Messmer in Song:

An album recorded by the Messmer High School Concert Choir in the year 1976


In 1976, Messmer High School's Concert Choir produced an album.  Directed by Ms. Janice Stauske, Messmer in Song was created to commemorate the school’s 50th anniversary.  On the album jacket we read the artists’ hope for the album: “In listening to this album we hope that you will discover Messmer as it is today and as it hopes to be in the years ahead.”

Sadly, the recording vanished from Messmer’s records for nearly 35 years. In 2010, Messmer Development Office archive sleuth Mike Bagley ’90 uncovered the album in a little traveled section of the Milwaukee County Central Library. The discovery was a nostalgia-filled trip back in time.

Jim Lewis ’76, a member of the choir and a soloist on the album shares his memories of recording the album. “I attended St. Catherine's (at 51st and Center) for grade school and Sunday Mass.  While in high school I was a member of the St. Catherine’s youth choir, as were a number of other kids at Messmer." Jim goes on to explain that the choir at St. Catherine's had recorded two albums when he was a student there. When Mrs. Stauske got the idea of recording the Messmer choir, he and the former St. Catherine's students introduced her to the choir director.  It was this connection that brought about the album recording. The choir recorded the album at St. Catherine’s, and the choir director from the church played the organ on some of the songs on the album.

 

Monica (Tilk) Fedel ’76 tells us that despite the fact that the album was recorded 35 years ago, she still remembers recording at St. Catherine and was excited to have the opportunity to play her 12-string guitar on one of the tracks.

 

Liz (Lunsford) Dorn ’76 shares, “When I saw our album mentioned in Messmer's newsletter, I quickly forwarded it to my friends from the Class of ’76 via e-mail and Facebook. Everyone responded back enthusiastically talking of memories like meeting at St. Catherine on Center Street to record it, talking about the joy of singing Handel's Messiah and how the lyrics are still seared in our memories. My memories of high school were all of good times, good friends, fun experiences and a sense of pride in our Messmer community.”

 

In the spirit of pride in our Messmer community, we are pleased to share a few songs from the album, including some definitive sounds of the 70s: Kum Ba Yah and Cherish.

 

And the Glory of the Lord………………………………………………….Handel

Gloria in Excelsis Deo……………………………………………………..Mozart

Amazing Grace……………………………………………………………..arr. Hafso

            Jim Lewis, Solo

Kum Ba Yah………………………………………………………………..arr. Lojeski

Cherish……………………………………………………………………...arr. Lojeski

 

 

Do you have a Messmer memory you’d like to share? We would love to add your memories to our collective archive.  Please contact Mike Bagley.  Additional comments or inquiries regarding the 1976 album may also be directed to Mike via e-mail or 414-264-5440.

 


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