John Wetzel, pastor of First Lutheran Church of Glendale, is not one to say no when 50 teen-agers from Australia want to stay with his parishioners as part of their tour of America. But he's not above making them sing for their supper this Sunday night.
For the teens, it will be no problem.
Ranging in age from 13 to 16, they are all members of the St. Peters Chorale from St. Peters Lutheran College in Brisbane, Queensland. The whole purpose of their being in this country is to perform.
"I think the big thing is to have the international exchange with the youth," Wetzel said.
It's not as complicated an undertaking as one might think.
"I've done this a number of times," Wetzel said, referring to visits by other choral groups. "Logistically, the (problem) is to get the congregation to house the youth."
As of Tuesday, the pastor said, half a dozen beds were still needed.
According to Wetzel, St. Peters is a boarding school. It's called a college because that's the way they do things in the land down under.
The choir, Director Graeme Morton and seven staff members will arrive in Los Angeles on Friday night. Saturday morning, they will attend a music workshop.
Then, "in the afternoon, we're going to turn them loose in the (Glendale) Galleria," Wetzel said.
Sunday morning, the choir will sing at the 8:30 service at Salem Lutheran Church, 1211 N. Brand Blvd. The church is co-sponsoring the tour.
The concerts, including the 7 p.m. performance at First Lutheran, 1300 E. Colorado St., will include pieces from the choir's repertory of contemporary Australian music as well as classics. There is no admission charge.