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The Luthermen Quartet presents “Rise Up Shepard” during Worship Service at Messiah Lutheran Church on December 30, 2012.

The Luthermen began singing together as part of the choir at All Saints Lutheran Church. Over the years the group drifted apart, but get together occasionally to make some incredible music. We were blessed today by this particular reunion.

The Luthermen Quartet includes, Joel Williamsen, Jim Ganoe, Jim Rider and Bob Gustafson. They are accompanied by Audrey Gustafson.

Rise Up Shepard is a Christmas Plantation Song, said to have been first published in Slave Songs of the United States, edited by William Francis Allen, Charles Pickard Ware, and Lucy McKim Garrison in 1867 and also printed in Religious Folk Songs of the Negro as sung on the Plantations, edited by Thomas P. Fenner, Virginia, 1909. The songs in this collection were collected during the American Civil War from slaves in Georgia and South Carolina. It could be called an American shepherd carol, resembling a European shepherd carol, with the principal singer giving out the line and the chorus repeating the refrain (a ‘question-and-answer’ carol).

The American soprano Dorothy Maynor popularized this and other African-American spirituals, and the Harlem School of Music in New York City. She also helped familiarize Americans with several other Negro spirituals about the birth of Jesus.

To learn more about the music programs at Messiah Lutheran Church, please visit the Music Ministries Page or speak with our Lois Graff, our director of Music Ministries.