkelson's shop. When Torkelson mentioned the cross to George French, he had already chosen the cantata for the choir's spring concert. With the help of Allan Dragseth, the cross was moved to Dragseth's farm shop, and eventually, a project to re-wire and restore the cross was undertaken by staff in Facilities Management at the U of M, Crookston.

Everyone is welcome to attend the concert. There is no admission charge, and the cross built by Matzke some 55 years ago will once again grace the stage. George French would like to thank everyone who helped restore the cross and make its return possible.The concert is co-sponsored by Campus Ministry and refreshments will follow.

In the photo (l to r): Baritone soloist Kevin Anderson, a senior from Spring Grove, Minn., and tenor soloist Won Man Lee, a freshman from Seoul, South Korea, with Choir Director George French.

Contact: George French, director, music and theater, 218-281-8266 (gfrench@umn.edu); Elizabeth Tollefson, assistant director, communications, 218-281-8432 (ltollefs@umn.edu)