Cantata brings worship service to Old Home Week

The 2007 Old Home Week Cantata Adult Choir.

"The Torch is Passed" is the title of the year's Old Home Week cantata. Beyond special services at area churches, this is the one event that brings a religious component to the weeklong celebration.

The community worship service includes an adult choir, youth choir and orchestra. Performances are at 5 p.m. and 7:45 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 1 at the Greencastle-Antrim High School auditorium, with a 15 minute prelude before each. Pastors David Rawley and Steve Fretz will offer the invocation, Scripture reading and benediction, and beyond that "the message is the cantata," said Winifred Harvie, chair of the committee.

She is assisted by Nikki Kauffman, orchestra director, and Saundra Wingert and Mandy Stottlemyer, who tend to the youth. Ken Shockey is the rehearsal and performance pianist. OHW president Ben Thomas Jr. will make introductions and Aaron Ziebarth is the narrator.

The cantata was composed by Randy Vader, Jay Rouse and Camp Kirkland. The trio state in their promotional materials, "The story of our trust in God — our acknowledgment of His intervention in the history of this nation — our experience of faith — our assurance of a loving and gracious Heavenly Father, has been shaped by the lives and the testimony of our elders." The program includes American spirituals, patriotic selections, hymns and new songs.

With participants drawn from the community at large, and backstage help, upwards of 130 people, ages 18 to over 80, are involved in the production. Weekly rehearsals began in June. Harvie appreciated the time and expertise donated by professional musicians coming from a distance to play in the orchestra.

"They attend only one rehearsal and the dress rehearsal before the performance," she said.

Large crowds attend the cantata each year. It runs an hour. A free will offering will be taken to defray the cost of the music and incidental expenses, Harvie said.

Other helpers for the production are Marsha Ocker, food manager for the cast between shows, Jonathan Delcamp, sound coordinator, and Austin Stoler and JP Wentz, operating the sound and lights.