Thursday, July 26, 2012 - 7:09am

Wednesday August 8 at 7:30 pm

As part of the Madison-Freiburg Sister Cities relationship, and the Madison Symphony Orchestra's Free Summer Organ Series, the Freiburg Cathedral Girls' Choir will perform in Overture Hall on Wednesday August 8 at 7:30 PM. The concert is also presented by the Diocese of Madison and Overture Center for the Arts.

Accompanied by Marjorie Frances Mayo on the Madison Symphony Orchestra's Overture Concert Organ (German-built by Orgelbau Klais of Bonn), the program will be a diverse showcase of classic choral works by Mendelssohn, Brahms, and Purcell along with contemporary composers such as John Rutter, Arvo P?rt, Javier Busto, Thomas Jennefelt, Waldemar Åhlen and others. Several movements from the organ symphonies of Charles-Marie Widor will be interspersed.

The Freiburg Cathedral Girls' Choir was founded in 1973 and has been an integral part of music at the Cathedral ever since, performing at regular and holiday services throughout the church year. Under the direction of Martina van Lengerich from 2003, the choir has made many European and international tours, television and radio appearances, and CD recordings. It has also won the 8th German Choir Competition in the "Children's Choirs 13 years and under" category, and sang for the visit of Pope Benedict XVI to Freiburg. It is regarded as among the best girls' choirs in Europe.

This tour is a great opportunity for these 42 young singers, aged 11-19, to act as musical ambassadors for Freiburg, extend the cultural exchange with Madison, and, by staying with local families, learn about American life from personal relationships.

This concert will conclude the Choir's 2012 U.S. Tour, which includes performances at St. Peter's Catholic Church and St. Patrick's Cathedral in New York City on July 29 and 31, at St. Agnes' Cathedral in Rockville Centre NY on August 1, United Church in Washington D.C. on August 3, and St. Ita Catholic Church in Chicago on August 6.

From the Madison-Freiburg Sister City Committee:
The beginnings of the Madison sister city relationship with Freiburg, Germany date to 1964 when the University of Wisconsin-Madison first sent students there to enjoy the hospitality of Freiburgers and to take advantage of academic programs at the renowned Albert-Ludwigs University of Freiburg, established in 1457. Formal relations involving the two municipalities began in 1984, when leaders in both cities undertook to explore ways of expanding the relationship. As a result, the Madison Common Council passed a resolution establishing the Madison-Freiburg Sister City Committee in December 1985. The following year, then-Lord Mayer Rolf Boehme of Freiburg visited Madison, and Mayor Joe Sensenbrenner returned the visit in 1987 to draw up a formal agreement. Delegations from both cities exchanged visits in 1988 to sign the agreement.

Since then, information and communications ties, cultural exchange activities and business, professional and social contacts have become well-established features of relations between the two cities, with Madisonians visiting, and providing home stays for visitors from, Freiburg, and vice versa. These relations have enabled many individuals and groups to conduct research, engage in apprenticeships, conduct commercial activities, participate in youth exchanges, and pursue other goodwill interactions on many levels. The visit of the Freiburg Cathedral Girls' Choir represents the most recent, and one of the most notable examples of international and local cooperation undertaken for the mutual benefit of the citizens of Freiburg and Madison.

From the Diocese of Madison:
It is with great joy, and a love for the universal Church, that the Diocese of Madison adds its heartfelt welcome to the Freiburg Cathedral Girls' Choir. We are blessed to have their prayer-filled voices resound through a small part of their Sister City and, by God's grace, lift many hearts, souls, and minds toward heaven.


  • Henry Peters, Madison Symphony Orchestra608-260-8680x226