Choral arts to perform 'Messiah'

November 29, 2007|By HARRY NOGLE

Now in its 15th concert season, Hagerstown Choral Arts will perform selections of George Frideric Handel's "Messiah" on Saturday afternoon at The Maryland Theatre.

"Messiah" is among the most popular works in Western choral literature. The well-known chorus, "Hallelujah," is part of the work.

"We chose 'Messiah' because it is one of our best-loved concerts," said Greg Shook, music and artistic director for Hagerstown Choral Arts. "We performed it once before, about eight or nine years ago."

A chamber orchestra of strings, two oboes and two trumpets will join the choral group for the performance. Choral Arts accompanist Dan Miller will play the harpsichord.

Following auditions, eight members of Choral Arts were chosen to perform solos: Jeff Clise, Bob Crawford, Ryan Herbst, Gail Farmer, Judy Louiseau-Myers, Susan McKenzie, Joe Mix and Greg Starliper.


"The Choral Arts usually performs in churches so that we can use church organs," Shook said.

The chorus has performed with the Maryland Symphony Orchestra in The Maryland Theatre, but this will be the chorus' first solo concert at the theater, Shook said.

North Hagerstown High School's Madrigal Choir, under the direction of Curt Shetler, will perform a preconcert program at 3:45 p.m. The choir will perform a set of carols that were written by minister Alfred Burt as carols for Christmas cards, Shook said. Burt's son, Bates Burt, wrote the music.

Some members of the North High choir also will perform with Hagerstown Choral Arts.

The Mannheim Steamroller's arrangement of "Silent Night" will be performed by Hagerstown native Jeff Thurston on violin and Shook on piano.

The featured composition will be "Messiah."

Based on scriptures from the Old and New Testaments, "Messiah" has three parts that revolve around the birth, death and resurrection of Christ, Shook said.

The chorus will perform Part I ? the Christmas portion ? and the "Hallelujah" chorus from Part II - about Jesus' death, Shook said.

- Staff Writer Julie E. Greene contributed to this story

If you go ...

WHAT: Hagerstown Choral Arts performs selections of "Messiah"

WHEN: 3:45 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 1. Doors open at 3 p.m.

WHERE: The Maryland Theatre, 21 S. Potomac St., downtown Hagerstown

COST: $18 and $22

MORE: Tickets are available online at or by calling The Maryland Theatre box office at 301-790-2000 or at the theater's box office, 27 S. Potomac St., from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. weekdays and an hour before performances.

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