Archived Sections, National Lutheran News

Longest running Messiah performance up again on Passion Sunday and Easter

Bethany College, Lindsborg, Kansas, will host five new soloists in the performance of the 131st Messiah Festival of the Arts, the longest running Messiah performance in North America. Soprano Karen Kness, mezzo soprano Sharon O’Connell Campbell, tenor John Wesley Wright, bass Weston Hurt, and bass baritone Danny Belcher will join the Bethany Oratorio Society to perform Handel’s Messiah on April 1 and 8 and Bach’s St. Matthew Passion on April 6.
Jeffery Wall will conduct the soloists and the Bethany Oratorio Society. Wall is Bethany College’s director of choral activities and Elmer F. Pierson Distinguished Professor of Music. He earned his doctor of musical arts degree from the University of South Carolina, his master’s from the University of Tennessee, and his bachelor’s from Texas Tech University. He has experience in collegiate, high school, professional, community, and church settings. Wall has taught at Bethany since 2010, previously serving at Georgia State University and New Mexico Junior College.
The soloists will perform a recital on April 3 at 7:30 p.m. No admission will be charged.
Messiah will be presented on Palm Sunday, April 1, and Easter Sunday, April 8, at 3 p.m. St. Matthew Passion will be presented on Good Friday, April 6, at 7:30 p.m. Discounted tickets are available for teachers, seniors, churches, and tour groups of 15 or more. High school students can attend free of charge and their family members will receive $5 off their tickets.
For more information, call Bethany’s Messiah Coordinator Blakely Bunning at 785/227-3380, ext. 8137, between 1 and 5 p.m. on weekdays or email
The Bethany Oratorio Society has presented Handel’s Messiah every year since 1882. World-renowned soloists have performed with the Society for audiences at the college, across the Midwest, in Carnegie Hall, and on national television. Messiah is performed during Bethany College’s annual Messiah Festival of the Arts, when hundreds of guests enjoy the weeklong celebration of sacred music concerts, art exhibitions, and theatre performances. For the full listing of Festival events, visit
Bethany College, established by Swedish Lutheran immigrants in 1881, is a college of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. Its mission is to educate, develop and challenge individuals to reach for truth and excellence as they lead lives of faith, learning and service. For more information about Bethany College, go to

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