On Sunday, 350 children will lift their...

On Sunday, 350 children will lift their voices in song in a tribute to the legacy of Natalie Sleeth, one of the most prolific composers of children’s choir music of this century.

The 36th annual Ecumenical Children’s Choir Festival Service, held this year at First Presbyterian Church of Hollywood, will be a tribute to the composer, who died in 1992 at age 62.

“It’s a tremendous experience for the boys and girls to sing in such a large choir,” said the Rev. David Young, a former president of the Choral Conductors Guild of California, whose Los Angeles chapter presents the festival each year to raise money for its scholarship fund. The proceeds benefit college and graduate students preparing to become church choral directors.

Young, who is pastor of music ministries at First United Methodist Church of Covina, will conduct the third- to eighth-graders, along with a full complement of brass instruments, flutes, xylophones, glockenspiels and several handbell choirs. The children are members of 12 church and church school choirs.


The choral director said all the musical selections of the service, except for hymns, are compositions by Sleeth, who wrote hundreds of anthems and several songbooks for children’s choirs.

“What I enjoy about her music is that it really grabs (the children),” Young said. “She wrote the text and music herself, and she sold the words on the wings of the rhythm . . . so that the children can really minister through it.”

Young, who knew the composer slightly, said that although Sleeth graduated from Wellesley College and studied composition at Southern Methodist University, she was primarily a homemaker.

The service will begin at 3:30 p.m. at 1760 N. Gower St., Los Angeles. Donations accepted. (213) 463-7161.


* The 55-voice Los Angeles Seoul Chorale will perform sacred and folk music at 4 p.m., March 20, at Our Savior’s Lutheran Church, 4270 W. 6th St., Los Angeles. Donations accepted. (213) 387-4255.

* Storyteller Peninnah Schram, a Yeshiva University professor of speech and drama, will retell folk tales, legends and parables for adults and children at 4 p.m. Sunday at Temple Sinai in Glendale. Tickets are $10, $8 for seniors and students, and $3.50 for children ages 5 to 15. 1212 N. Pacific Ave. (818) 246-8101.

* The Heritage Music Foundation’s fifth annual Legacy of Gospel Music Festival will present recording artists Ricky Grundy and The Voices of Los Angeles and All God’s Children at 7:30 p.m. Monday at Cornerstone Institutional Baptist Church, 1855 W. Slauson Ave., Los Angeles, where gospel legend, the late Rev. James Cleveland, preached. Donations accepted. (213) 242-0331.


* Temple Beth Am will present a concert of cantorial, Israeli and choral music, “Voices of Our People,” featuring cantors Jeremy Lipton of Temple Beth Am and Nathan Lam of Stephen S. Wise Temple at 7:30 p.m. Sunday. Tickets range from $18 to $108. 1039 S. La Cienega Blvd., Los Angeles. For reservations, call (310) 652-7353.

* Lenten services at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday at Village Lutheran Church of Westwood will feature baritone Edward Cline and pianist James Gallagher. 343 Church Lane, Los Angeles. (310) 472-7510.


* “The Sephardic Heritage Windows” will be dedicated at 11 a.m. Sunday at Sephardic Temple Tifereth Israel. The large, stained glass creation, commissioned by the Maurice Amado Foundation from Israeli artist Raphael Abecassis, depicts the history of Eastern Jewry beginning with the exile from Jerusalem in 70 A.D. through the Golden Age in Spain and includes a scene of contemporary Los Angeles. 10500 Wilshire Blvd., Westwood. (310) 475-7311.


* Eminent immunologist Michael Gottlieb will present a free AIDS Update Forum at 1 p.m. Sunday at Immanuel Presbyterian Church, preceded by an optional lunch at 12:15 p.m. Lunch is $4 for adults, $2 for children under 12. 3300 Wilshire Blvd., Los Angeles. (213) 389-3191.

* AIDS resources within the Jewish Community is the topic of a free forum to be held at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday at Hollywood Temple Beth El. Rabbi Leonard Lewy, hospice chaplain of the Visiting Nurses Assn., and David Levy, director of Jewish AIDS Services, will speak. 1317 N. Crescent Heights Blvd., West Hollywood. (213) 969-0891.

* First African Methodist Episcopal Church holds a Businessperson Prayer and Luncheon at noon on the third Wednesday of every month. Senior Pastor Cecil L. Murray leads the prayer session next Wednesday. Lunches are $5 per person. (213) 735-1251.

* A model Passover Seder for children and teen-agers with developmental disabilities and other special needs will be held from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Sunday, March 20, sponsored by the Passover Committee of Jewish Family Service of Los Angeles. Reservations are required for this free event. For further information, call (213) 651-5122.


* Pasadena City College President Jack Scott will speak on gun control at 11 a.m. Sunday at Throop Unitarian Universalist Church in Pasadena. 300 S. Los Robles Ave. (818) 795-8625.

* Kenneth Robinson, acting director of the Needham Institute in Cambridge, England, will give a free lecture based on his recent book, “The Way and the Wilderness,” an adaptation of Taoism for the 20th Century, at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday in the Faculty Center of Whittier College. (310) 907-4200, Ext. 4349.