DHS choral groups, ensemble team up to perform part of Handel’s ‘Messiah’

By From page A9 | December 11, 2013

Check it out

What: “Messiah” Part One by Davis High School choral groups and Baroque Ensemble

When: 7:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday, Dec. 20-21

Where: St. James Catholic Church, 1275 B St.

Tickets: $20 for adults, $10 for students, available at Watermelon Music, 207 E St.

Three choral groups from Davis High — the Concert Choir, the Advanced Treble Choir and the Madrigals — will team up with the DHS Baroque Ensemble for a big project: two performances of Part One from the famous G.F. Handel oratorio “Messiah” at 7:30 p.m. Friday, Dec. 20, and Saturday, Dec. 21, at St. James Church, 1275 B St. in Davis.

Part One of “Messiah” is the portion of the oratorio that describes the birth of Christ. The program also will include the “Hallelujah” chorus (which concludes Part Two, and is probably the most famous single section of the oratorio). The Baroque Ensemble, which plays on period instruments, also will perform a well-known concerto grosso (Op. 6., No. 8) by Arcangelo Corelli, nicknamed the “Christmas Concerto” because of the composer’s inscription “‘Fatto per la Notte di Natale” (“Made for the Night of Christmas”). There also may be a few more brief choral selections as well.

The guest vocalists are all former members of the Madrigals, who have gone on to study voice at the university or conservatory level, including Clarissa Lyons, Megan Buchanan, Brad Soler, Evan Pretzlaff and Lisa Parente (who sang with both the Advanced Treble Choir and the Madrigals).

These special concerts have been in planning for many months. Angelo Moreno, the teacher who conducts the Baroque Ensemble, told The Enterprise that “When Karen Gardias (the teacher who leads the three choral groups) and I sat down a year ago and discussed the possibilities of putting together a production of this magnitude so early on in the school year, we were excited and apprehensive. But we knew our students would be up for the challenge, and sure enough they jumped in head first from the first day of school, and have been enjoying exploring Handel’s masterpiece on a daily basis.”

Moreno added, “These concerts will be a culmination of a semester’s worth of hard work by our choir and Baroque Ensemble students. ‘Messiah’ is the sort of piece that takes a lot of teamwork, training and commitment from all musicians involved, and I believe once it all comes together it is going to be a remarkable accomplishment for these young Davis High music students, and a memorable experience for all. How fortunate we are to be in a community and school district where this sort of musical collaboration is possible at the high school level.”

Gardias added: “My choir students and I are thrilled to work on such incredible music alongside the orchestra, an opportunity that does not come around very often for us. This is our first time putting this together and we are all very excited to include so many students. It is also quite endearing to have our alumni soloists coming back to perform.”

Tickets are $20 for adults, $10 for students and are available in advance at Watermelon Music, 207 E St. in Davis.

Jeff Hudson

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