North Thompson Community Chorus (combined from Clearwater and Barriere Community Choirs) will include two selections from Handel’s Messiah in its upcoming Christmas Through the Ages performances, according to choir director Leah Jones.
“The selections will be in preparation for a full Christmas Messiah for December 2014!” she said.
Messiah, an oratorio composed in 1741 by George Frederic Handel, has become one of the best-known and most frequently performed choral works in Western music.
Messiah burst onto the stage of Musick Hall in Dublin on April 13, 1742. The audience swelled to a record 700, as ladies had heeded pleas by management to wear dresses “without hoops” in order to make room for more company.
The men and women in attendance sat mesmerized from the moment the tenor began followed by soloists alternating with wave upon wave of chorus, until, near the midway point, the audience jumped to its feet for the famous Hallelujah Chorus.
Now, of course, Messiah is a fixture of the Christmas season.
For many amateur choirs, the work is the heart of their repertoire and the high point of the year. In most of Handel’s oratorios, the soloists dominate and the choir sings only brief choruses. But in Messiah, says Laurence Cummings, director of the London Handel Orchestra, “The chorus propels the work forward with great emotional impact and uplifting messages.”
Practices for this season will begin Tuesday, Oct. 8, in Clearwater and Thursday, Oct. 10, in Barriere. Contact Leah Jones at 250-957-8440 or firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.