Children's Choirs Deliver a Mighty Message

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Byline: Joan-Marie Moss Daily Herald Correspondent

The Mighty Messengers sang at a Kane County Cougars game this year. No, this isn't the latest sensation in rock groups. It's one of the children's choirs at Trinity Lutheran Church in Lisle.

The Mighty Messengers choir consists of singers in second through fifth grades, while its counterpart, the Sonlight Choir, includes youngsters in kindergarten and first grade.

The Sonlight Choir and the Mighty Messengers contribute significantly to the overall success of the musical program at the church, said Norb Malenke, director of celebration ministry.

Children join these choirs for fun. In the process, they learn a great deal about ministry, musical performance and active participation in worship and community events, he said.

Youngsters in kindergarten and first grade don't need to have music training to participate in the choir. Children in this age group are natural entertainers and communicators, he said.

Mary Blake, the Sonlight Choir director, introduces the children to music via age-specific musical selections, some of them action songs.

"I enjoy working with them," Blake said. "We do a lot of sharing. We talk about the love of the Lord in their lives. I share with them, and they with me, through interaction, prayer and song. But even more wonderfully, they frequently minister to each other."

Blake said she focuses on teaching the children to understand and enjoy singing as an integral part of their lives. She finds that children learn best by rote.

Last year, the Sonlight Choir consisted of 25 vocalists. The number of children who start here is fairly consistent from year to year, Blake said.

Many of the children graduate into the Mighty Messengers Choir, which has been under the direction of Ruth Napravnik for the past five years. …