Sunday, April 14th, marks the date for Bear Lake Valley’s 9th annual “Musical Celebration of Easter.” This event begins at 6:00 p.m. and will be held in the Montpelier tabernacle, across the street from the Bear Lake Middle School.

This year’s production will feature George Fredrick Handel’s timeless masterpiece, “The Messiah.” People of all faiths from throughout the area are invited to gather together to enjoy the message and the music of one of the world’s greatest composers, as well as to set the stage for the upcoming Easter weekend.

Sponsored by the Montpelier, Idaho Stake of The Church Of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, this annual celebration is a non-denominational endeavor that brings together Christians of all faiths, from all walks of life, and from all parts of the Bear Lake Valley and surrounding areas.

Preparations for this particular presentation have been underway for the past year, even though rehearsals didn’t begin in earnest until the first week in January. Singers from Garden City to Georgetown and from Geneva to Liberty have gathered to form an eighty-three voice choir to share their talents and to make this Easter season an unforgettable experience.

In addition to the choir, whose preparations have under the direction of Neil and Shirley Harris, the accompaniment will be provided by a thirty piece orchestra directed by Conrad Dunn, concert master for the Cache Valley symphony orchestra. The instrumentalists will be comprised of members of The Northern Utah Youth Symphony, along with several musicians from the BYU-Idaho orchestra, as well as several local musicians.

This year’s program will feature a number of outstanding vocal soloists, including, Anya Anthony, Kaulene Bomsta, Jared Famer, Mark Holmquist, Mark Jacobs, Christine Lake, Lauralee Matua, Terry Parker, Jessie Phelps, Sharon Smith, and Kyle Spuhler.

“Preparing for this musical event, though difficult, has been a wonderful experience this year.” said Harris, the choral director. “We were able to benefit much from the preparations we had done when presenting the ‘Messiah’ two years ago. Still, this is such a huge undertaking, it could never have come about without the accompaniment skills of my wife, Shirley, as well as help from Shaun Tobler, the committee chairman, and numerous others who have stepped up to the plate to help carry the ball.”

“The Messiah,” which is traditionally performed during the Christmas season, was originally written by Handel as an Easter tribute to celebrate the resurrection of the Savior.

During the course of the evening, the audience will be treated to a number of “Messiah” favorites, as well as several selections that were not performed two years ago.

The evening will end with a rousing “sing along” of the beloved “Hallelujah” Chorus, in which the audience is invited to participate. (Music will be provided.)

Please mark your calendar and plan now to attend this rare and unique opportunity to hear a live orchestra and chorus performing “The Messiah.”