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A HOLIDAY CELEBRATION ‘A Magical Medora Christmas’ show features music and magic

The Magical Medora Christmas show will be in several communities in this area starting next week. Performances are planned in Ellendale, Jamestown, Carrington and Valley City.

The sounds of the Christmas season are being spread far and wide throughout North and South Dakota, Montana and Minnesota through the music and variety show “A Magical Medora Christmas.”

The show, in its third year, will be performed at 4 p.m. Sunday at Trinity Bible College in Ellendale. The show will be performed at 7:30 p.m. Dec. 7 in DeNault Auditorium in the Reiland Fine Arts Center on the University of Jamestown campus, and at 4 p.m. Dec. 10 at Carrington High School. The variety show’s final stop in the area will be at 7:30 p.m. on Dec. 18 in Vangstad Auditorium on the campus of Valley City State University.

The show features the musical talents of Emily Walter, Job Christenson, Jared Mason, Bill Sorenson and Chad Willow, the longtime bandleader at the Medora musical. Sorenson performs some magic and light-hearted comedy between musical performances. The music in the show is traditional Christmas carols.

Randy Hatzenbuhler, president of the Theodore Roosevelt Medora Foundation, said in a prepared statement that the show will be performed in more venues than in previous years.

Hatzenbuhler said Walter, Sorenson and Mason created the first “A Magical Medora Christmas” show in 2015 to cap the 50th anniversary of the Medora Musical.

“It was quickly obvious that it (the Christmas show) needed to be an annual show,” he said.

All five people have performed on stage at the Burning Hills Amphitheater in Medora as part of the Medora Musical.

Walter said she thought a Christmas show would be a good way to bring the “spirit of Medora” to people outside of the Medora area, even as a Burning Hills singer 25 years ago.

Walter was host of the Medora Musical from 2010 to 2015 and became host of the Medora Gospel Brunch last summer. She was lead vocalist for the U.S. Air Force Strategic Air Command Band while she was in the service and has performed Patsy Cline songs.

Mason was also a Burning Hills Singer and became known for his yodeling ability. He starred on Broadway in 2011 as Jerry Lee Lewis in the Tony Award-winning musical “Million Dollar Quartet.” He spent the last two summers in Medora performing his one-man show “Jared Mason Live.”

Christenson, a Grand Forks native, lives in New York City and is studying for a master’s degree in playwriting. He was described by Curt Wollen, the longtime producer of the Medora Musical, as “one of the finest singers North Dakota has ever produced.”

Willow is new to the Christmas show this year. He is a pianist, singer and banjo player from Minnesota. He is the leader of the Coal Diggers Band that performs during the Medora Musical.

Tickets for all performances may be purchased online at Tickets for the Ellendale show are for sale at Ellendale Banks. Tickets for the Jamestown performance are available at Hugo’s Family Marketplace, 310 1st Ave.S. Carrington tickets are available at CHI St. Alexius Health-Carrington Medical Center. In Valley City, tickets may be purchased at Eagle’s Nest Bookstore & Gifts.

(701) 952-8454

It was quickly obvious that it (the Christmas show) needed to be an annual show.

RANDY HATZENBUHLER, president, Theodore Roosevelt Medora Foundation

Chris Olson

Hometown: Traverse City, MI College: Northwestern Michigan College and Michigan State University

(701) 952-8454