I will sing and make music to praise the Lord.
- Psalm 27:6
At Lutheran Church of the Ascension, music - both vocal and instrumental - is a frequent and joyful means of praising the Lord. The congregation’s three active choirs offer many opportunities for participation by members and friends alike. The chancel choir welcomes adults of all ages; the children’s choir includes youth from kindergarten through fifth grade; and the hand bell choir is open to all who wish to ring out their faith with Ascension’s Swiss hand bells.
At front and center of Ascension’s music program are husband and wife Worship Leaders Mischa Zupko and Minkyoo Shin. For more than a decade the couple, who have a son, Leo, have used their considerable talents and steadfast Christian faith to energize, enrich and expand the musical offerings at Ascension.
Mischa, who directs the chancel choir and the contemporary worship team, holds a Bachelor’s degree in piano from Northwestern University, and a Master’s and Doctorate in composition from Indiana University. His numerous awards include first place in the Pacific Symphony Orchestra’s American Composer’s Competition, and performances of his works have been featured at venues ranging from Carnegie Hall to Ravinia. Recordings of his works areavailable on several labels and he teaches on the faculty at DePaul University School of Music.
Minkyoo, who directs the children’s choir and hand bell choir, earned her Bachelor’s degree from the Peabody Conservatory of Music, a Master’s degree from the Yale School of Music and a Doctorate in organ literature and music theory at Indiana University. Among her honors, she won first place in the Region III young artist’s competition of the American Guild of Organists.
Mischa’s goals for Ascension’s adult choir are informed by the needs and desires of both individual choir members and the congregation as a whole. “I want to be able to utilize all of our resources, separately and in combination, according to the background of the congregation,’’ he said. “I want to use the talent and skills at Ascension to fit each person’s musical gift, to create music the congregation is passionate about.
“We embrace a wide variety of traditions, as well as newer approaches,” Mischa said. ”All are welcome to participate. Depending on your musical passion, we will find a place for you.”
The children’s choir Minkyoo directs is a lively group that delights the congregation with their infectious joy in singing. “I want kids to enjoy music,” said Minkyoo. “And I want them to understand why they are doing this. That it’s a way to worship. They sing to the glory of God.”
Hand Bell Choir
No expertise is required to ring the bells, not even the ability to read music, said Minkyoo. “The important thing is you need to know how to count. Anybody can learn. It’s fun.”
Mischa and Minkyoo would love to welcome you into choir.