Please join us for an exceptional night of music and fellowship, as this skilled and talented group of young men and women ends its fifth Southern Ohio tour with a concert at Epiphany. Director Matthias Eichhorn and his handbell choir have an international reputation for excellence. The choir consists of 15 youth, ringing six octaves of handbells. Please plan to attend this concert and invite family and friends to join you in support of our guests from our partner church in Gotha, Germany.
Free admission with free-will offering accepted.
Epiphany played a pivotal role in establishing the handbell choir at St. Augustine Lutheran Church! Youth of Epiphany Lutheran Church in Centerville made their first handbell tour of East Germany in 1986. A concert in the historic Augustinian Lutheran congregation in Gotha was part of their schedule. At the conclusion of that tour, Epiphany youth created a challenge -- raise enough money from Lutheran handbell choirs in the United States to transport a 4-octave set of bells across the "Iron Curtain" as a gift to the church in Gotha.
That challenge was met! The bell choir in Gotha was founded the next summer in 1987. Matthias Eichhorn, then only 10 years old, was a member of the first choir. Since then, Matthias has studied classical music in Weimar (double bass is his main instrument). He also plays in his own jazz trio (piano, drums and bass). He succeeded his mother, Elke, as the director of the Gotha Handbell Choir several years ago. The state of Thuringia chose the Gotha Choir to represent the state at the World's Fair-Hannover 2000. The congregation now has more than 80 people ringing in multiple choirs!
The church buildings date back to the early 1300's when they served as an Augustinian monastery. The monastery was one of the first to convert to Lutheranism. Martin Luther actually preached in the Gotha church on 4 different occasions. This congregation has been known for its music. As a matter of fact, one of its church musicians was Johann Pachelbel.