Bethany College, and the Lindsborg community, have started one of their busiest weeks of the year. Holy Week is underway, and that means that the Messiah Festival has started.
The Festival kicked off this Palm Sunday weekend with the opening of the Juried Student Art Exhibit in the Mingenback Gallery and production of Lucas Hnath’s play “The Christians” in the Burnett Center, both on the Bethany campus.
On Palm Sunday, the Bethany Oratorio Society presents “A Musical Tribute to Dr. Walter J. Pelz.” Dr. Pelz is a renowned Lindsborg musician and has been honored for his contributions as a composer and church organist. He was a Bethany music professor for 30 years beginning his career at the College in 1969. He has composed several hundred works that are included in hymnals and featured on many recordings. He was most recently honored by the Association of Lutheran Church Musicians at its national convention in 2015.
The Bethany Oratorio Society will perform its historic and rich performances of J.S. Bach’s “Passion According to St. Matthew” on Good Friday, March 25 and G.F. Handel’s “Messiah” on Easter Sunday, March 27. The Bethany Oratorio Society has been performing Handel’s “Messiah” continuously since 1882 and Bach’s “Passion” since 1929. 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: Anders Jakéus, bass; Alison Collins, soprano; Clea Huston, mezzo; Randolph Lacy, tenor; Leslie John Flanagan, bass; and Brian Stranghoner, tenor. Full biographies of each soloist can be found on the Messiah website at www.messiahfestival.org.
Tickets are $22 or $25 for each concert and will go on sale January 4, 2016. They can be purchased online at www.messiahfestival.org or by calling the Messiah Festival office at (785) 227-8229, ext. 8229.
Additional events in the Messiah Festival schedule include the Fourth Annual Art Installation Displays in downtown Lindsborg, the Midwest Art Exhibit at the Birger Sandzén Gallery, Symphonic Band Concert, and Student Honors Recital. A full list of activities and performances can be found at www.messiahfestival.org.