Messiah by Handel
On Sunday the Christ Church Chanel Choir and some of the youth choir will sing excerpts from Messiah by Handel. This will be the entire church service. The first service is 9:30 AM and 11:15 AM Sunday December 23.
Here is some information about Messiah. Handel used it as a fund raiser which most contemporary choirs do now. Here is a link to the story about how Handel used it as a fund raiser. It aired on the PBS nightly news in 2009 and I thought it was worth repeating. http://www.pbs.org/newshour/bb/business/july-dec09/composer_12-23.html
During our rehearsal of Messiah Mark Miller our choir director told us how important this piece was. It is based on the King James version of the Bible which means it does not use inclusive language. But it was written in English. He said that remember when we sing it, there may be people in the congregation who have never heard Messiah. I could not believe this since I practically grew up singing Messiah because I have sung it in several choirs and in the Christ Church choir many times.
I asked my voice teacher Martha Elliott about that and she said remember that classical music is her blood and my blood but there are many people for whom this is not true. I thought about that and now know it is true. Because as I listen to contemporary music on the radio or TV I do not recognize the music or the singers. I turned on the concert that was broadcast on 12/12/12 and heard the first act. I did not realize that the singer was Bruce Springsteen until it was point out to me. Having said that this means that it is very important that our choir give a good performance of Messiah. But not just for the music, but for the words as well.
Speaking of singing, my teacher is the author of a book "Singing in Style". I looked in the book to see what she says about Messiah. She says " One of best known works of Baroque vocal music, Handel's Messiah has be performed virtually every year since its first performance in Dublin in April 1742."
Handel rewrote the music for difference voice parts pending on the singers which he had available at the time so many of the solos are written for different voice parts in different keys. ( I am currently learning something usually sung by the base) The size of the orchestra varies as well as the size of the chorus. Because of this since the her book is for vocal soloists, she advises those singing Messiah to essentialy go with the flow and sing the style that the conductor or other singers are singing.
Messiah is still a fundraiser. This season The Masterwork Chorus is singing it's 250th Messiah in Carnegie Hall on December 24. The New York Philharmonic is doing a series of Messiah's as is the New York Choral Society. Princeton Pro Musica of New Jersey sponsored a Messiah in New Jersey and the Princeton Amature Singers read through the piece last Sunday. There are also Messiah sings where people bring their music and join the chorus.
Messiah was originally sung at Easter but now it is mostly sung at Christmastime.
So we hope that you will come and hear us sing Sunday December 23 as a way to start the Christmas Season.
Christ Summit New Jersey
461 Springfield Ave.
Summit, New Jersey.
Incidentally the title is not The Messiah, the title is Messiah.