The St. James Choral Group from Kansas, Ohio, is on the road again, presenting "His Last Days." This is the group's 24th year of commemorating Lent by performing this Easter musical.
Written by Dallas Holmes in 1979, the drama follows events from Jesus' last days on earth. From his triumphant entry into Jerusalem, the agony in the garden, the crucifixion and his resurrection, "His Last Days" lets the audience walk with Jesus on his final journey.
What started in 1989 as a Good Friday service at the performers' parish has branched out across northwest Ohio and into Michigan. The first year began with four performances in three locations. The schedule usually ranges from 5-12 performances.
In the past 23 years, the group has presented "His Last Days" 190 times to audiences of more than 39,500 and traveling more than 9,700 miles. The troupe has traveled as far east as Vermilion, west to Paulding, south to Lima and north to Troy, Mich.
A total of 144 individuals have been involved in the musical group. This year's company includes 38 members from several churches and communities. Five have been members since its inception.
The principal cast members are Bill Daunhauer as Jesus and Adam Daunhauer as Pilate; Peter, the Adulterous Woman, Mary and the centurions are portrayed by various choir members.
The narration is done by Jim Hull.
The 2012 choir is comprised of Helen Bateson, Theresa Chaney, Duane Copsey, Amanda Daunhauer, Bill Daunhauer, Helen Durst, Kelly Elchert, Abby Hammett, Kelsey Hammett, Dave Hawk, Kim Johnson, Steve Johnson, Angie McGinnis, Eva McGinnis, Mark McGinnis, Hannah Miller, Jerome Miller, Laura Miller, Rachel Miller, Mary Rellinger, Elaine Roush, Ed Row, Judy Row, Sue Schwab, Bob Smith, Nancy Smith, Janet Straub, Marilyn Stump, Paul Wasserman and Ann Zoeller.
Ginny Hull, director, oversees all aspects of the musical from the choir and lighting to the technical crew. The technical assistants include Adam Daunhauer, David Daunhauer, Shawn McGrain, Kelsey Johnson, Morgan Johnson, Abbey Strausbaugh and Jim Hull.
This is an ecumenical program that can be enjoyed by adults and children of all ages. The musical lasts about 45 minutes and is accompanied by slides visually retelling "His Last Days."
All performances are free. Donations are accepted, and money in excess of expenses are to be given to a charity.