The Messiah Festival of the Arts announces the theme for the 2014 season, “With One Voice.” This theme was chosen to reflect the three fine arts mediums of the Messiah Festival – art, music, and theatre – coming together in perfect harmony to create this festival of the arts. Additionally, each individual art medium has its own ‘voice’ to share within the larger whole, be it a physical voice, as in music, or a conceptual voice, as in theatre and art. The Scriptural inspiration for this theme is Ecclesiastes 4:12: “A cord of three strands is not quickly broken.”
The Messiah Festival schedule of events includes exciting new programs and events for all ages. The Festival kicks off Friday, April 11 and Saturday, April 12 with the Bethany Theatre Department production of “Nathan the Wise” by Gotthold Ephraim, directed by Carl Isaaccson, and will be performed at the brand-new J.O. Sundstrom Conference Center in downtown Lindsborg. A “talk-back” session is planned immediately following the Friday night performance, with an invited guest panel to facilitate the discussion over the themes of this theatre event. Tickets to “Nathan the Wise” are $8 general admission, and $5 for all students, senior 65+ and Bethany College staff, and will be sold at-the-door.
Palm Sunday, April 13, premiers the brand-new concert event “Messiah Mosaic” in Presser Hall Auditorium, featuring special guest ensemble the Apollo Chamber Brass. This renowned brass quintet, based in Denver, CO, has a wide range of musical repertoire, from classical to contemporary, and is requested at premier events all around the region. Native Lindsborgian and Bethany Alum Andrew Bishop, ’02, is lead trumpeter of the ACB. Palm Sunday’s “Messiah Mosaic” concert will also feature vocal ensemble Dalkören, and the Bethany College Choir and invited guests. “Messiah Mosaic” begins at 3 p.m. in Presser Hall Auditorium.
Tuesday, April 15 at 7 p.m., the popular Bethany Band Concert takes center stage in Presser Hall, featuring the Symphonic Band and Jazz Ensemble. This concert event will also feature a new multi-media twist, with elements of the visual arts intertwined into the concert presentation. This event is free to the public.
The Festival continues Good Friday, April 18 at 7:30 p.m., with the traditional and highly moving oratorio “Passion According to St. Matthew” written by J.S. Bach.
The Messiah Festival concludes with Handel’s “Messiah” on Easter Sunday, April 20. The concert begins at 3 p.m. in Presser Hall Auditorium. Both “Passion” and “Messiah” are performed by the Bethany Oratorio Society and directed by Dr. Mark Lucas, ’94.
Tickets to the Palm Sunday “Messiah Mosaic”, Good Friday’s “St. Matthew Passion”, and Easter Sunday’s “Messiah” performances are all $17 or $22, and go on sale Jan. 1. Call the Messiah Office at 785-227-3380, ext. 8137, or order online at www.messiahfestival.org .
Additional events in the Messiah Festival schedule include two Community Outreach Art events in downtown Lindsborg, including the Second Annual Student Art Installation Competition, which honors three Bethany Art students the opportunity to design, create, and build original artworks based on the Messiah Festival theme, and are exhibited in three participating downtown business storefronts. The other Community Outreach Art event is a brand-new Mosaic Making event, where community members of all ages and abilities can make a large-scale Mosaic with the Bethany Art Department faculty and students. The Mosaic Making event will be held downtown in Lindsborg, on the weekends of April 12 and 19, and is free to the public. Complete details can be found on the Messiah Festival website, www.messiahfestival.org, after Jan. 1.
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.