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Continuing the Reformation Into the Light

An invitation to perform at the 500th anniversary celebration of the start of the Reformation was an opportunity to explore some of the ideas of Luther and the many other great historic reformers.

Valparaiso University commissioned composer Jake Runestad to write a musical work that would compliment J.S. Bach’s cantata 80, Ein fest Burg ist unser Gott. The symbolic union of the Lutheran composition master and modern styling using new text and harmonic relationships formed the foundation for our musical programming on this historic tour.

One of the key elements of Runestad’s composition, Into the Light, was raising an awareness that we are not alone in this world. We are a people that need to love and care for each other. While Luther empowered individuals to have a direct connection to the word of God, Runestad urges us to actively care for those around us.

“It is my hope that this new work, Into the Light, allows us to be immersed in the wisdom of some of the most important and influential reformers in history and challenges us to consider how we can move beyond fear and onto a path of love, compassion and kindness,” Runestad said.

Into the Light was enthusiastically received at its world premiere on the Valparaiso University campus in September and by audiences in Germany during our Reformation concert tour. Runestad joined the Chorale for two of our international performances, one in the historic St. Thomas Church in Leipzig, the church where Bach served for 27 years, and one in the Castle Church in Wittenberg, the home of the Reformation.

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