German youth choir Tookula plans C-U stop

Free concert Saturday at Grace Lutheran Church

CHAMPAIGN — Tookula, a 60-voice German youth choir, will present a free concert of classical, folk, popular and sacred music from around the world at 7:30 p.m. Saturday at Grace Lutheran Church, 313 S. Prospect Ave., C.

Based in Minden, Germany, the Choir School of the Christuskirche teaches children from kindergarten through high school the basics of music education and techniques for singing, performing and touring. Tookula is the most advanced of the school's several choirs and is directed by Thomas Wirtz.

Tookula is a composite of the names of nearby towns Todtenhausen and Kutenhausen in northern Germany.

The performance will be the third in Tookula's two-week U.S. tour as part of the Blue Lake Fine Arts Camp International Exchange Program, which promotes goodwill and understanding through the arts.

Since it began in 1969, nearly 30,000 young European, Asian and American artists have exchanged performances and lived with host families in foreign lands. Tookula members, who range in age from 13 to 19, will stay for three days here with families, thanks to support from the Baroque Artists of Champaign-Urbana, the Central Illinois Children's Chorus, Champaign Rotary and several churches.

This is the second visit to Champaign-Urbana for Tookula, who performed here in 2011 to a standing-room-only crowd.

Admission is free, but donations will accepted to help defray costs of the choir's travel.

Topics (1):Music

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