STAPLES -- When central Minnesota singers and instrumentalists present Handel's "Messiah" on Saturday and Sunday at Centennial Auditorium in Staples, it will be a meaningful occasion for tenor soloist Steve Hoemberg.
Hoemberg, who is finishing his music degree at St. John's University this month, is a Staples Motley High School graduate. The son of Steven and Margo Hoemberg of Staples, he will teach music at his high school alma mater, starting Jan. 3 as director of choral activities at Staples Motley High School.
This concert will mark Hoemberg's first involvement with his students, as he performs as the tenor soloist and sings beside them on the chorus numbers. Hoemberg will sing under the baton of his high school choir director, Stan Carlson.
When the choral position opened last spring the school district conducted an extensive search and interview process. Each candidate was interviewed and worked with members of the high school's A Cappella Choir, both on music they knew and on material they prepared and taught to the class.
Though Hoemberg was the committee's top choice, the position needed to be filled at the start of the school year and Hoemberg was not available until January.
The committee asked Stan Carlson, who retired from the position in 1999 after 34 years, if he would be the interim director.
"I was thrilled to be able to help out," said Carlson. "Steve Hoemberg will be a first class teacher, and I think Staples Motley is fortunate to land him."
Handel's "Messiah," which features some of the best-loved classical Christmas music of all time, will be performed at 7:30 p.m. Saturday and 2:30 p.m. Sunday at Centennial Auditorium in Staples. The concert will be a collaboration between the Staples Area Men's Chorus and Women's Chorus, the Staples Motley High School A Cappella Choir, Senior High Orchestra and community instrumentalists. Besides community instrumentalists, the orchestra will include members of the Fargo Moorhead Symphony, St. Cloud Symphony and Bemidji State University music faculty.
For ticket information call the Centennial Auditorium Box Office at (218) 894-5416 or 800-213-6877.
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