A Christmas concert has been an annual Maranatha campus tradition since the first presentation of Messiah in December of 1968, the year the College was founded. The concert is a signature event in Watertown, with the gymnasium seats often filled by groups of visitors from area churches and the community at large. Messiah was last presented at Maranatha in 2008.
The college’s three choirs—Chamber Singers, Madrigal Choir, and Chorale—will join their 120 voices with the Maranatha Symphony Orchestra, harpsichordist Dr. David Ledgerwood, and four featured vocal soloists to offer selections from all three sections of the piece.
The featured soloists are: Brad Smith, tenor; Dr. Dean Kurtz, bass; Carol Senn Ruffin, alto; and Sherry Trainer, soprano.
The excerpts to be performed include “And the Glory,” “For Unto Us,” “The Trumpet Shall Sound,” “O Thou That Tellest,” “Worthy is the Lamb,” and “Rejoice Greatly, O Daughter of Zion.”
Messiah was first performed in Dublin in 1742. The original libretto, compiled by Charles Jennens, was set to music by George Frederic Handel in just 24 days. The tradition of the audience rising during “The Hallelujah Chorus,” according to legend, dates back to King George II.
There is no charge to attend, and all seating is general admission. A freewill offering will be taken. The College requests that only children age 6 and older attend this event. No nursery will be provided.
Another campus tradition is the annual Maranatha Symphonic Band Christmas Chapel, in which the band presents a cheerful blend of sacred and traditional holiday instrumental music. This year’s Christmas Chapel will take place Dec. 9 at 9:20 a.m. in the gymnasium.
For more information, call 920-206-4047.