Beginning of rehearsals for the show “Messie” in Minot | News, Sports, Jobs

Submitted Photo Members of the Heritage Singers, Voices of Note, Minot Chamber Chorale and other community singers present Handel’s “Messiah” at a past performance. Emerson Eads is director and DeVera Bowles is vocal coach and harpsichord. Photo by Rick Heit.

George F. Handel’s Christmas Oratorio, “Messiah,” is a traditional part of the annual Christmas celebration of the Minot community.

Last year’s performance was canceled due to the coronavirus pandemic.

This year’s presentation by heritage singers, note voices, the Minot Chamber Choir, students of Minot State University and other community singers will be presented on Sunday, December 5 at 4 p.m. at Ann Nicole Nelson Hall on the MSU campus.

Rehearsals will take place Sunday, November 21 at 6 p.m. and Monday, November 29 at 7:30 p.m., both at Ann Nicole Nelson Hall. People from the community are invited to join the choir.

All high school singers in the area are also welcome to join the group, said Emerson Eads, “Messiah” director. “The Heritage Singers always has music for all singers. High school music teachers bring your high school singers to sing with us ”, said Eads.

Soloists wishing to audition for solos in the “Messiah” are invited to prepare an air from part 1 of the “Messiah.” An accompanying person will be provided. The auditions will take place on Monday, November 22 at 3 p.m. at 113 Old Main, MSU campus.

Prior to the December 5 concert, there will be an orchestra rehearsal at 1 p.m. and a choral rehearsal at 2 p.m.

For more information, contact Emerson Eads at emerson.eads@minotstateu.edu or DeVera Bowles at DeVera.Bowles@minotstateu.edu.

Eads, director of choral activities at MSU, is director of the “Messiah” choir and orchestra, the latter composed of members of the Minot Symphony Orchestra. Bowles, voice teacher at MSU, is a vocal coach and harpsichord.

The free concert benefits MSU student scholarships.

“Heritage Singers has generously supported the John Strohm, Joe Hegstad, Ken and DeVera Bowles Scholarships at Minot State University for many years with donations made each year for the free concert. The Heritage Singers provide sheet music for new singers and an opportunity to sing along to a wave of glorious “Messiah” choirs, “ said Eads.

“Messiah,” Handel’s most successful and well-known oratorio was composed in 24 days in 1741, from August 22 to September 14. It was first performed at a charity concert in Dublin, Ireland on April 13, 1742. Handel himself conducted the performance.

The first presentation of “Messiah” at present-day Minot State University was given on Thursday evening, December 19, 1929, by male and female glee clubs to 140 votes, according to files from the Minot Daily News. Before 1929, ES Person, one of the first residents of Minot, was instrumental in starting the production of “The Messiah” with the Minot Choral Club in 1908. For approximately 20 years, the annual performance was held at the Jacobson Opera House, formerly located on Central Avenue and Main Street.

The performance of the “Messiah” has continued over the years in the community of Minot.

“When Ken and I moved to Minot in 1993, we were impressed with the sheer number of musical and theatrical groups in the tight-knit arts community of Minot,” said Bowles. “Over the years, we have participated in the annual performances of the “Messiah” wearing several hats. There is a quiet joy in watching parents sing alongside their children, listening to the solos offered by our friends, our students and even our youngest son. The orchestra formed with our MSU colleagues, MSU students and community musicians play the “Messiah” with ease of musical gesture and expertise. We have benefited from several conductors who bring it all together with very limited rehearsals! It is a tradition of the treasures of Minot. I hope this year’s event attracts many high school and community students to the area. I know I’ll be there!

David Norton and the Heritage Singers have helped nurture and continue to bring this “Messiah” to the community year after year, Eads said.

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