Join the First Presbyterian Church Festival Choir to sing Handel’s masterpiece Messiah in its entirety over the 2018–19 calendar year.
Since only a few years after its first performance in 1742, Messiah has been unmatched in its popularity and prominence among choral works. Although nearly all choral singers have sung parts of Messiah, very few have sung the piece in its entirety – and fewer still have done so in its liturgical context.
Messiah was conceived as a concert work, and not a liturgical one. The libretto by Charles Jennens uses primarily prophetic, Old-testament texts to tell the story of the prophecy, incarnation, sacrifice, and final overthrow of Death of the Messiah. The work is organized in three parts, each divided into several scenes. Over the calendar year from December 2018 through November 2019, the Festival Choir and Orchestra will divide this masterpiece into four parts in order to place each into its appropriate liturgical season and context.
Part One, titled “The prophecy and realization of God’s plan to redeem mankind by the coming of the Messiah,” will be sung during our morning worship services on Sunday, December 23, 2018.
The first half of Part Two, “The accomplishment of redemption by the sacrifice of Christ,” will be presented during morning worship on Palm Sunday, April 14, 2019. Incidentally, April 14 will also be the 260th anniversary of Handel’s death.
The conclusion of Part Two, “Mankind’s rejection of God’s offer and man’s utter defeat when trying to oppose the power of the Almighty,” will be sung in a special presentation following the morning service on Pentecost, June 9, 2019.
Part Three, “A Hymn of thanksgiving for the final overthrow of Death,” will be presented during morning worship on Christ the King Sunday, November 24, 2019.
Not just worship, but education as well
In addition to the musical presentation, there will be educational opportunities associated with each of these events. Our Adult Faith Formation committee will present classes taught by Steven Hall of the University of Chicago, and Dr. Tom Tropp, Director of Music and Arts at First Presbyterian, in the week preceding each musical event.
Please join us for this exciting and unique opportunity
There are many singers at our church and others that are unable to commit to membership in the Sanctuary Choir. If you are one of these, would you consider joining us for one or all of these events? Details regarding rehearsals and commitment have been included on the back side of this flyer.
Would you like to participate?
Most of the rehearsals for this special offering will be during the first hour of our weekly Sanctuary Choir rehearsals, Thursdays from 7:00 to 8:00 p.m. Each segment will also have a Saturday morning “Boot Camp” at the beginning and a Saturday morning orchestral rehearsal at the end.
For participation in each section, singers should plan to attend as many rehearsals as possible, certainly missing no more than one Thursday evening.
Part One: December 23, 2018
Saturday, November 10, Messiah Boot Camp 9:30 a.m.–12:00 noon
Thursday evenings, November 15, 29; December 6, 13, 20 7:00–8:00 p.m.
Saturday, December 22 , Orchestra rehearsal 9:30 a.m.–12:00 noon
Part Two (First half): April 14, 2019
Saturday, March 9, Messiah Boot Camp 9:30 a.m.–12:00 noon
Thursday evenings, March 14, 21, 28; April 4, 11 7:00–8:00 p.m.
Saturday, April 13, Orchestra rehearsal 9:30 a.m.–12:00 noon
Part Two (conclusion): June 9, 2019
Saturday, May 11, Messiah Boot Camp 9:30 a.m.–12:00 noon
Thursday evenings, May 16, 23, 30; June 6 7:00–8:00 p.m.
Saturday, June 8, Orchestra rehearsal 9:30 a.m.–12:00 noon
Part Three: November 24, 2019
Saturday, October 19, Messiah Boot Camp 9:30 a.m.–12:00 noon
Thursday evenings, October 24, 31; November 7, 14, 21 7:00–8:00 p.m.
Saturday, November 23, Orchestra rehearsal 9:30 a.m.–12:00 noon
Please contact Tom Tropp, 224.544.1952 or ttropp@FirstChurchLF.org, with any questions or to be added to our participants’ list!