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Evangel music professor leads concerts in Mongolia

Published on Sep 27, 2018 by Evangel University News

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. — Evangel University music professor, Dr. Larry Dissmore, traveled to Mongolia to conduct a series of three international concerts July 18- 29, 2018. The performances were part of the two-week Harmony Tour sponsored by Messiah Project, Inc.

Performers included the National Army Orchestra of Mongolia; 14 dancers from Ballet Excelsior of Houston, Texas; the Korean Christian Women’s Chorus; the Mongolian Evangelical Men’s Chorus; and three vocal soloists from Springfield.

The Korean Christian Women’s Chorus and the Mongolian Evangelical Men’s Chorus were featured during the Messiah Project tour of Mongolia. Lindsey Robison, president of Messiah Project, Inc., sang with them (top center). // (CLICK TO ENLARGE)

The soloists included tenor Todd Link, a 2002 Evangel graduate and GM/owner of CPO-Redeemed Books; mezzo-soprano Heather Nelson, minister of music at First Baptist Church, Republic, Missouri; and baritone, Lindsey Robison, president and director of Messiah Project, Inc.

In addition, 1980 Evangel graduate and violinist, Marva Rasmussen of Cincinnati, Ohio, performed with the Mongolian Army Orchestra. Her husband and 1979 EU graduate Gary Rasmussen, provided the sound technician skills for the tour.

Dr. Larry Dissmore has served as professor of strings and director of orchestral activities at Evangel University since 1988. In addition, he has performed regionally with the Excelsis Trio for more than 20 years, and he currently serves as the principal second violinist with the Springfield Symphony.

“The Mongolians are a welcoming and hospitable people,” said Dr. Dissmore.In spite of the language differences among us, we all were able to develop a cordial musical and spiritual rapport with all involved. The performers—dancers, soloists and chorus—all performed at a high artistic level.”  (See video.)

The program

Each program on the Harmony Tour began with a 30-minute concert of traditional Mongolian music performed with the National Army Orchestra.

The united international performers then presented the feature work, Saviour—a modern oratorio written by Bob Farrell and Greg Nelson. The concerts were presented in three theatres in Mongolia’s capital city, Ulaanbaatar and in the northern city of Darkhan.

After crossing 13 time zones during nearly 24 hours of travel, the American performers arrived in Ulaanbaatar in the early morning hours of Friday, July 20.  Rehearsals were held throughout the day on Saturday, July 21 with dress rehearsals on Sunday.

The Ballet Excelsior team pose with some of the tour principles including, Professor Larry Dissmore from Evangel University, back left; Todd Link, soloist and Evangel graduate, back right; Lindsey Robinson, soloist and president of the Messiah Project (front right); and Heather Nelson, soloist from Republic, Mo. (front left, red hair). // (CLICK TO ENLARGE)

The first performance was given at the Military Academy Theatre to a full house on Sunday evening, July 22.  The group then traveled to the northern Mongolian city of Darkhan for the second performance, which was given on Wed., July 25, before returning to Ulaanbaatar for the final performance in the National Opera House on Sat., July 28.

All performances were presented before full houses. While all three concerts were free to the public, tickets were required to attend.

“It was a complete joy for me to lead this talented group,” said Dr. Larry Dissmore. “The highlight for me was the final performance in the National Opera House. What a magnificent theatre it was; and the performance … the performance was absolutely stunning!”

Ballet Excelsior with guest artist/dancer Richard Bowman joined the Messiah Project tour of Mongolia to present three unique performances of Saviour—a modern oratorio written by Bob Farrell and Greg Nelson. // (CLICK TO ENLARGE)

The Evangelical Alliance of Mongolia worked with Messiah Project to organize “on-the-ground” logistics including concert promotion and translation services.

While in Mongolia, the American performers had opportunity to visit the National Chinggis Kahn memorial, a Buddhist Monastery, and several cultural attractions in Ulaanbaatar.

Prior to returning to the US, the group also spent two days in Beijing.

Evangel music

The Evangel University Department of Music offers a variety of degree programs in music, including music performance, music education, recording technology and worship leadership. The department has been accredited by the National Association of Schools of Music (NASM) since 1970.

For more information, contact the Evangel Music Department at (417) 865-2811, ext. 7212.



Tour highlights

Springfield, Missouri, Tour Participants

  • Larry Dissmore, conductor (Evangel University music professor)
  • Gayle Dissmore, coordinator of narrators/stage manager
  • Todd Link, vocal soloist (Evangel University Class of 2002)
  • Heather Nelson, vocal soloist (minister of music, First Baptist Church, Republic, Missouri)
  • Lindsey Robison, vocal soloist & president of Messiah Project, Inc.
  • Jane Robison, chorus member and communications facilitator

Additional Evangel University Alumni

  • Gary Rasmussen, sound technician (Cincinnati, Ohio, Class of 1979)
  • Marva Rasmussen, violinist (Cincinnati, Ohio, Class of 1980)

Performing Groups

  • Ballet Excelsior with guest artist/dancer Richard Bowman
  • Korean Christian Women’s Chorus
  • Mongolian Evangelical Men’s Chorus
  • Mongolian National Army Orchestra