Renewable Farming

Choral beauty in a grain bin! It started trending with one farm woman’s inspiration

Want a few uplifting, memorable minutes amid a hectic harvest? Visit these YouTube videos of university choirs and solo performers singing classic songs — in big, empty on-farm grain bins. 

October 7, 2020 — The trend apparently started with some solo performances in grain bins a decade ago, celebrating the acoustics.

Then in 2018, Derek Klingenberg of Klingenberg Farms Studios filled his newly built grain bin with the beautiful voices of the Bethel College, North Newton, Kansas Choir. This 4-minute video has attracted almost two million viewers. Watch, listen and you’ll know why:

The Bethel choir is pictured below.

In January 2019, a year before the Covid constraints hit, Iowa Central College’s choir staged an equally inspiring performance in a big Iowa steel bin. It’s Lord Hear my Prayer directed by Will Lopes and performed by the college’s Triton Singers.

Momentum mounted: In May 2019, Gateway FS invited the Nashville Community High School Choir to sing inside the co-op’s new Oakdale Grain Bin. The choir sang The Star Spangled Banner. The grain bin is 105 feet wide, 88 feet high and can hold 737,000 bushels.

Before these group performances, the origin of the acoustical steel bin as concert hall can be traced back to 2011, when farm girl Catherine Lewans sang Amazing Grace.

Catherine’s solo leads to another grain bin gospel song, Jackie Akers singing How Great Thou Art.