Director and organizer Jordan Ball will be presenting the Heritage Chorale and Orchestra’s debut performance of Cantata No. 140, Sleepers, Wake by Johann Sebastian Bach at the First United Methodist Church Saturday, March 2. The Sidney Fine Arts Center is sponsoring the formation of the chorale and orchestra.
The church is located at 2622 11th Ave. and the performance will begin at 7:30 p.m.
Tickets for the event are $10 for adults and $5 for students and can be purchased at the Jordan M. Ball Law Office at 1025 10th Ave. Tickets can also be reserved by calling 254-5356 Monday through Friday 8 a.m. to noon and 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. Tickets may be purchased at the door also.
Approximately 30 singers, including handpicked fourth through seventh grade soprano singers, will compose the chorale.
The orchestra is comprised of mostly adults but will also feature four teenage players. It will include 13 string players, two oboes, an English horn and an organ.
Ball is no newcomer to the musical spotlight and has previously presented performances of Messiah, Creation and Mozart Requiem.
“This event is a must see for all music lovers in the community,” said Ball. “You will be amazed at the level of talent of our resident orchestra players and singers.”
Wachet auf, ruft uns die Stimme, BWV 140 (most widely known as Sleepers, Wake) has been called the best known church cantata by Bach. Bach created around 300 cantatas and only 150 still exist after his music was lost over time. He first performed the chorale on Nov. 25, 1731.
The cantata is based upon the biblical text Matthew 25:1-13.
Ball, who served as a choir director before becoming a lawyer, said that he searched hard to find his chorale and orchestra members and that he only expected to find 10 string players.
“We have 16 total instruments and of that 12 are string players. We doubted we could find but maybe 10 string players in the region and we ended up with 12,” said Ball.
“Parents were emailed or sent letters and were asked to call in if their student wanted to perform with us. They were referred by their music teacher and parent based on musical criteria, soprano voice and nice tone,” he said in regards to how the youth choir was assembled.
In addition to the youth choir, two 12-year-olds and two 14-year-olds will play in the orchestra, said Ball, and they will blow audience members away.
“They will raise some eyebrows. I think people will be rather amazed. They will do their part,” he said.
Ball said that this is the first resident orchestra to play in Western Nebraska that he knows of and he is proud to be a part of it.
“We have had contract orchestras perform here in Sidney before but to the best of my knowledge for more years than I have been in Western Nebraska there has never been a Western Nebraska resident orchestra,” he said.
Ball said that the name Heritage Chorale and Orchestra came about from the history behind the sponsors of the event, the Sidney Fine Arts Center.
“The fine arts center is located in a historical building with a very interesting historical past and the name Heritage Chorale was meant to emphasis that we represent the heritage of Sidney.”
First violin players in the orchestra include Sean Anders and Reneé Kollars. Second violin players are Jane Ahlschwede, Vanessa Drewes, Kaela Jelinek, Kara Jelinek and Jeanne Ogden.
Cello players include Phil Found, Kenneth Mars and Conni Shabram-Beach.
Oboe players are Gina Johnson and Sharon Fehringer.
Playing the English horn Saturday night is Heidi Butterfield, playing the viola is Laura Jelinek and playing the organ is Valerie Hoekema.
The youth choir will be comprised of Courtney Fritzler, Jenna Keane, Faith Michelman, Blake Miller, Miquala Purcell, Allison Shelor, Ashlyn Sutton and Alana Thies.
Soprano singers in the Heritage Chorale are Marilynda Longoria, Kathy Merritt, Shirley Oliverius, Rhonda Walker, Katherine Weisbrook and Lea Wiemers.
Alto singers include Patty Ball, Teresa Crowder, Cheryl Hauge, Kelsey Kaitfors, Cathy Mattoon, Deb Severinson, Pam Uhl and Sandra Vallier.
Those participating as tenor singers are Ken Johnson, Jerald Rains, Thomas Webb and Tim Williams.
Bass singers include Eric Alm, Chuck Borcher, Lyle Borcher, Chris Gabis, James Gill, Tom Hyde and Tyler Weisbrook.
“The performance will also include a number of professional performers,” said Ball.
The professional performers include soprano singer Kara Guggenmos, bass singer Keith Miller and tenor singer Tim Williams. Bios on the professionals, as well as director Jordan Ball and soloists Sean Anders and Gina Johnson, will be available in tomorrow’s paper.