The Literacy Council of Madison County and Hartland College Choirs are presenting a concert Sunday, May 19 at 6 p.m. at Beth Car Baptist Church.

The concert “The Nations Will Praise You!” will be a selection of international music of praise, prayers and promises performed by vocalists from 15 different nations. The event is meant to raise awareness of the mission of the Literacy Council of Madison County and funds for implementing it.

The idea for the concert came from the friendship between literacy council vice president Fay Utz and Hartland choir director Betsy Mayer.

“Fay and I go back a long way,” said Mayer. “We’re music buddies and both involved with so many local music groups. Part of the Hartland College mission is community outreach and the literacy council is such a worthy cause. So many in our community aren’t aware of all the literacy council does. It’s not just teaching people to read. The Literacy Council of Madison County does so much more; helping adults get their GEDs, teaching job search skills and teaching computer classes. The husband of one of our staff members recently got help from the literacy council and earned his GED. Some of the Hartland students have gotten help with learning English there. Our community needs to learn more about the services they provide.”

Utz, too, is hopeful that the concert will help promote awareness of the organization and the services it provides Madison residents.

“The last year or so has been tumultuous for the literacy council,” said Utz. “We’ve had several staff changes and now the move to our new offices on Main Street. It’s time to get back on track promoting our mission and fundraising. The concert is just one public event that helps both. We even had a little difficulty with the venue for this concert. Originally it was scheduled to be in Oak Park, but the church has issues with the building. Beth Car was so accommodating and is allowing the concert to go on as planned.”

Both Hartland Choirs will perform. The main choir is made up of Hartland students from 15 nations and five continents. As part of graduation requirements, students take a class in the principles of Christian music which entails weekly voice lessons and a year of performing with the choir. The touring choir, The Three Angels’ Chorale, is comprised of the most musically inclined that have the opportunity and ability to travel seven out of 10 weeks per quarter. Under Mayer’s direction, The Three Angels’ Chorale has produced four CDs and has toured four continents. For the concert, singers will dress in their native garb.

“So many of the students are anxious to share their culture,” said Utz. “This is a wonderful opportunity to see pieces of other cultures from all around the world. They give testimony and perform music from all around the world. The harmonies are gorgeous.”

Hartland College is part of the Hartland Institute, a self-supporting Seventh-day Adventist educational organization consisting of the college as well as a health and wellness center and Hartland Farm, a large-scale agricultural operation. Established in 1983, the college focuses on providing practical training with a Christian emphasis and offers majors in midwifery, Christian education, and pastoral evangelism.

The Literacy Council of Madison County is a local non-profit that supplies education services to adult residents of Madison County. The organization’s mission is to enhance the quality of life of Madison County residents as jobholders, parents and life-long learners. The office has recently moved to 110 N. Main St., Suite A and is open Monday – Friday from 9 a.m. – 2 p.m. For more information about the Literacy Council of Madison County, or to donate or volunteer, call 948-5514, visit madisonliteracy.org, or like Literacy Madison on Facebook.

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