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Annual Concert Opens Christmas Season

By Staff | Nov 27, 2015

Village Arts presents the Heartland Civic Orchestras, Choir and Heartstrings Youth Orchestra in concert on Sunday, Dec. 6, at 2:00 p.m. at Rugby High School’s Tilman Hovland Auditorium. Each year musicians in a 60-mile radius travel to Rugby to rehearse Christmas music to celebrate the season. The age of musicians range from age 7 years to post-retirement.

Program Director Deb Jenkins noted that Christmas concerts for the community were developed beginning in 1997, after music teacher Dennis Veikley featured a handful of strings players at one of his school concerts. Jenkins said “Rugby already had a long tradition of forming bands and choirs, especially for special events. Many of the former members of groups from the past 40 years have been a part of the Heartland Civic Orchestras and Choir, and many are members of our audience.” Jenkins estimated that well over 200 different students and adults have participated in the community music program since it began. More than 80 musicians will participate in the concert this year.

The theme of this year’s annual Village Arts Christmas concert is “God Bless Us Everyone.” Andee Mattson will direct the choir, Tilman Hovland will direct the symphony orchestra and Deb Jenkins will conduct the string orchestra. Lucas Antonson, junior conductor, will direct a strings piece as well.

Original music for the choir and for the string orchestra has been composed by David Halvorson. Jenkins said, “It is unusual for community orchestras to have the opportunity to premiere original compositions. David’s work is really beautiful and we are lucky to have the chance to present his two compositions for the first time.” Halvorson will conduct his pieces at the concert and will also sing in the choir and play in the symphony orchestra.

This year young students in the Heartstrings Youth Orchestra will also perform two selections. The grand finale will feature all members of the choir who will sing “God Bless Us Everyone”, accompanied by all members of the symphony orchestra.

Tickets are available at the door.

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