The Hiawatha Music Club met Nov. 9 at Bethany United Church of Christ. The hostesses for the evening were Kim Nolte and Laura Thacker. President Jean Brintnall opened the session. The roll call was taken in the presence of 6 active members and 6 honorary members. Minutes from the October meeting were read by Secretary Belinda Estes and approved pending corrections. Treasurer Sarah Kloepfer said the balance was $1,342.04.
Committee Reports: With respect to the Sunshine committee, there are no current members. The group was asked if anyone was interested in being part of this committee, and Kim Nolte graciously volunteered.
Old business: Reminder to the group, do not forget to register for shows, places for hostesses and animators. If we don’t have facilitators, performers should be prepared to present information about their piece.
New Business: Discussion of books and the inability to print books this year due to the ever-changing year and unknowns regarding future closure. The question was asked whether we should remove the reading fee this year. A motion was made by Kim to only pay dues this year since we will not be able to print, Laura gave the second, a vote was taken and the motion passed. All active and honorary members will only pay the $5 membership fee for that club year.
January dinner discussion, the subject came up again that we missed celebrating our 125th anniversary last year. Jean thinks we could celebrate this at our January meeting. Several people in the group felt it was important to honor this milestone. A motion was made by Laura to host a dinner and celebrate 125 years in January, Kim made the second. A question was raised about the weather and concerns that if there was a winter storm that canceled the January dinner, it might cause us to miss the celebration again. A question was asked if we could amend the motion to have a backup so that if the weather cancels the meeting, we celebrate the anniversary in a later month. Laura amended the motion, Kim made the second on the amended motion, a vote was taken and the new motion passed.
A motion to adjourn the meeting was made by Heidi, a second was provided by Carol, and the meeting was concluded to begin the program. The theme of tonight’s program is “Why the devil should have all the good bits?” Jean discussed with the group the history of Martin Luther and his contributions to music as well as Luther College. Luther felt that music had power, and he often heard far more music in church mass than in everyday life. He was both a composer and theologian and was often inspired by several types of religious texts. Throughout our history there are many examples of texts being taken from the Bible and set to song, making secular music more common. So the theme tonight, why the devil should have fun? People all over the world have been enjoying secular music for many years, sometimes without even knowing it. Tonight’s pieces will be examples of how some of the secular church music or Bible text has been used for popular music over the years.
Kim Nolte and Carol Bunning started the evening with “The Thanksgiving Prayer”, a piano and organ duet. This melody is also known as “We Gather Together”. It is a folk song originally written by Adrianus Valerius, often sung at Thanksgiving after being brought by Dutch settlers from Amsterdam. Kim performed the piano part while Carol performed the organ part, and it was a lovely start to the evening with a traditional anthem.
Nita Zeit brought “My Guy” to the band, which had been sung by Mary Wells and produced by Smoky Robinson. Nita shared with the group that this song was the biggest hit for the first female star of the Motown music genre. This song also became known to new fans thanks to the movie “Sister Act” when Whoopi Goldberg’s character and the nun’s choir changed the main words to “My God” for a worship performance. This song was always fun to listen to as Nita performed it while accompanied by Cindy Barnes on the piano.
Jean Brintnall performed “I would be True” on Londonderry Air. This song is also known to many as “Danny Boy”, in which the lyrics are about a young man who goes off to college and promises his love to another. Londonderry is not actually located near London, but is in Northern Ireland and is now officially known as Derry. Jean’s vocal solo was accompanied by Carol Bunning on the piano.
Sarah Kloepfer brought the song “Turn, Turn, Turn” by Pete Seeger. This song was recorded by The Byrds which went to #1. An interesting point about this song is that all the lyrics, except for 2 lines, are from the Bible. The lines “turn, turn, turn” and “I offer you peace” were added when the song was set to music. It was a popular song in Vietnam as it was used as a protest song. Sarah was accompanied by Heidi Diller on the piano.
The last performance of the evening was another duet with Carol Bunning on organ and Kim Nolte on piano. Their play was “Aint That Good News”. Carol shared with the group her memories of hearing this spiritual during a service and how it repeated itself through her different choir and church experiences. It’s a song she’s heard on both fast and slow beats, and the message works well both ways with the promise of good news to come.
After the program, members enjoyed refreshments provided by Kim Nolte and Laura Thacker and chatted amongst themselves, including upcoming Thanksgiving plans. The next meeting was scheduled for December 14 at Bethany United Church of Christ.
Belinda Estes, secretary