Axtell Area Oratorio To Present Handel’s “Messiah” March 20

The Axtell Area Oratorio Society’s annual performance of George Frideric Handel’s Messiah will be held March 20 at 7:00 p.m. at the Merryman Performing Arts Center in Kearney. J. Rodney Wendell of Axtell will once again be conducting the 70 member chorus, chamber orchestra, and marvelous soloists.
In 1958, the Axtell Area Oratorio Society performed the English oratorio for the first time in the Axtell Public School Auditorium under the direction of Wendell. The performances have evolved from a biannual concert to an annual event held on Palm Sunday. Wendell has conducted  all of the concerts. The choir has expanded from the original 40 members and now includes performers from the 1958 concert, Wendell’s former students, and several groups of multi generation family members.
Messiah is an interpretation of the Christian view of the Messiah or ‘the anointed one’ as Jesus the Christ. It was originally composed for theatre and was first performed during Lent. Performances of the work have drawn large crowds from the beginning when the audience was asked to avoid wearing hoop skirts and to leave their swords at home in order to fit the crowd of 700 into the music hall built to hold 600.

see March 16 Courier for full story

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