The Messiah Festival of the Arts proudly announces the major concert events and theme for its 2017 season. This year’s Festival is titled “Connections: Embracing the Unexpected” and will feature a wide variety of art, music and theatrical events during the 10-day event beginning April 6 and continuing through Easter Sunday, April 16, 2017.
This year’s festival features the jazz vocal group, TAKE6, in concert on Sunday, April 9 at 3 p.m. in Presser Auditorium on the Bethany College campus. Tickets for the performance are $45, $40, and $35, and can purchased online or by phone on January 2, 2017.
Take 6 is an acclaimed a cappella group with ten Grammy’s, many other music and humanitarian awards, and induction into the Gospel Music Hall of Fame. After 25-years of performing from New York’s famed Blue Note to the Montreux Jazz Festival, from PBS to ABC-TV specials, they are one of America’s pre-eminent a cappella groups.
The TAKE6 vocal jazz performance fits perfectly into this year’s theme and other events taking place during the festival, according to Mark Lucas, Bethany College professor of music and conductor of the Bethany Oratorio Society.
“Connections abound between music, art, and theatre,” Lucas said. “Great performances and great works of art require painstaking attention to detail and preparation, but there is also that moment when the artist is suddenly inspired. Often by something unexpected. And there are certainly connections in places where you might least expect them, for example the connection between jazz and Bach.”
Lucas hopes that audiences will experience and embrace that connection at this year’s Festival with events like the Take 6 concert, a Jazz Walk, and Improv Theatre Workshop, along-side the traditional Holy Week performances of Bach’s “Passion According to St. Matthew,” and Handel’s “Messiah,” both performed by the Bethany Oratorio Society at Presser Auditorium.
The Messiah Festival will partner with the Lindsborg Landmark Concert series when it opens its second season with the Lindsborg Jazz Walk. The Jazz Walk will take place on Friday, April 7 from 7 to 10 p.m. in historic downtown Lindsborg and will feature celebrated Kansas City percussionists and Bethany graduate, Brandon Draper. The walk will begin in the evening and feature different styles of jazz at different locations on main street. From blues to world music, the audience will be treated to a wide variety of styles of jazz that complement the unique locations throughout the walk. Draper will bring some widely acclaimed, talented, friends to help create the unique experiences at each location.
A theatre improv workshop will take place on Monday, April 10 at 6:30 p.m. in the Pearson Chapel of Performing Arts at Bethany College. The workshop is free and open to the public.
The Bethany Oratorio Society will perform its historic and rich performances of J.S. Bach’s “Passion According to St. Matthew” on Good Friday, April 14 at 7:30 p.m. and G.F. Handel’s “Messiah” on Easter Sunday, April 16 at 3 p.m. 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: Nola Richardson, soprano; Daniel Moody, alto-countertenor; Tyler Ray, tenor; and Brendan Fitzgerald, bass.
Tickets for each concert can be purchased online at www.messiahfestival.org or by calling the Messiah Festival office at (785) 227-3380, ext. 8235. Group discounts are available for groups of 10 or more for the Bach performance. 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 118th Midwest Art Exhibit at the Birger Sandzén Gallery, the Messiah Juried Student Art Exhibition at the Mingenback Art Center Gallery, Symphonic Band Concert, and Student Honors Recital.