The Marshall County Community Choir, under the direction of Maybelle Circle, will perform Joseph Martin’s Christmas cantata, “Season of Wonders: Celebrating the Miracle of Christmas.” The choir will give two performances: one on Saturday, December 4, at 6:30 p.m. at the Waterville Opera House and the other at 2:00 p.m. on Sunday, December 5, at the Memorial Presbyterian Church, Marysville.
Approximately fifty area residents sing in the choir. “We have a cross-section of people from various parts of the county,” said Circle. “We have singers from Axtell, Blue Rapids, Herkimer, Marysville, and Waterville. Plus, there are several singers who drive in from southern Nebraska. With this great mix of people, the group really feels like a true community choir.”
Remaining true to the “community” aspect of the choir is important to Circle. Unlike some community choirs or civic choirs, the Marshall County Community Choir does not hold auditions and it does not charge singers a fee to participate. “When we formed the community choir four years ago, I felt that it was important to give area residents a chance to share their talents,” Circle said. “Some people have the opportunity to sing in their church choir and some don’t. We found there was a need for a group chorus – to bring people together to sing.”
Even though auditions aren’t held for the choir, Circle is still impressed with the choir’s sound and ability. “We are blessed to have a variety of people sing in the choir,” she said. “We have everything from music teachers to high school students; some choir members are teenagers and some are in their eighties. Still, we have a strong sound and a commitment to perform quality music.”
Finding music for the choir is a task that Circle takes seriously. “I’m very pleased with this year’s selection,” she said. “The cantata contains some favorite carols with some new melodies. I think the public will really enjoy it.”
The cantata contains eight selections ranging from familiar carols like “O Come All Ye Faithful” and “O Holy Night” to new songs like “Bethlehem Promise, Bethlehem Joy” and “The Wonder of Christmas.”
“I’ve enjoyed working on this cantata,” said Kate Panning, a member of the choir. “Some of the words and melodies are simple yet they profoundly convey this important message. This is a great selection for our choir.”
The concert is sponsored by the Marshall County Arts Cooperative. “We’re thrilled that the community choir continues to add to our county’s artistic offerings,” said Wayne Kruse, the arts cooperative’s executive director. “The community choir has become a hallmark of our community’s Christmas celebration. Every year we get to enjoy a beautiful concert to help put us in the holiday spirit. What a great gift.”
For more information, contact Circle (785-562-3668) or Kruse (785-562-5629).