Joan Lundell has been a constant at more church services in Granite Falls than anyone can count. Her graceful and timely piano and organ playing has graced weddings, funerals, and countless Sunday church services, making those occasions warmer and more memorable. Her guidance and accompaniment for choirs and congregational singing has become a standard for the Granite Falls community and made those many occasions special.
Joan has spent several months rehabbing from the serious stroke she suffered at Ash Wednesday services at Granite Falls Lutheran back in February and is back home and continuing to recover.
This Sunday the community will have a great opportunity to give back to Joan and her family in a big way with a show of support and appreciation when Granite Falls Lutheran Church hosts an outdoor musical fundraiser event in the church’s north parking lot.
The event, which begins at 3 p.m., will feature music by Elaine Hauger, Rita Knutson, Kris Jensen and Steve Mahlum, Taylor Bakkelund, Rich Jepson, Amanda and David Severtson, Lynn Ullrich, Dallas Iverson, Paul Knapper, Pastor Dan Bowman of Hawk Creek and Rock Valle Lutheran Churches, and Pastor Paul Drees and Pastor Mark and Joyce Manning of Granite Falls Lutheran.
“Joan has left an immeasurable mark on our whole community. Words cannot fully express the impact that her music has made on all of us,” said event organizer Elaine Halverson. “She has promoted and provided excellence in music not only for three church denominations in Granite Falls but has faithfully accompanied our local students in concerts, solo and ensemble festivals, out of state choral performances, school musicals...the list is endless.”
Event helper Rich Jepson added “Joan’s command of the keyboard is unmatched in this community. Her unwavering professionalism as she played for countless church, school, and community events set a very high bar for anyone following in her footsteps. I never saw or heard a piece of music that she couldn’t conquer. She always had a smile on her face, and a kind word of encouragement for those of us who doubted our own ability. She had a way of bringing out the best in all of us with her magnificent tickling of the piano keyboard!”
In the summer of 2018 Joan received the ACE (Advocate for Choral Excellence) Award from the American Choral Directors Association (ACDA) of Minnesota. This award is presented to an individual in the community who advocates for choral groups and contributes to their excellence. Elaine Halverson added, “We are so appreciative of the music and friendship that Joan has shared with us. Now it is our turn to give to Joan, to support her on this journey.”
In addition to Sunday’s event, there is an online silent auction fundraiser featuring a wide variety of items. They can be found at www.32auctions.com/JoanLundell. The auction closes on September 19th.
Donations collected at the concert and proceeds from the silent auction will help with Joan’s medical bills and ongoing care. Donations can also be mailed or delivered to the Granite Falls Bank at 702 Prentice St. or to Granite Falls Lutheran Church at 350 Ninth Avenue Granite Falls, MN 56241.
Folks are encouraged to bring lawn chairs. Temperatures will be taken, and masks and social distancing will be required. In the event of rain, the event will be rescheduled for Sunday, September 27th. The entire community is invited and encouraged to attend.