Festival Events

2019 Messiah Festival of the Arts Calendar of Events

April 8-21
Juried Student Art Exhibition @ Mingenback Art Center

April 11
Band Concert, 7:30pm @ Presser Hall Auditorium

April 12
Landmark Concert Series – Jazz Walk, time TBA @ Downtown Lindsborg
The third annual Jazz Walk will take place on April 12th 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 that we could not be more excited to bring to Lindsborg.  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.  There will be more details about the Jazz Walk to follow.

April 14
Juried Student Art Exhibition Closing Reception, 1:00pm @ Mingenback Art Center
Juried Student Art Exhibition Award Presentation, 2:50pm @ Presser Hall Auditorium
*Palm Sunday Event: A Celebration of the Smoky Valley, 3:00pm @ Presser Hall Auditorium
“A Celebration of the Smoky Valley” featuring the Bethany Oratorio Society and students from Salina Central High School, Southeast of Saline High School, Smoky Valley High School, and Inman High School.  This concert will feature students from area high schools performing on their own and with the 300 member Bethany Oratorio Society.  The Oratorio Society will perform seven selections as accompaniment to writings Bethany Professor Emeritus Linda Lewis has compiled, which highlight the legacy left by 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.

April 15

The Fever Chart: Three Visions of the Middle East  by Naomi Wallace, 7:30pm @ Burnett Center
A talkback session will be held following the performance.

In his New York Times review, theatre critic Neil Genzlinger writes, “The Fever Chart, a well-made trilogy by Naomi Wallace, exploring that cauldron that is the Middle East, has absorbing characters, and sharp, evocative dialogue. Just as important, though, is what it doesn’t have: strap-on bombs or heart-felt hugs . . . Ms. Wallace has a much more subtle tale of loss to tell, and she does it beautifully.”

Ms. Wallace’s collection, subtitled Three Short Visions of the Middle East, offers three short plays, or visions: “A State of Innocence,” “Between This Breath and You,” and “The Retreating World.” The ruins of a zoo (or as Wallace describes it, “a space that once dreamed it was a zoo”) in Rafah, Palestine is the setting for “A State of Innocence.” The vision involves an encounter between a young Israeli soldier, a mysterious Palestinian woman, and an elderly Israeli architect who both builds settlements and attempts to reconstruct what has been destroyed in the protracted conflict.

In the second vision, “Between This Breath and You,” a Palestinian father risks arrest to visit the waiting room of a clinic in East Jerusalem after hours and meet face to face an Israeli nurse’s aide to tell about the loss of his son and the impact his death has had on the young woman’s life.

“The Retreating World” introduces us to Ali, a resident of Baghdad and a former Iraqi conscript who is addressing the International Pidgeon Convention. A lover of both birds and books, Ali speaks about the difficulties of life after his country’s defeat by U.S. forces, and of the loss not only of his dear friend Samir in the fighting, and the hell of war.

Wallace’s “multifaceted works explore the urgency and complexity of the Middle East’s political landscape through the voices and bodies of the people who inhabit it.”

Writing in Chicago Critic, Tom Williams states that  “…Naomi Wallace’s four vignettes invite a great deal of dialogue – which is precisely their purpose.  They are conversations about the Middle East, both in-and-of-itself and the effects of American foreign policy on those nations we deem ourselves to be helpers of. … [the plays] deal with their issues in complex, thought-provoking, fair, and difficult ways.  They are mature and ask for discussion, delving into the depths of their implications and repercussions. None of them are point-blank, simple, blanketed statements. They are sympathetic to all parties involved, neither bearing ideology nor dogmatism.”

April 16
Recital featuring Messiah Soloists, 7:30pm @ Messiah Lutheran Church

April 18
Student Honors Recital, 2:30pm @ Pearson Chapel

April 19
*J.S. Bach’s “Passion According to St. Matthew,” 7:30pm @ Presser Hall Auditorium

April 21
*Handel’s “Messiah,” 3:00pm @ Presser Hall Auditorium

*Ticketed events