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International Folk Music Concert Offers Escape From Winter Cabin Fever

Jan. 30, 2011

Vocal Tapestry will perform a public concert featuring international folk music from Macedonia, Croatia, China, Ireland, Samoa, Israel, Maori and the Yiddish culture at Wauwatosa Avenue United Methodist Church, 1529 Wauwatosa Ave., on Saturday, Feb. 5, at 7:30 p.m.


Vocal Tapestry singers include founder-director Sheila Feay-Shaw, Steven Shaw and Kathleen Koch of Milwaukee, Trinny (Gahlke) Schumann of Glendale, Mark Vollmers of Wauwatosa and Jon Gilliland of Fond du Lac. They are accompanied by Milwaukee residents Beth Sacharski on piano, Robert Sacharski on accordion and Jon Lovas on instrumentals.


Audience members will be invited to join in on several songs during the 90-minute program.


A free-will offering will be collected with proceeds benefiting the Jan Jones Hartford Music Education Scholarship Fund. This scholarship fund was established in 2004 in honor of Jones Hartford’s devotion to choral music in public school teaching, church ministry and community choirs. She passed away in August 2010.


Feay-Shaw founded the original Vocal Tapestry group in 2005 while teaching at the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater. A world music specialist and educator, folk songs are a focus of her research. She recruited the current Vocal Tapestry members after joining the UW-Milwaukee faculty in 2008.


“Folk music comes from living cultures and is sung by people for the joy of singing together,” says Feay-Shaw.


“Our purpose is to bring music that could be heard in some part of the world on any given day to our audiences and provide ways for them to be involved in the performance experience – singing, clapping, music making. In this way, we continue to share the music’s expression with new generations of musicians,” she explains.


Vocal Tapestry concerts are part of the UWM Music Department and the Peck School of the Arts.


The First Methodist Episcopal Church of Wauwatosa was incorporated on May 22, 1848. In 1868, the 42-member congregation purchased the site upon which the current building stands at 1529 Wauwatosa Ave. The first church building stood until the fire of 1919. In April 1921, the congregation returned to the site to meet in the basement rooms of the new church. United Methodism was formed when the Methodist Church and the Evangelical United Brethren Church merged in 1968.


Today, the Wauwatosa Avenue United Methodist Church congregation is 500 strong and firmly committed to inclusiveness, celebrating a diversity of people, ideas and cultures.


WAUMC offers two Sunday services (8:15 a.m. and 9:45 a.m.), Christian education classes for individuals ages 3 through adult, a variety of adult and youth music programs and Girl Scout and Boy Scout troops. The congregation is involved with more than a dozen local, national and international mission outreach efforts. The church sanctuary is home to a three-manual, 46-rank Schantz organ.


For more information, call 414-453-0700 or visit

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