Community holiday event returns Sunday

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Community holiday event returns Sunday

By Mike Van Sickle    

    The 72nd Community Chorus' performance of Handel's “The Messiah” returns to West Union United Methodist Church on Sunday, Dec. 15. The longtime community production is scheduled to begin at 7 p.m.
    Marie Wood founded the local performance of “The Messiah” in 1942. She shared the director's duties with Mrs. G.W. Ukena in the '50s. Tom Canfield directed the chorus for 14 years, while Leslie Poppen also served as a past director. For nearly three decades, Douglas Poppen has directed the performance.
    “The Messiah” has been performed in West Union each year since its inception, except for 1943, when it was cancelled due to World War II. The choir's members come from communities throughout northeast Iowa, creating a wonderful choral blend for the “Halleluiah Chorus” and other favorites.
     For the 18th year, the West Union Community Chorus will be accompanied by organist Linda Johansen. In addition, Leslie Poppen has accompanied the local chorus on the piano and harpsichord for the past 13 years.
    The orchestra also includes instrumentalists Ted Schacherer, trumpet; Jeremy Maas, violin I, Ben Henson, violin II, Isak Swanson, viola; Peter Swanson, cello; Hanna Moser, timpani.    
    Meanwhile, the 2013 Chorus includes the following:
    Virginia Bartenhagen, Jennifer Bauer, Jan Bear, Noelle Berst, Marolyn Bostrom, Barbara Bowers, Kate Campbell, Leanne Cline, Bonnie Fisher, Brenda Howard, Linda Hughes, Lynn Isvik, Carol Jensen, Connie Lyle, Krista Moellers, Shirley Rowland, Robin Stoessel, Julie Weidemann, Barbara Wohlers.
    Austin Bauer, Don Berg, Joshua Bicknese, Wayne Bicknese, John E. Block, Gary Bostrom, Chris Ebbers, Tim Fisher, Benjamin Friedrich, Rolly Hackman, David Hanson, Rick Hofmeyer, Greg James, Darin Johnston, Craig A. Moss, Doug Nalean-Carlson, Sam Poppen, Frank Reyner, Matt Skurdal, Nick Skurdal.
    Carla Berst, Emily Bicknese, Karla Bicknese, Alyssa Cobie-Nuss, Regina Downing, Stephanie Dunwoody, DeLyte Ebbers, Gabrielle Hemesath, Jessica Hyde, Gabrielle Johnston, Melissa Johnston, Kay Kuhn, Mallory Marlatt, Deb Matt, Kerrin Meitner, Samantha Ohlson, Ana Olson-Johnson, Carrie Pont, Kimberly Pont, Leslie Poppen, Marie Reyner, Peggy Schwake, Kassie Stansbery.
    Stephen Bartenhagen, Gaylord Converse, Norman Friedrich, Jacob Guenther, Keith Kreun, Phillip Olson, Galen Smith, Isaiah Stansbery, Leslie White, Clark Whitford.
A time for fellowship
    The public is cordially invited to join the chorus and orchestra for fellowship and refreshments following the program. A basket for a freewill offering will be located in the church narthex. All proceeds are used toward continuing the annual community event.

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