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“Messiah” Performance Approaches; Community Choir Prepares for Concert

Members of the Marshall County Community Choir are getting a crash course in Baroque music as they prepare for their upcoming concert of George Frideric Handel’s “Messiah.” The concert will be presented in the Marysville High School auditorium on Saturday, April 12, at 7:00 p.m. and Sunday, April 13, at 3:00 p.m.

The concert is a joint venture between the community choir, the Marshall County Arts Cooperative, and K-State’s Division of Choral Music. Dr. Julie Yu, co-director of choral activities at K-State, serves as the performance conductor and Maybelle Circle, president of the community choir, serves as the rehearsal conductor.

“We’re blessed because we have two conductors leading us,” said Mandy Cook, a choir member. “Each conductor brings her skill set to rehearsals and we learn from each of them.

One of the things I’ve enjoyed most about working with Dr. Yu is the opportunity to refresh my music history. During rehearsals she shares some background information with us – it really helps contextualize the piece. Rehearsals have been fun, but also highly educational.”

Handel was a Baroque composer famous for his operas, oratorios, anthems and organ concertos. He was born in Germany, studied music in Italy, and composed in England. Handel composed during the Baroque period which was from 1600 until 1750. “Messiah” is Handel’s best-known work with performances particularly popular during the Advent season.

“The piece is divided into three sections,” explained Circle. “We’re doing selections from the second and third parts which are associated with the Easter season.”

The three-part structure of the work is similar to Handel’s three-act operas. Part one focuses on the Messiah’s coming and the birth of Jesus. Parts two and three cover Christ’s death, resurrection, and ascension.

“Some of the most famous selections are found in the parts that we’re performing,” Circle added. “Between the choir and the four soloists I’m sure the audience will enjoy the concert.”

“Surely He Hath Borne Our Griefs,” “Hallelujah!,” “I Know That My Redeemer Liveth,” and “The Trumpet Shall Sound” are some of the selections that the choir will perform.

A small chamber orchestra composed of musicians from K-State will accompany the orchestra.

The concert is free to the public.

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