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The Foresingers

Who are Foresingers?

The Foresingers formed in 1992 to bring to life early American church music, especially slow tunes of the oral tradition. They sing church music that thrived before hymnals included written notes and before the singing school tradition influenced most churches. The troupe of singers perform in period costume and props and sing 18th century hymns in German and English, including an Amish hymn. The music is woven into a story line with facets of family life central to the years 1800 to 1825. The formal program is titled Menno Heirs.

 

What is Menno Heirs?

The musical Menno Heirs, written and directed by Glenn Lehman, features hymns common to two early 19th century North American Mennonite hymnals—Zion’s Harp of 1803 and Gesangbuch of 1804. The drama in three scenes depicts a fictitious Martin family of the Weaverland Valley whose parents both die from consumption. The children gather at the farmhouse to settle the estate with the help of a Franconia Mennonite squire. Inspired by their musical heritage, the family reunites after their loss and a daughter marries. The thirteen musicians are accompanied at times by handbells, harp and zither.

 

Booking Information

For information on having the Foresingers sing at your venue or event, please call Glenn at (717) 656-2749 or email office@harmonies.org.

 

Foresingers' Lifetime Itinerary
(In Pennsylvania, except where noted)

1993
The 1719 Herr House, Willow Street
The Young Center at Elizabethtown College
Mennonite Church General Assembly (Phila.)
Alleghenyville Meetinghouse
Lancaster Mennonite Historical Society

1995
Germantown Mennonite Church (Phila.)
Frazer Mennonite Church
Community Mennonite Church of Lancaster
Pendel Hill Quaker Center, Wallingford

1997
Frick's Meetinghouse, Hatfield
Swamp Mennonite Church 150th Anniversary, near Quakertown
The MeetingHouse (now called the Mennonite Heritage Center), Harleysville

1998
Mercer Museum, Doylestown
Dock Woods Community, Lansdale

2000
Penn Alps, Grantsville, Md.
West Overton Museum, Scottdale

2003-2004 Bicentennial Tour
Mannheim Mennonite Church, Petersburg, Ont.
Detweiler Meetinghouse, Roseville, Ont.
Mennonite Heritage Center, Harleysville
Columbus Mennonite Church, Oh.
Rieth Recital Hall, Goshen College, In.
Amish & Mennonite Heritage Center, Berlin, Oh.
Alleghenyville Meetinghouse, Alleghenyville
Forest Hills Mennonite Church, Leola

2005
Pa. German Heritage Festival, Lebanon

2006

MennoFolk Festival, Eastern Mennonite University, Harrisonburg, Va.


Video Appearance

1996
Jerusalem: the city touched by God
(Yale Roe film for PBS, narrated by Liv Ullmann)

2004
Destination America
(David Grubin film for PBS, fall 2005)