LINDSBORG, KAN., January 2, 2012—Experience the joyous tradition of Bethany College’s 131st Messiah season from April 1 to April 8, 2012. Priority seating tickets for the Bethany Oratorio Society’s annual performances of Handel’s Messiah and Bach’s St. Matthew Passion are on sale now. General admission tickets go on sale on February 16.
Beginning this year, audience members can reserve their favorite seats year after year with new Priority Seating. “We have so many families who make coming to the Messiah a tradition, and now they can reserve their favorite seats for each performance,” says Blakely Bunning, Bethany’s Messiah coordinator.
Patrons ordering tickets between January 2 and February 15 will receive priority selection of seating. Their seats will be recorded so for the following year patrons can make hassle-free reservations or select different seats before general admission tickets.
This year’s theme of the Messiah Festival of the Arts is “Shake the Nations,” referencing the Biblical passage Haggai 2:6-8 and the bass recitative No. 5 in Handel’s Messiah. “Shake the Nations” describes not only the story of Jesus Christ, but also how Handel portrayed it in his great oratorio, Messiah.
“The story of Jesus is earth-shaking, and Handel conveyed that through the masterful music of the Messiah,” explains Director Jeffery Wall. “Jesus’ life and ministry shook up His society and continues to shape our world today. Handel’s musical depiction of the story of Christ shook up the Baroque music world. Even now, 270 years after it was completed, musicians are still enthralled to study the composition.”
“’Shake the Nations’ is a fitting theme for the community of Lindsborg,” Bunning adds. “Starting with the Swedish-Lutheran immigrants in 1881, Lindsborg has been shaking up the Smoky Valley with its enthusiasm and devotion to sharing this masterpiece with the region.”
Since 2006, Bethany has chosen a theme for the annual event to inspire new reflection upon the meaning of the music and the tradition. A complementary illustration is drawn by Frank Ballew ’05, director of publications, bringing together music and art in celebration of the Messiah Festival.
Messiah will be presented on Palm Sunday, April 1, and Easter Sunday, April 8, at 3 p.m. Tickets are $17 and $22. St. Matthew Passion will be presented on Good Friday, April 6, at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $12 and $17.
A special $5 discount per ticket is available for teachers, seniors, churches, and tour groups of 15 or more. High school students are invited to attend free of charge and their family members will receive $5 off their tickets.
To purchase tickets, call Bethany’s Messiah Coordinator Blakely Bunning at (785) 227-3311, ext. 8137, between 1 and 5 p.m. on Monday through Friday or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
Every year since 1882, the Bethany Oratorio Society has presented Messiah at the college. The society has performed Messiah across the plains, in Carnegie Hall, and on national television. For a full listing of special events and exhibits during the Messiah Festival of the Arts, visit http://www.bethanylb.edu/messiahfestivalofthearts.html.
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 College is on the Web at www.bethanylb.edu/.