Messiah Festival of the Arts announces concerts, theme

By KBBE News
March 09, 2019

The Messiah Festival of the Arts proudly announces the major concert events and theme for its 2019 season. This year’s Festival is titled “Legacy” and will feature a wide variety of art, music and theatrical events during the 10-day schedule beginning April 11 and continuing through Easter Sunday, April 21, 2019.

In honor of Lindsborg’s 150th Anniversary Celebration, this year’s Palm Sunday event will highlight Bethany’s home communities. “A Celebration of the Smoky Valley” will feature the Bethany Oratorio Society and students from Salina Central High School, Southeast of Saline High School, Smoky Valley High School, and Inman High School.  The performance will feature students from area high schools and the 300 member Bethany Oratorio Society.  The Oratorio Society will perform selections as accompaniment to writings by Bethany Professor Emeritus Linda Lewis, which spotlight the legacy of local communities and prominent past residents of the Smoky Valley, including Birger Sandzen, Carl Aaron Swensson, and Alma Louise Olson.  Selections will include, “Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing” arranged by Mack Wilberg, “I Was Glad When They Said Unto Me” by Hubert Parry, and “M.L.K.” originally performed by U2 and arranged for choir by Bob Chilcot.

“We are especially excited for this event and the opportunity to showcase the Bethany Oratorio Society Chorus performing choral works in addition to the yearly performances of the Bach and Handel,” said Dr. Mark Lucas, Bethany College professor of music and conductor of the Bethany Oratorio Society.

Tickets for Palm Sunday are $10 online and $13 at the door. Online sales for this event will end April 12 at 3 p.m.

Dr. Lucas stated that he hopes the audiences and performers will experience and embrace the ideas of community and legacy at the Festival. Events like A Celebration of the Smoky Valley, the Jazz Walk, and various artistic endeavors, along-side the traditional Holy Week performances of Bach’s “Passion According to St. Matthew,” and Handel’s “Messiah,” are about bringing people together in new and in time-honored ways. These events also recall the legacy of the early Christian founders of our local communities.

The Messiah Festival will partner with the Lindsborg Landmark Concert series when it offers its third Lindsborg Jazz Walk. The Jazz Walk will take place on Friday, April 12 in downtown Lindsborg. Miles Bonny will be the featured performer with the Draper Family Band.  Mr. Bonny is a critically acclaimed trumpet player, DJ, record producer, and singer-song writer.  In addition to being a world class musician, he also has a family connection to Dr. Emory Lindquist who was a past president of Bethany College.  The Jazz Walk will take place in different locations downtown and then a parade to the Sundstrom Conference Center for the full group performance. 

A theatre production of readings is Monday, April 15 at 7:30 p.m. in the Pearson Chapel of Performing Arts at Bethany College. The performance is free and open to the public. There will be more details about the theatre production to follow.

The Bethany Oratorio Society will perform its celebrated and rich performance of G.F. Handel’s “Messiah” on Easter Sunday, April 21 at 3 p.m. The Bethany Oratorio Society has been performing Handel’s “Messiah” continuously since 1882. During Holy Week each year in Lindsborg, the more than 300-member community chorus and orchestra are joined by professional operatic guest soloists for the performances. Guest soloists this year include: Margaret Carpenter Haigh, soprano; Danielle Rohr, mezzo-soprano; Christopher Puckett, tenor; Joseph Hubbard, bass; and Les Flanagan, Bach baritone.

Tickets for Good Friday and Easter Sunday are $17 online and $20 at the door. Online sales for the two events on will end on April 18 at 3 p.m.

This year, the Messiah Festival of the Arts is offering the Full Festival Experience package to attend Palm Sunday, Good Friday, and Easter Sunday at a discounted rate. Attend all three events and receive a 2019 Messiah Festival of the Arts poster signed by the soloists. This offer is available through April 1.

Tickets for each concert are on sale now. They can be purchased onlineatwww.messiahfestival.org/shop/or by calling the Messiah Festival office at (785) 227-3380, ext. 8237. For all ticketing information as well as a complete festival calendar, go to: www.messiahfestival.org.

Additional events in the Messiah Festival schedule include the 121stMidwest Art Exhibit at the Birger Sandzén Gallery, the Messiah Juried Student Art Exhibition at the Mingenback Art Center Gallery, Symphonic Band Concert, Student Honors Recital, and “Messiah” Soloists Recital.

Bethany College, established by Swedish Lutheran immigrants in 1881, is a college of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. The mission of Bethany College is to educate, develop, and challenge individuals to reach for truth and excellence as they lead lives of faith, learning, and service. Bethany connects its past, present, and future with distinctive initiatives like Swedes to Sweden, a free service-learning trip for the sophomore class to Sweden, and the Good Life Scholarship, presenting all local high school graduates with a four-year, full-tuition scholarship to the college. Bethany College is on the Web at www.bethanylb.edu and is located in Lindsborg, Kansas, the fine arts and crafts capital of the state. 


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