Accompanied by a 10-piece chamber ensemble, the 80-voice North Country Chorus will sing Handel’s oratorio “Messiah” in its 72nd annual Christmas concert. Under the direction of Alan Rowe, the concert will be on Friday, Dec. 6, in South Church Hall on the campus of St. Johnsbury Academy at 7 p.m.; on Saturday, Dec. 7 in the Haverhill (N.H.) Congregational Church at 4 p.m.; and on Sunday, Dec. 8, in the Peacham Congregational Church at 3 p.m.
“Messiah” was composed in 1741 by George F. Handel. The English scriptural text, compiled by Charles Jennens from the King James Bible, begins with Messianic prophecies by Isaiah and others, and moves through the Nativity, the Passion, Resurrection, and Christ’s glorification in heaven. After an initially modest public reception, the oratorio gained in popularity, eventually becoming one of the best-known and most frequently performed choral works in Western music. It is among the most anticipated classical works in the North Country Chorus repertoire.
Primary soloists in this performance will be Julie Drown, Maria Lamson, Andrew Lidrestri, Gary Moreau, and Lucas Weiss. Several solos will be sung by chorus members Dakota Butterfield, Jenny Hastings, Janis Raye, and Katie Tandy.
Audience members who are familiar with the work will be invited to join in singing the “Hallelujah” chorus.
Tickets are available in advance at Catamount Arts or purchase at the door. Students are admitted at no charge. Additional information is at NorthCountryChorus.org.
Performing mostly classical works since 1947, the North Country Chorus is a mix of trained musicians, church choir members, music teachers, former school or college chorus members, and community music lovers, ranging from teens to retirees. They gather for weekly rehearsals in St. Johnsbury Academy’s Morse Center for the Arts.