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posted: 7/3/2014 1:17 PM

German choir to perform in St. Charles

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  • Tookula, a 60-voice student choir from Germany, will visit St. Charles this week and perform two free concerts.

    Tookula, a 60-voice student choir from Germany, will visit St. Charles this week and perform two free concerts.
    Courtesy of Jenny Santos

Submitted by Jenny Santos

The Tookula Student Choir of Minden, Germany is visiting St. Charles from July 7 to 10 as part of the Blue Lake International Exchange Program.

Members of the 60-voice choir will stay in private homes while visiting St. Charles.

While in St. Charles, Tookula will perform two concerts. Tookula's first concert will be at 7 p.m. Tuesday, July 8, at the Arcada Theatre, 105 E. Main St., St. Charles. This concert will be free; however, donations to the Thompson Middle School Fine Arts Booster will be accepted at the door. The program will include folklore and songs from all over the world, including a short video presentation about the choir's homeland.

The second concert will be at 7 p.m. Wednesday, July 9, at Norris Cultural Arts Center, 1040 Dunham Road, St. Charles. This concert will feature Tookula and Thompson Middle School's Bella Voce, which is comprised of current and past members of this award-winning competition choir. This free concert is sponsored by the Thompson Middle School Fine Arts Boosters; donations will be accepted. The program will include sacred and secular songs from all over the world.

The German choir is one of 11 European musical groups that will visit Michigan and the Midwest during 2014 as part of Blue Lake's International Exchange Program.

Blue Lake is best known for the Fine Arts Camp it operates each summer about six miles east of Whitehall, Michigan. More than 5,500 talented young musicians -- mostly from Michigan and other Midwestern states -- are expected to attend Blue Lake this summer.

Blue Lake's International Exchange Program began in 1969 when a 90-voice choir toured England, Belgium, and Germany.

Since then more than 10,000 high school musicians wearing Blue Lake uniforms have visited 650 communities in England, France, Italy, Germany, Austria, Luxembourg, Belgium, the Netherlands, Denmark, Sweden, Norway, Finland, Hungary, and Liechtenstein.

In return, nearly 10,000 members of 550 European bands, orchestras, choirs, and dance groups have come to Michigan to perform in communities throughout Michigan and the Midwest.

While touring Europe, Blue Lake groups stay in private homes with host families and the foreign groups do the same when visiting the United States.

Last year Blue Lake groups were hosted by more than 1,000 families in Denmark, Germany, Austria, France, Belgium and the Netherlands while 400 families in 40 communities hosted members of six European groups that visited Michigan, Ohio, Indiana and Illinois.

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