College Choir performs Handel's Messiah

In a concert appropriate for the Easter season, the College Choir performs the sections of Handel’s oratorio Messiah dealing with Christ’s crucifixion and resurrection at 8 p.m. Saturday, March 16, and 3 p.m. Sunday, March 17, in the Olin Arts Center Concert Hall.

Directed by John Corrie, the choir numbers 71 students and will be accompanied by an orchestra using Handel’s own orchestration for a full complement of strings, two oboes, two trumpets and timpani. “Several other composers have orchestrated Messiah, including Mozart,” explains Corrie, adding winds and other instruments. But, the choir director says, “it is our intention to perform it the way Handel envisioned it.”

Although most casual listeners associate Messiah with Christmas, its second and third parts are appropriate to this season, Corrie explains. “Part II is a selection of Biblical texts leading up to the Crucifixion, and Part III deals with texts of the Resurrection.”

The choir performed the first section, dealing with the Nativity, last December. “My decision to perform the work at separate concert dates is entirely determined by its size,” Corrie says. “It would be far too exhausting to sing all of it at one concert. This particular work, I think, is significant and requires a thorough study, rather than just doing a performance of selections of the work.”

The concert is free and open to the public. For more information about the performance, please call 207-786-6135.

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