Bowman Community Chorus will kick off the Christmas season this year with its 62nd Christmas Concert, December 6, 2020 at the Bowman Lutheran Church, at 2:30 PM. The cantata performed for this year will be “Angus Dei” featuring songs of Michael W. Smith. This year, Wade Howard will be directing the Chorus. Wade is from Hettinger and this will be the 3rd year he has been involved with the Chorus.
Bowman Community Chorus has a rich and varied history. Joan Thom brought the Bowman Lutheran Choir and the Bowman Methodist Choir together in a Christmas Concert in 1959 and from there a new tradition was formed. She continued to direct the choir through 1968, when it was performed in the Bowman Theatre building. Ron Bowman took over the directing duties that following year. He and his wife, Orpha, have kept the chorus alive and thriving ever since.
Throughout the years, people from all walks of life have come together to enjoy performing in this wonderful musical opportunity. A total of 642 people have sung with the group, throughout the years. Usually, the group is about 50 or so strong, this year we have 26 voices. Parents, children and grandchildren have sung together. Ranchers, farmers, school teachers, business people have all worked together to make a tremendous musical experience and in only 8 or 9 practices, yearly!
In 1984, the Chorus started honoring longtime members with the 25 Year Club and added increments every five years. It is now up to the 50-year level for some. Two members will be moving up to the next level this year.
They are: Barb Bickel moving up to 35 years and Ann Dingfelder will have been with the Chorus 40 years. Quite a number of people have been in the choir or influenced by the choir to go on into a musical career. Kat Perkins, Megan Case, and Derek Still are the three most prominent. The choir has given back to several of these young singers with scholarships aimed at keeping them in the musical field.
Although the focus of the Community Chorus has been on the Christmas Concert performed every first Sunday in December, they have sung for other functions also: The US Bicentennial in 1976, the ND Centennial in 1989, the Bowman 100th in 2007, and several times at the Medora Musical. The Group has produced recordings (vinyl, CDs, and DVDs). Since 1986, the group has been performing their annual Christmas Concert at the Bowman Lutheran Church. Sixty-two years is quite a legacy.
As in the past years, DVDs and CDs of the concert will be produced from the video taken by Barb Bickel and will be available sometime after the concert. Consolidated will again video the concert and it will be on Channel 18 at various times later in December and January. Lyn James from Lasting Visions will again live stream the concert via Facebook on Flowers & Cappuccino by Lasting Visions page. We extend our thanks to Barb, Consolidated, and Lyn for doing this for us.
This has been a trying year for all of us. Regretfully, because of the virus there will be limited seating at this year’s concert. Only 50 or less will be allowed in the sanctuary. Another 35 will be allowed in the fellowship hall of the church where chairs will be set up. So, come early to get your seat.