Tabor College to host three public Christmas concerts

First concert is Dec. 2

The Tabor College Music Department will host three public concerts this Christmas season at the Hillsboro Mennonite Brethren Church, 300 Prairie Pointe, Hillsboro.

The Concert Choir and Community Orchestra, conducted by Dr. Brad Vogel, associate professor of choral music, will present Handel's Messiah at 7 p.m. Dec. 2.

First performed in Dublin, Ireland, on April 13, 1742, Messiah is Handel's most famous composition and is among the most popular works in Western choral literature. Although the work was conceived and first performed for Easter, it has become traditional to perform the oratorio during Advent, the preparatory period of the Christmas season.

The performance will feature soloists Kayla Vix, Dr. Holly Swartzendruber, and Elise Hiebert (sopranos), Ashley Siler (alto), Mr. Matthew Schloneger (tenor), and Dr. Jonah Kliewer (bass).

The annual Christmas Festival, featuring the Symphonic Band, Brass Ensemble, and Concert Choir, will be performed at 4 p.m. Dec. 9. The three ensembles will perform traditional Christmas literature, and will feature trumpet soloists Andrew Toews and Eric Funk, as well as soprano Dr. Holly Swartzendruber.

The concert will conclude with Mack Wilberg's setting of the traditional English carol, "I Saw Three Ships," which will feature not only the Concert Choir but also the Tabor College Handbell Choir and Dr. Sheila Schmitt and Stephen Vincent on piano.

Tabor College Community Chorale and Tabor College Handbell Choir will perform their Christmas Concert at 7 p.m. Dec. 10. The inaugural performance of the 36-voice Community Chorale will feature well-known Christmas carols accompanied by piano, organ, harp, oboe, and flute. The Tabor College Handbell Choir will join the concert, lending its unique sound to traditional Christmas repertoire.

Each performance is free and open to the public. An offering will be taken following the performance of Messiah to assist with costs of the production. For additional information, call Tabor College Music Department at (620) 947-3121.