Sounds Like Love
On a Saturday morning in the fall of 1983, several choirs from metro area churches gathered at Zion Lutheran Church in Anoka for a day of rehearsals under the direction of Jimmy Owens, in preparation for the first festival concert which was held at Anoka High School the next day. All were thrilled at this beginning and decided to move the festival to a more permanent home at Prince of Peace for the next year.
For the next 18 years the festival continued to grow and was named the “Sounds Like Love” festival. A watershed moment for the festival was selecting John Jacobsen as its primary clinician/choreographer. His enthusiasm, leadership, and dedication proved to be the driving force to engage students in a musical experience that was truly “over the top.” Each year’s festivals grew to a peak when 1287 students from 82 churches gathered at Prince of Peace for rehearsals and then worship and concerts at the St. Paul Civic Center.
Having hosted the festival for many years at Prince of Peace, it was decided that St. Andrew’s Lutheran in Mahtomedi would be its new home and for the next decade the festival continued with 750 students and leaders gathering the 2nd weekend in November to experience great music, enthusiastic leadership, and spiritual growth. After 30 years of festivals, the leadership group will turn over the management of the festival to Youth Encounter and St. Andrews Lutheran Church of Mahtomedia. We give thanks to God for the many students and leaders whose experience in this festival gave shape to their spiritual lives and they continue to engage in our congregation with their families and are active participants in this church and many others. Thanks be to God for this gift!