Regional, Tech musicians bring historical work of ‘Messiah’ to community

December 12, 2011

Contributing Editor


Tech choirs will unite with the North Central Louisiana Masterworks Chorus to bring the Tech community their own rendition of Handel’s oratorio, “Messiah.”


Under the direction of Sean Teets, assistant professor of music and director of choral activities, the choirs will perform the piece complete with an orchestra at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday in Howard Auditorium, Center for the Performing Arts.


Teets said the choirs have been rehearsing the oratorio, a sacred work that tells a story using a chorus, soloists and an orchestra, since September.


“They all have worked extremely hard and I am very proud of all of them,” he said. “The music in the piece is complex, and our people have risen to the occasion by working really hard and with great enthusiasm.”


The Masterworks Chorus originally started in 2000, and Teets said he wanted to revive it so members of the community could join students to perform “one of the most loved and popular oratorios.”


George Frediric Handel wrote “Messiah” in 1741 using scriptural texts, according the gfhandel.org. The piece is divided into three parts that focus on the prophecy of the coming Messiah, the suffering and death of Christ, and the resurrection and promise of eternal life.


Lisa Maxedon, a soloist in “Messiah” and professor of music, said preparing for the performance has taken quite a bit of time.


“We will not get the opportunity to rehearse as an entire ensemble until Sunday,” she said. “I’ve been rehearsing on my own for months.”


Maxedon said “Messiah” offers good experience for music students to work with professional musicians to see how the process of putting on such a big performance works. Teets said the 14 members of the orchestra were hired out of Ruston, Monroe, Shreveport and surrounding cities.


Though Maxedon said she has sung pieces of “Messiah” before, this will be her first time performing the entire work.


“Dr. Teets asked if I would be a soloist, and I am very excited to be a part of this performance,” she said. “It’s a wonderful piece of music.”


Teets said he hopes the piece will help those in the audience come to appreciate music and inspire them to attend future concerts.


“We hope to get people into the Christmas spirit and show them a great piece of music,” he said. “We hope they enjoy the beautiful music and story of ‘Messiah.’”


Tickets to the performance are $5 for students with a valid Tech ID and $10 for adults. They can be purchased in advance at the School of Performing Arts office located in Howard Center for the Performing Arts or at the door.


Email comments to keb029@latech.edu.


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