(Originally posted on The Sojourn’s website on April 1, 2014)
As finals week approaches, most students are studying and thinking about summer break, but not music students. Since back from spring break, Indiana Wesleyan University’s Chorale, university signers, band, orchestra and members of the women’s chorus are joining the Marion community and performing in an Easter Pageant to celebrate the holiday.
The Marion Easter Pageant has been a Grant County tradition put on by local musicians since 1937 at the Marion Coliseum. According to Dr. Todd Guy, director of IWU’s chorale, its prime was in the 1940’s and 1950’s but the tradition stopped in 2003 when the Coliseum was remodeled into what is now the YMCA.
Along with the music, there will be actors interpreting what the choirs are singing.
“It is about Christ’s time during the Passion week,” Guy said. “There are people acting it out while the choirs are depicting what is happening.”
Guy said there are 25 pieces the choirs, band and actors are performing and are introducing 12 new pieces this year.
“The music has always changed, but it has not changed much in the 15 years,” Guy said. “We are trying to contextualize in the modern day culture so this generation will recognize some of the songs.”
Chorale member Jenna Truty (sr) participated in the pageant when it came back two years ago after the nine-year break. She said she thinks this will get viewers to look at the death and resurrection of Christ in a whole new light.
“It is nothing that I have ever seen before. It is one thing to know the story of Jesus through church, but it is another thing to witness His whole life right in front of you,” Truty said. “You can feel the pain of his death and you get to join in the gladness of his Resurrection.”
Students may feel they do not have time to go and see this performance at the YMCA April 15, but chorale member Mari Wilkinson (jr) said it’s worth putting aside time to see.
“We are in the season of Lent right now, and we can keep our focus on Christ through this,” Wilkinson says. “If they can come out and see this that is good to support the community and you are going to need a study break.”
Tickets are free but need to be picked up at the box office in the Phillippe Performing Arts Center as there is limited space in Marion’s YMCA gymnasium.