You are the owner of this article.
MMCRU school superintendent directing community choir performance of 'The Messiah'
top story

MMCRU school superintendent directing community choir performance of 'The Messiah'

{{featured_button_text}}
Dan Barkel

A longtime school choir director before he became the Marcus-Meriden-Cleghold-Remsen-Union School District Superintendent, Dan Barkel will conduct an interfaith community choir performance of Handel's "The Messiah," with a Saturday night concert in Remsen, Iowa and a Sunday afternoon concert in Marcus, Iowa.  

MARCUS, Iowa -- Never underestimate the ability of "The Messiah" in bringing communities together.

At least, that's the hope of Marcus-Meriden-Cleghorn-Remsen-Union (MMCRU) School District Superintendent Dan Barkel, who came up with the idea of creating an interfaith community choir to perform George Frideric Handel's classic oratorio.

In 2016, the newly-formed MMCRU school district was formed after the two neighboring districts entered into a whole grade sharing agreement.

"People don't like change and we are always looking for ways to bring everyone together," said Barkel, the district's superintendent since 2018. "The fine arts have a way of bringing people together."

+40 
+40 
Orpheum Vaudeville
+40 
+40 
RKO New Orpheum Theatre
+40 
+40 
1942 playbill
+40 
+40 
Movie theater 1968
+40 
+40 
Orpheum Theatre

Featuring a choir of 40 local singers, in addition to 10 music professionals from as far away as Minneapolis, "The Messiah" will be performed at 7:30 p.m. Saturday at St. Mary's Parish, 121 E. 4th St., Remsen, Iowa; and at 3 p.m. Sunday at Holy Name Catholic Church, 102 N. Elm St., Marcus, Iowa.

Initially, Barkel presented the idea to area church members. Once they came on board and a combined choir was assembled, rehearsals began in early October.

Barkel credited Renea Ogren, a former MMC counselor, for her help in turning the concept into a reality.

"I call Renea the 'impresario' because she got the wheels in motion," he said.

After hearing Barkel's high praise, Ogren let out a chuckle while downplaying her role.

"Dan was a longtime choir director and I also began my career in music," she said. "We both realized how impactful a community performance of 'The Messiah' could be."

This is actually true in more ways than one. 

While admission to "The Messiah" is free, good will donations will be accepted. All proceeds will be donated to food banks at Marcus Community Ministries, Remsen's St. Paul Lutheran Church and Christ Church.

Following an intense, three-hour-long rehearsal on Sunday, Barkel was thinking he had bit off more than he could chew.

That is until he heard how well the community singers sounded alongside the professional musicians.

"Never underestimated the talent you can find in small communities," Barkel said. "We've been blessed by the music and 'The Messiah' will be a true Christmas gift."    

Students from Onawa to Okoboji remember MMCRU Royal student-athlete
0
0
0
0
0

Get local news delivered to your inbox!

* I understand and agree that registration on or use of this site constitutes agreement to its user agreement and privacy policy.

Related to this story

Get up-to-the-minute news sent straight to your device.

Topics

News Alerts

Breaking News