Tabor ‘Messiah’ performance and Christmas Festival set for Dec. 12

Among the annual traditions of the Christmas season offered by Tabor College are the performances of Handel’s “Messiah” and the Christmas Festival.

This year, instead of two separate performances, the events will be combined into one night of “Echoing the Joyous Strains,” Sunday, Dec. 12, in the Tabor Gymnasium. The performance will begin at 7 p.m.

The concert will feature primarily the Christmas section of “Messiah” and a shorter version of the Christmas Festival. It is expected to last about 90 minutes, including an intermission between the two portions of the concert.

“The first part will be heavier because it is ‘Messiah’ and there’s just a certain flow that has to happen,” said Bradley Vogel, associate professor of choral music. “But the second part will be much lighter and more entertainment-oriented.”

“Echoing the Joyous Strains” will showcase music from the Baroque sounds of “Messiah” to “Jingle Bells,” including several carol arrangements by the concert choir and an arrangement of “I Saw Three Ships on Christmas Day” by the band.

“It is going to cover the gamut of music literature,” said Richard Cantwell, professor of instrumental music and chair of the music department.

Despite the combination of performances and the change of venue due to this year’s Hillsboro Mennonite Brethren Church fire, many things will remain the same.

A traditional orchestra will still accompany “Messiah,” and several soloists will also be featured.

Soloists for “Messiah” are Holly Swartzendruber, assistant professor of voice, Hillsboro; Tanya Schroeder, Newton; Jessica Holler, Ingalls; and Jennifer Hope, McPherson.

“For the Hillsboro community, it’s not Christmas until Tabor does ‘Messiah,'” Vogel said.

“We’re not doing that much less than we normally do; a few solos are out, but that’s just about it. The setting will be different, but I think it will be a very enjoyable, festive evening.”

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