Blind singer’s recital supports missionaries

StoryImage( ‘/Images/Story//Auto-img-11515193015561.jpg’, ‘Photo provided’, ‘Mingkhwan Zehner’);

DEKALB—From 10:30 to 11:30 a.m., Wednesday, June 28, Mingkhwan Zehner, a blind 18-year-old singer, will offer a voice recital at First Lutheran Church, on the corner of Third and Pine streets in DeKalb. The event will include a selection of classical music that will make your morning attendance worthwhile. Admission is free.

This event will include a love offering to support the family of Randall and Carol Stubbs on their upcoming year-long volunteer mission in Tanzania, Africa, where Randy will help establish the new Bachelor of Music program at Makumira University College in Arusha.

This is Mingkhwan Zehner’s first full public recital, offered in gratitude to her musical mentor, Carol Stubbs, who has played an important role in Mingkhwan Zehner’s life over the years.

Stubbs has been Zehner’s voice teacher ever since Mingkhwan was 14 years old. Prior to that, Zehner participated several years in the Northern Illinois Children’s Chorus, where Stubbs was artistic director. She also participated in the Children’s Choir at First Lutheran Church, which was also directed by Carol Stubbs.

Mingkhwan is a native of Thailand. Originally from Bangkok, in those early years, she had no English comprehension. At age 8, she came to America to join the Zehner family, initially attending Tyler Elementary School in DeKalb.

At age 11, Mingkhwan began attending Illinois School for the Visually Impaired (ISVI), the state’s residential school for the blind. While this ended her participation in DeKalb-area choirs, she retained her love of music and her connection with Carol Stubbs, with whom she eventually began private voice lessons.

In recent years, the Zehner family has moved to Rockford, but Mingkhwan has retained her ties to DeKalb, the Stubbs family, and First Lutheran Church. Mingkhwan is entering her final year at Illinois School for the Visually Impaired, and is in the process of becoming a full member of First Lutheran Church.

This summer, in addition to performing the June 28 voice recital for the Stubbs family, Mingkhwan will attend the tri-annual national youth gathering of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, which takes place in San Antonio, Texas, July 4-9. She will also volunteer at a day care center in Rockford. Mingkhwan’s future plan is to become an early childhood teacher.

Donations to support the Stubbs family can be offered during the recital or can be mailed to the church at 324 N. Third St., DeKalb, IL 60115. Donations should be payable to First Lutheran Church, with a memo designating “Recital for Africa Mission.”

Info: Contact the church at (815) 758-0643 or at

From the June 28-July 4, 2006, issue

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