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Choraliers prepping for Easter and beyond


There are exciting things in store for a local group, but first there's business to take care of.

Diane Maxey is preparing for her annual Easter Cantata, and the window of opportunity for those who are interested in taking part is narrow this year.

“Here's my situation: I have, already, 51 people, usually I have 35 for Easter, so a lot of my choir is back,” Maxey explained.

“I'm only ordering my 58 books and I'm not going farther than that right now because I don't want to have ones left over.”

With so many of her regulars returning to take part in the Easter Cantata, Maxey stressed that new participants are still welcome to attend, but they must contact her as soon as possible.

“If anyone wants to join, they have to audition of course, there is an audition process,” she explained.

“And they have to get in touch with me or there won't be a book. It's only going to be until the end of the week that anybody will be able to contact me. They should phone me by Friday so that I can order a book and a disc and then they will have it.”

The dates for the Cantata this year have already been set, and Maxey said that the choir will be hard at work over the next few weeks getting everything ready to go.

“So it's the week before Easter and the week after Easter,” Maxey said.

“The dates are going to be April 5 at New Beginnings Fellowship at 3 p.m., and April 19 at Zion Lutheran Church across the river in International Falls at 3 p.m.”

Even as the Easter Cantata is more than a month out, there's plenty for the choir to look forward to towards the end of the year thanks to an exciting new opportunity here in the Borderland.

“We are going to be the 2020 Christmas Concert for Backus this year,” Maxey said. The Backus Community Concert series regularly features a Christmas Concert, and Maxey said the opportunity is huge for the choir.

“This is a huge privilege, and it's going to be broadcast on YouTube and all that kind of stuff too,” she said.

“Hopefully this will lead to some pretty special things for us.”

Maxey is a sitting member of the Backus board, but she said that it was a new addition to their board that made the decision to feature the choir next Christmas.

“One of the people on the board heard us sing for the very first time, and she said 'you guys have got to be the Christmas concert,'” she recalled.

“That was pretty exciting, so we're hoping that people will keep that in mind.”

Christmas is close to the last thing on anyone's minds at the end of February, but Maxey noted the date for the concert is already set, so people should mark off Dec. 11, 2020 in order to remember to be at the Backus theatre.

“It's all very exciting news,” she said.

“I have probably up to about 80 people in the choir. I would love to get to 100 singers, that would just blow their minds.”

More details will become available as the year goes on, but Maxey said that single tickets will be available for the show, or people can purchase the season pass to attend all of the great offerings from the Backus concert series.

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