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Arts and Entertainment

Messiah Project Presents Their Annual "Heritage of Hymns" Concert


Messiah Project presents its 9th annual "Heritage of Hymns" concert featuring a community choir, community orchestra and the Springfield Boy Choir Saturday Oct. 15 at 7:00pm in the Evangel University Chapel Auditorium.  Sharon WIlkins is the choral director for the concert, with Larry Dissmore conducting the Messiah Project Orchestra.  Singers from various area churches and denominations join together in this concert to sing some of the greatest church music ever composed. 

To talk about the concert on KSMU Arts News, Messiah Project Director Lindsey Robison brought with him a young lady named Hannah Martin, one of two interns with the Boys Choir of Springfield, which appears on tonight’s concert. (The other intern there is Chandler Cooper.)  “We assistant-conduct, though I will not be conducting a piece on this first concert because of time-conflict issue,” says Hannah. The interns conduct sectional rehearsals with the boys, as well as “help corral them, help keep them quiet when they need to be quiet—that sort of thing.”

The concert will also feature southern Gospel music with the Hosea Bilyeu family. According to Lindsey Robison, “We’ve been working with Hosea for several years. Just a wonderful pastor, really built up Ridgecrest Baptist Church.  And now he’s retired and he’s just singing—works with his family, they have concerts all around.  He is such a delightful person, full of joy and energy and inspiration.  And he will M.C. the evening.”  Hosea and four members of his family will perform.

Sharon Wilkins has been working with a choir of nearly 80 singers. “We have an excellent group of singers this year,” says Lindsey Robison. “We have, just in the choir itself, 41 (area) churches involved. It’s quite unique to see that many people kind of lay down their denomination for a weekend and come together and just celebrate our faith and heritage... and demonstrate the value of some of the music that has really propelled the Christian faith through the centuries.

The evening begins at 6:15pm with an organ prelude.  Hannah Martin tells KSMU the Springfield Boys Choir will sing four pieces—two by the younger kids (the “unchanged boys’ voices”) and two by the older ones (the more mature, “changed” voices).

Lindsey reports that orchestra conductor Larry Dissmore “is so pleased with the people who volunteered to join some of the principals that come from the Springfield Symphony to build this really pristine orchestra.”  And he promises a big finish to the concert:

“Of course the ending—the Boys Choirs, the bells and all the choirs and the orchestra will join, and we all get to heaven with just a real foot-stomping, rejoicing time!”

Admission is free but an offering will be received.  For more information visit, Messiah Project's Facebook page, or call 883-5274.