Tuesday, January 25, 2011
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Chicago musician Jim Croegaert returns to his roots

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[January 25, 2011]  With seven albums and a Grammy-winning performance to his credit, Lincoln Christian University's Jim Croegaert will return to his roots with an appearance at Chad's Blind, 1230 Fifth St. in Lincoln, on Feb. 10. Sponsored by the new "Open Table Concert Series," the performance will begin at 6:30 p.m. Tickets are available at Chad's Blind or by calling 217-732-6141.

InsuranceJim Croegaert grew up in Peoria and began playing in bands when he was a freshman in high school. He took his Wyld Heard band on the road in 1965 and has been a professional musician ever since. A high point in his musical career was Sandi Patti's Grammy-winning performance of his song "Was It a Morning Like This?" (YouTube link)

As a boy, Croegaert was a polio victim. He says that both his life and his body have been marked by the experience. Polio treatments caused Jim to be separated from his family for long periods of time. He says that during those lonely times the liturgy of his Catholic church resonated in him and served as an important connection, not only to God, but to others from whom he was often separated.

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After Wyld Heard disbanded, Croegaert joined a group of musicians in Wisconsin who wanted to do original music. The band eventually became known as Hope. They settled in the La Crosse, Wis., area and gradually became one of the first "Christian contemporary" or "Jesus rock" bands.

After singing with Hope, Croegaert enrolled at what is now Lincoln Christian University. He graduated in 1976 and moved to Evanston's Reba Place Fellowship, where he became involved in music ministry in a Mennonite and Church of the Brethren setting.

As the sacraments became increasingly important for him, Jim was drawn back to the Catholic church, where he was influenced by Thomas Merton and Henri Nouwen.

In addition to performing, Croegaert now serves as a chaplain in a large Chicago hospital. To prepare for the chaplaincy, he went through the arduous clinical pastoral education program. Jim says that he sometimes uses his music in health care settings. His song "Workplace Blessing" originated from the hospital staff's desire to bless re-worked space as a department moved from one area of the hospital building to another.

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"My work as a chaplain makes me aware of how fleeting and fragile life can be," he says, "but it also underscores how we are loved." An old Quaker hymn, "How can I keep from singing?" sums up both his life and the perspective of Jim Croegaert's music.

Jim will be available to meet his friends and sign autographs after his 6:30 performance at Chad's Blind on Feb. 10.

Proceeds of the concert will go to support the Community Action Partnership.

[Text from file received]


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