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Nov. 5 - Hastings College presents A Christmas Card to the Community
Hastings College will present A Christmas Card to the Community Friday, Dec. 4 through Sunday, Dec. 6. The celebration begins with performances of the Christmas opera “Amahl and the Night Visitors” at 7:30 p.m., Friday, Dec. 4 and at 2:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m., Saturday, Dec. 5. The weekend concludes with “Winter Winds,” a concert by the Hastings College Symphonic Band and Wind Ensemble, at 3 p.m., Sunday, Dec. 6. All performances will be held at the Masonic Center in Hastings.
Tickets for “Amahl and the Night Visitors” are $5 for all ages and required for admittance. Ticket sales begin Monday, Nov. 9 and may be purchased at several locations in Hastings, including Five Points Bank, Heritage Bank, Wells Fargo Bank, Hastings State Bank, Good Samaritan Society, Stamps & More, Hastings College Department of Music and the Masonic Center. Tickets are also available to purchase at the Heritage Bank in Grand Island. No admission is required for the Sunday band concert. For more information about ticket sales, please call the Hastings College Dept. of Music (402-461-7448).
Gian-Carlo Menotti’s one-act opera “Amahl and the Night Visitors” retells the heart-warming and unique story of crippled Amahl and his impoverished mother when they are visited by three surprise guests carrying expensive gifts for the newborn Child. The arrival of the three Magi is a time for celebration in the village, and all the shepherds and villagers must dance for the newly arrived royalty. While Amahl longs for a gift to give the newborn King, the wealth of the kings is too great a temptation for his poor mother. His mother eventually returns her stolen treasure, and Amahl gives a gift of his own and is rewarded for his great generosity.
Weekend performances will showcase multiple Hastings College ensembles. The Hastings College Bell Choir will provide preludes for each opera performance, and members of the Hastings College Choir will perform as soloists, chorus members and dancers accompanied by featured instrumentalists. The Hastings College Symphonic Band and Wind Ensemble will also perform.
Dr. Charles Smith, professor of music at Hastings College, is directing the production, and Dr. Robin Koozer, professor of music and chair of the department at Hastings College, is producing. The Hastings College Bell Choir is directed by professor of music, Dr. Byron Jensen, and the Hastings College Choir is directed by professor of music, Dr. Fritz Mountford. The Hastings College Band is directed by assistant professor of music and director of bands, Dr. Daniel Laing.
Cast, crew and orchestra members are listed below, followed by their hometowns.
Mother - Amanda Gasal, Sutton, Neb.
Amahl - Jessica Thompson, Pine, Colo.
Amahl - Ross Thomason, Plattsmouth, Neb.
King Kaspar - Dustin Kerr, Ayr, Neb.
King Melchior - Dillon Beede, Mitchell, Neb.
King Balthazar - Zach Maurer, Hastings, Neb.
Page 1 - Tom Lesiak, Cedar Bluffs, Neb.
Page 2 - Ross Whiston, Lincoln, Neb.
Page 3 - Devin Burch, Hastings, Neb.
Shepherds and villagers - Hastings College Choir
Director – Dr. Charles Smith
Producer – Dr. Robin Koozer
Choreographer – Kayla Olsen, Lincoln, Neb.
Costume Coordinator – Anna Kippley, Papillion, Neb.
Rehearsal Pianist – Ruth Moore
Publicity – Jayne Irvine, Cairo, Neb., and Tom Lesiak, Cedar Bluffs, Neb.
Piano – Hannah Jorgenson, Fairfield, Neb.
Oboe – Nate Mertens, Waverly, Neb.
Cello – Kara McIntire, Westminster, Colo.
Bassoon – Jennifer Martindale, Maxwell, Neb.
Flute – Deann Duncan, Sterling, Colo.
Hastings College students and faculty have been making music since the beginnings of the College in 1882. The Music Department has established an enviable reputation throughout the Midwest for its quality programs, dedicated faculty and talented students.
Hastings College, founded in 1882, is a private, four-year liberal arts institution affiliated with the Presbyterian Church (USA). A total of 64 majors in 32 areas of study and 12 pre-professional programs are offered to more than 1,150 students. Hastings College was named 75th Best Value College in the nation and #1 in Nebraska by Forbes.com and the Center for College Affordability and Productivity. It was named a 2010 “Best in the Midwest” by The Princeton Review and rated a “Best Buy in College Education” by Barron’s.