Ozark Festival Orchestra to perform Handel’s ‘Messiah’

Tuesday, December 5, 2017
Last week was the first joint rehearsal of the Ozark Festival Orchestra and the community choir that has been rehearsing since September to perform Handel’s “Messiah.” Jerry Ragsdale prepared the choir in separate rehearsals, leaving Todd Borgmann, OFO music director, front left, for the final rehearsals, cuing in the various parts and balancing the sound. The full group will rehearse together on Tuesdays until the performances. Murray Bishoff/times-news@monett-times.com

Holiday favorite to have performances in Monett, Cassville

The Ozark Festival Orchestra will continue its 38th season with a performance of selections from George Frideric Handel’s oratorio “Messiah” for its Christmas concert on Dec. 16 and 17 in Cassville and Monett.

Under the baton of Music Director Todd Borgmann, the orchestra, augmented by soloists and a community choir, will perform two pieces for orchestra only, 11 selections for soloists and 10 choral selections from the oratorio. Selections have been added since the OFO’s last presentation of “Messiah” in 2015.

Soloists this year will be soprano Robin Braun, alto Lauren Lee, tenors Andrew Jones and Jerry Ragsdale, and bass David Everett.

The concert will be given in two locations on separate dates. The first performance will be at 7 p.m. on Dec. 16, at the Family Life Center of the First Baptist Church in Cassville, located at 602 West St., two blocks from the downtown square. The second concert will be in the OFO’s usual venue, at 3 p.m. on Dec. 17, at the Monett High School Performing Arts Center, located at the east end of the high school on East Cleveland Avenue, west of Bridle Lane and the Price Cutter store.

“Messiah” is one of the most performed works of Christmas season, retelling the birth and life of Christ. The OFO performance will conclude with the memorable “Halllelujah Chorus.” This will be the OFO’s first performance in Cassville in more than 20 years. The OFO first performed “Messiah” as part of Monett’s centennial celebration in 1987.

Admission is $10, or $5 for senior citizens 65 and older. Students high school age and younger will be admitted free.

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