We Are Spartans


Singers and instrumentalists perform selections from Handel's "Messiah" and other choral favorites

Posted at 10:37 AM, Nov 20, 2018
and last updated 2018-11-20 10:37:28-05

Michigan State University’s College of Music will bring a beloved holiday tradition to St. Thomas Aquinas Church on Saturday, Dec. 8, at 8 p.m. with a performance of selections from Handel’s Messiah and other festive pieces inspired by Old English carols.


MSU Director of Choral Programs David Rayl will lead more than 130 choristers from the MSU Community Music School’s Choral Union and the College of Music’s University Chorale. The MSU Symphony Orchestra and organist Dr. Hae Won Jang from St. Thomas will accompany the choirs comprised of students and community members. Soloists include six vocal arts students from MSU: Jillian Brennan and Tianxi Wang, sopranos; Megan Magsarili, mezzo-soprano; John Henrikson, tenor; and Peter Boylan and Ben Reisinger, baritones.


“Performing the world’s greatest choral music is a blessing for all of us, but so is presenting these great works in concert and making them accessible to the larger Lansing community,” said Rayl. “I have so much admiration for the dedicated members of the Choral Union, who come to rehearsal every Wednesday evening to make this and other events happen with the MSU choral community.”


Since 2015, this annual holiday performance pays tribute to and extends the 26-year tradition of the Messiahconcert that took place at the College of Music from 1978-2003. This year’s performance will feature the arias and choruses from the “Christmas” portion and the famous “Hallelujah” chorus from Handel’s Messiah.


Rayl said the audience will also enjoy the first movement of Bach’s Christmas Oratorio and two British works from the early 20th century scored for orchestra and organ. Ralph Vaughan William’s Fantasia on Christmas Carols and Gustav Holst’s Christmas Day are based on Old English carols, some of which are from the more formal hymnal tradition, and others from the folk tradition that were sung in the English countryside.


“We’re thrilled to bring joy to our community by performing these great and masterful works,” he said. “Audiences never fail to connect with holiday music, especially Handel’s most famous oratorio.”


This concert is generously sponsored by a donor family with the hope that the audience enjoys the concert and reflects upon its message of Peace and Joy. The concert is part of the MSU Federal Credit Union Showcase Series.


Tickets are $22 for adults, $20 for seniors (age 60 and older), and $12 for students with ID and anyone under 18, and can be purchased at the College of Music Box Office: 517-353-5342 or  musicboxoffice@music.msu.edu. Tickets can also be purchased at the door if available. Seating is general admission.


For more information: https://www.music.msu.edu/event-listing/peace-joy-songs-of-the-season [music.msu.edu]


Source: Press Release