Germany: Charity Concert with Seiko Lee
By Werner Fehlberg, UPFGermany
This year we celebrate the 500th anniversary of Martin Luther’s proclamation of the 95 theses in Wittenberg. To commemorate this event, the Seiko Lee Project and the Düsseldorf members organized an Ecumenical Charity Concert in the New Life Church in Düsseldorf on October 31, 2017.
Protestantism was represented by Pastor Richard Aidoo and the New Life Church Düsseldorf, and Catholicism by Brother Matthäus Werner from the Franciscan order. All parties invited their members and guests to participate in this concert and with about 250 people attending, the church was full.
Werner Fehlberg, MC, led the audience through the program. After welcoming remarks, Brother Matthäus Werner introduced the work which his order in Düsseldorf is doing with the homeless. Next, Pastor Alfred Aidoo introduced some projects in Ghana which his church has been supporting for many years; the “Robert Memorial School” and: “Nkabom–Ein Krankenhaus für Ghana e.V.” (a hospital for Ghana).
Then Rev. Michael Balcomb addressed the audience, starting with a provocative question: “If Martin Luther, who brought reformation to the Catholic church 500 years ago, walked into the doors of this New Life Church today and asked if reformation had already been completed or if there is further work to be done – how would we reply?” He suggested that a new reformation is needed, through families centered on God. This is also our founder’s vision.
Following this address, Werner Fehlberg introduced Mrs. Seiko Lee, the internationally known soprano who often performs with the New York City Symphony Orchestra. Mrs. Lee is also very concerned about world peace and has dedicated many of her charity concerts for humanitarian projects. In 2015 she was the main performer at the 70th Jubilee Concert of the General Assembly of the United Nations, and she has been a guest performer at the Washington D.C. Ghana embassy.
To support Seiko Lee, Erika Kamura who is studying piano at the Folkwang- Musikschule in Essen, assembled at short notice an excellent string quartet from amongst her friends.
Her concert included a wide range of songs. The first part spanned the history of music with a Gregorian chant, Bach, Handel and Mozart’s Oratorio to American Gospel. This repertoire concluded with Martin Luther’s “A Mighty Fortress Is Our God” (in German: “Eine feste Burg ist unser Gott”), arranged by Dr. David Eaton for the string quartet and the New Life Church band, directed by Mr. Peter Mante.
The second part of the concert was called: Song of the World. A special surprise for the audience was the National Anthem of Ghana, for which Seiko Lee asked the audience to rise. Ghanaian people put their hands to their hearts and showed their deep respect for their homeland. The New Life Church band and choir were invited by Mrs. Lee to join in the rendering of the final song, ‘My Tribute’.
Many of the guests were deeply touched and were moved to tears by the concert. An offering of 1,500 € was collected to the background music of the string quartet. This money was divided equally between the projects of the New Life Church and Brother Matthäus’ project with the homeless of Düsseldorf.
After the concert many people approached the stage for Mrs. Seiko Lee’s autograph and a photograph with her.
Pastor Richard adores Seiko Lee and commented that nobody should shorten her concert, because when Seiko Lee sings, the Holy Spirit comes down. He had attended the entire rehearsal on the previous day and prayed continually for her concert. On the day of the concert, he skipped a scheduled invitation from the mayor of Düsseldorf in order to participate in Seiko Lee’s concert in its entirety.
He has already invited Mrs. Seiko Lee to give another concert in the near future.