UM Music Department presents Messiah

Published 11:33 pm Saturday, November 15, 2008

MONTEVALLO — The University of Montevallo music department will present Handel’s Messiah in Palmer Hall on the UM campus Monday, Dec. 1, at 7:30 p.m.

The concert will be free and open to the public.

The 100-voice chorus will feature members of the University Concert Choir, University Chorus, University Chamber Singers and the Montevallo Chorale. Soloists are UM faculty members Melanie Williams, Roderick George and Charles Wood, as well as UM alumna Glinda Blackshear, a faculty member at Shelton State Community College in Tuscaloosa. Robert Wright, professor of music and director of choral activities at UM, will conduct the performance.

“It has been a number of years since I conducted the work, so in a very real sense, it is much like becoming reacquainted with an old friend after many years, and I want our students and the community to expect these kinds of projects from us,” Dr. Wright said.

Messiah was composed in London in 1741 and was first performed in Dublin, Ireland, in 1742. It is an oratorio by George Frideric Handel based on a libretto by Charles Jennens. The name of the oratorio is taken from Judaism and Christianity’s concept of the Messiah.

The work is a presentation of Jesus’ life and its significance according to the Christian doctrine.

Messiah remains Handel’s best-known work and is among the most popular works in Western choral literature. It includes the widely known “Hallelujah” chorus.

“Handel’s Messiah has not been performed in Montevallo for many years, and it is such a valuable part of the standard choral repertoire that I felt it was worth exploring,” said Wright.

“We are excited about this collaborative effort, proud of the work of our students and faculty and excited about the prospect of offering this ‘present’ to the community.

For more information, interested persons are welcome to contact the University of Montevallo’s department of music at (205) 665-6670.