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Gettysburg Seminary and Elizabethtown College Offer Joint Exhibition

(2/7) Exhibit and Feb 20th Concert Illustrate 300 Years of Hymnody, Hymnal Printing among Historic Singing Christian Traditions

Recognizing the 300th anniversary of the presence of Anabaptist and Brethren Christian groups in America, the Elizabethtown College Young C enter and Gettysburg Seminary have created a joint exhibit and choral concert commemorating the hymnody and hymn books used over three centuries in America.

The Hymnody Exhibit will be on display at Gettysburg Seminary until March 6th, with a featured post concert reception on February 20th, following a concert of hymns offered in the Gettysburg Seminary chapel by the Elizabethtown College Choir, set to begin at 7pm.

The concert will be performed by the Elizabethtown College Concert Choir will join voices with members of the College–Community Chorus as well as invited musicians from the Elizabethtown community to present selected hymns from the 300-year history of Brethren hymnody as well as hymns from the Amish and Lutheran traditions. The concert will feature hymns central in the development of these faith traditions’ use of congregational singing throughout their respective histories. The ensemble will be directed by Dr. Matthew P. Fritz, associate professor of music and director of choral activities at the College. The Concert Choir is a 32 member mixed voice auditioned group, the College’s premiere vocal ensemble.

The exhibit features a representative sample of significant and rare hymnals from the hymn traditions of Anabaptists, Mennonites and Amish, as well as Radical Pietist, Brethren and River Brethren, along with Lutheran and Lutheran Pietist hymnody. Several of these hymnals date to the 18th century.

The exhibit is the fruit of scholarship on Anabaptist, Brethren and Lutheran hymnody. The collaborators on the project are David Rempel Smucker, Hedda Durnbaugh, Betty Long, John Spangler, Mark Oldenburg, Briant Bohleke and Steve Scott. The exhibit will display historic hymnals, several representing the first printed in America, as well as photographic images of some significant hymnals. Interpretive descriptions will accompany the hymnals in the display. This will be the opportunity to see some important and rare historic hymnals all in one display.

The Elizabethtown College Choir will be in concert at Gettysburg Seminary February 20th at 7pm in the Seminary Chapel to sing a range of hymns found in a cross section of the hymn traditions. The concert and exhibit reception are free and open to the public.