Millikin University Choir

Members of the Bowling Green High School Choir joined the Millikin University Choir for the last song of the evening during a concert at the First Presbyterian Church in Louisiana. Photo by Stan Schwartz

LOUISIANA—Voices soared through the nave of the First Presbyterian Church of Louisiana Thursday evening when the Bowling Green High School Choir joined the Millikin University Choir at the start of their touring season.

Pastor Jay Ayers said this was the first time the Millikin University Choir performed in his church. The pews comfortably hold 150 people and another 20 to 25 chairs were set up in the back. Ayers said he hoped there would be at least 100 people would attend the performance.

“Since this is the first time, I’m waiting with bated breath,” he said. He didn’t have long to wait.

The pews were filled to near capacity by the time the Bowling Green High School Choir took to the risers in front of the Alter.

They led off with the first song of the evening.

The acoustics inside the recently renovated church were perfect for both choirs.

“Most of the time the pastor doesn’t have to use a microphone” when addressing the congregation, said Ken Spriggs. He’s attended the church for four years, and came Thursday night in anticipation of a great performance.

“I came here in 2015, and about two weeks after I got here, I started church here,” he added.

Last year, the church’s stained glass windows were redone, giving the building new life. Ayers said it is especially stunning with the sun comes shining in through the panes.

Ayers introduced the Bowling Green High School Choir and their conductor, Elaine Carty. They sang one song then took up seats in the audience to listen to the Millikin Choir who filed in, in a well-rehearsed entrance.

The singers along with their conductor, Brad Holmes, delighted the audience with several pieces during the evening. At the end, the Bowling Green High School Choir joined the Millikin singers for the final song of the evening.

Holmes said they were just starting out on a 12-day tour, through towns in Missouri and Illinois. He noted that they would be keeping an eye on the singers from Bowling Green and thanked them for coming out to join them for the night’s entertainment.

At the conclusion of the night’s event, Ayers presented local artist John Stoeckley’s rendering of the Millikin University main administration building to Holmes.

More than 40 singers in the choir brought their A-game Thursday evening as they filed in and out of the nave over the course of the performance, standing in different configurations, depending on the types of songs they were singing.

Both groups were well received, getting a standing ovation after the final song.

Holmes thanked the audience, not only for their patronage, but for feeding and housing some of the singers that evening before they were to embark on the next step in their tour.

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