‘The heavens are singing’
On Sunday afternoon the Heartland Civic Orchestra and Choir will sing and play unto the heavens and an area crowd.
Starting at 2 p.m. at the Tilman Hovland Auditorium in Rugby High School, Village Arts will mark 150 years of Christmas being celebrated in North Dakota with its concert, “The Heavens are Singing.” Tickets will be available at the door.
Tilman Hovland will conduct the orchestra, Deb Jenkins will conduct the strings and Andee Mattson will conduct the choir. Jenkins will also play triple-duty for the concert, serving as a program director and a cellist.
On the bill for this year’s concert is mix of popular Christmas songs, a Scottish Highland arrangement of carols, and two pieces of original music. The choir and string orchestra will perform “Song for a Winter’s Night”, written by area resident and Wolford School music director David Halvorson. Concert newcomer Micah Scott will perform “Mon Frere”, a piece he wrote for vocals and guitar. Rugby High School student Lucas Antonson – who has been with the orchestra since grade school – will have the opportunity to act as a conductor for “The Gift of the Magi”. The choir and orchestra are slated to come together for a grand finale, “Jesu, Joy of Man’s Desiring”.
“We try to vary the pieces we use,” Hovland said.
Jenkins added: “It’s really an interesting concert in terms of pieces we have available. There’s something for everyone’s tastes. We strive to have a variety of different kinds of music.”
An estimated 70 musicians are expected to take the stage, some seasoned and new, from not just Rugby, but also from the surrounding area.
This year’s concert is not only a 150th Christmas celebration, but it also marks the 16th Christmas concert Village Arts has put on.
“It’s difficult to keep a program going for that long, and Village Arts has done that,” Jenkins said.
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