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'The ultimate story'

Ten area churches were represented among the 38-voice Community Lenten Choir. Singers came from Trinity Lutheran and St. Peter's Lutheran in New York Mills; Calvary Lutheran and St. Henry's Catholic in Perham; Sacred Heart, Dent; St. Lawrence, Rush Lake; St. John's, Corliss; Holy Cross, Butler; and Sacred Heart, Frazee.1 / 6
Among the soloists was Gary Bach (at left), of Trinity Lutheran, New York Mills. In the background, Community Lenten Choir director Russ Bunker.2 / 6
Rev. Joe Herzing, St. Henry's, portraying Luke, was the narrator for the Easter Cantata. He is pictured here during the evening performance at St. Henry's.3 / 6
Bell choirs from two area churches performed a prelude concert prior to the Easter Cantata. At the New York Mills concert, it was the Trinity bell choir. In Perham, at right, it was the St. Paul's bell choir.4 / 6
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Bradley Blomberg, St. Peter's of New York Mills, sang a solo in the "Crucify Him" passage of the Easter Cantata, which was composed by Pepper Choplin.6 / 6

In multi-colored robes, 38 voices presented the "greatest story ever told" March 28 in New York Mills and Perham.

Another story was told by those choir robes. For the 28th year, the finest voices from churches scattered throughout East Otter Tail County joined together for the annual Easter Cantata. Concerts were presented Palm Sunday at Trinity Lutheran Church in New York Mills and St. Henry's Catholic Church, Perham.

Ten area churches were represented in the choir, from St. John's Church in Corliss to Sacred Heart in Frazee; from Holy Cross Church in Butler to St. Lawrence in the Rush Lake area. Each singer wore the robe from their respective church-creating a colorful setting for the program, titled "Once Upon a Tree."

The 2010 performance was dedicated to Mary Hoffman, a faithful community choir member who sang for many of those Palm Sunday concerts. Hoffman died on March 18.

Actually, there were 39 voices involved in the performance, which included Rev. Joe Herzing, St. Henry's Church, who portrayed Luke in what the script described as the "ultimate story of love."

The choir was under the direction of Russell F. Bunker; with piano accompaniment by Jane Stowman.

Performing a prelude for the New York Mills concert was the Trinity Lutheran Bell Choir. For the Perham performance at St. Henry's, it was the St. Paul's Lutheran Church bell choir.