Ozark Festival Orchestra to present Handel's 'Messiah'

Wednesday, December 16, 2015
Ozark Festival Orchestra music director Todd Borgmann led members of the orchestra and the community chorus through Handel's "Messiah" on Tuesday at the MHS Performing Arts Center. The concert will be given at 3 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 19. Murray Bishoff/Cassville Democrat

Community choir, players combine forces on Saturday

The Ozark Festival Orchestra will continue its 36th season with selections from George Frederick Handel's "Messiah" at 3 p.m. on Saturday at the Monett High School Performing Arts Center.

Performing with the orchestra will be a community choir of nearly 50 voices and soloists, all under the direction of Todd Borgmann.

This will be the first time the Ozark Festival Orchestra has presented "Messiah" since 1991. The concert will feature 21 selections from the three-hour oratorio.

Singing solos in the performance will be Robin Braun, soprano and alto solos; April Smith, soprano; Andrew Jones, tenor; and David Everett, bass. The chorus, with members from many bi-county communities, has rehearsed since September. The choir and soloists have been prepared under Jerry Ragsdale.

"Messiah" tells the story of the life of Jesus in songs and choruses. The classic work includes the famous "Hallelujah" chorus, which will conclude the concert.

Borgmann has commented during rehearsals at the quality of the sound from the combined forces of the orchestra and choir. In final rehearsals, he has experimented with ways to arrange the stage to improve hearing and result in a meaningful experience of the music and its message for the audience.

Admission to the concert is $10 for adults and $5 for senior citizens. Children high school age and under will be admitted free.

In case of severe weather, the concert will be held on Sunday.

The Monett High School Performing Arts Center is located on East Cleveland, on the north side of the high school, north of the city police station at Bridle Lane.

The Ozark Festival Orchestra is a community orchestra composed of players from southwest Missouri and nearby towns, focusing primarily on classical music. Rehearsals are held weekly in Monett.

The orchestra is supported by memberships, local foundations, ads in the orchestra program book and funds managed by the Monett Community Foundation.

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