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Park Rapids Classic Chorale joining Bemidji Symphony Orchestra's presentation of Handel's 'Messiah'

The Bemidji Symphony Orchestra presents their season finale, Handel's "Messiah," on Sunday, April 30 at 3 p.m. at the Bemidji High School Auditorium.

Magnificent and soul-stirring, the "Messiah" is quite possibly the most famous piece of music in existence, and is certainly one of the most beautiful.

The BSO will be joined by four soloists and three choirs in a 70-minute performance of selections from this masterpiece. Dr. Beverly Everett conducts. Just prior to the start of the concert, the audience will be given a glimpse into some of the history — and mystery — surrounding Handel and his creation of the "Messiah."

Also participating in the "Messiah" will be over 100 combined chorale members from the Bemidji Chorale (Patricia Mason, director); the Bemidji Choir (Dr. Dwight Jilek, director) and the Park Rapids Classic Chorale (Dr. Melanie Hanson, director).

Four soloists will join the BSO. Jennifer Olson, soprano, holds a master's degree in voice from the University of Michigan and a Ph. D. of musical arts in voice from the University of Minnesota. She teaches vocal performance at Shattuck-St. Mary's School in Faribault. Olson has performed with such groups as Philip Brunelle's VocalEssence and the Oratorio Society of Minnesota.

Leandra Craigmile, mezzo-soprano, is a junior at Bemidji State University studying vocal music performance as well as Music Education and Psychology. She has performed in three operas with the BSU Opera Theater.

Jace Erickson, tenor, attends the University of North Dakota (UND) in Grand Forks, ND, where he is pursuing degrees in music education and vocal performance. He is a member of the UND Concert Choir and the Grand Forks Master Chorale, and has performed in several opera productions.

Cory J. Renbarger, baritone, is the Coordinator of Applied Voice and Director of Bemidji Opera Theater at Bemidji State University. He holds degrees from Concordia College in Moorhead, MN, the Cincinnati College-Conservatory and the University of Minnesota, where he completed his doctoral studies. Renbarger has performed in operas, oratorios and recitals across the U.S. and abroad. In 2008, he was a national semi-finalist in the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions in New York.

The concert is supported through a grant from the George W. Neilson Foundation. Tickets available at the door or at Students grades K—12 are admitted free. All seats general admission. Doors open for seating at 2:30 p.m.