Friday, October 30, 2009

Commemorating anniversary of Handel's death, choirs and orchestra perform Messiah concert


Concert: "Messiah," by George Frederic Handel, performed by the Goshen College Choirs & Orchestra
Date and time: Saturday, Nov. 7, 2009 at 7:30 p.m.
Location: Sauder Concert Hall, Goshen College Music Center
$10 adults, $8 seniors/students. GC students $3 with valid ID. The reserved seating tickets are available via the Goshen College Welcome Center: (574) 535-7566.


GOSHEN, Ind. – The Goshen College Choirs and Orchestra will combine to perform excerpts from George Frederic Handel's eponymous oratorio "Messiah" on Saturday, Nov. 7 at 7:30 p.m. in the Music Center's Sauder Concert Hall. The ensembles will be conducted by Professor of Music Debra Brubaker, Assistant Professor of Music Scott Hochstetler and Associate Professor of Music Gregg Thaller.


"'Messiah' is a timeless work that has mass appeal – amateurs through music professionals have enjoyed it continually for over two centuries," Hochstetler said. "'Messiah' is a wonderful weaving of worshipful text and music – the compiler of the text, Charles Jennens, described the story of 'Messiah' as the 'mystery of godliness.'"


The Goshen College Chorale and Chamber Choir will perform excerpts from all three parts of "Messiah," both as individual choirs and together as a mass choir. Soloist roles will also be sung by Goshen College students. "The solo parts are usually given to hired professionals, and our students are doing a fantastic job of handling this difficult music," said Hochstetler.


The performance is given in commemoration of the 250th anniversary of Handel's death (1685-1759). "By commemorating Handel's death, we are actually celebrating his life and his musical contributions to humanity," said Thaller. "I would hope that all of us dwell on the words and their message both during and after this performance."


Brubaker noted that the performance will have "multiple forces." "As a historical nod to the practice of Handel's time, the Chamber Choir – numbering 27 singers – will sing three of the more intricate pieces. The practice of huge choirs that many of today's audiences are used to when hearing 'Messiah' did not actually start until a century after Handel's death. Initially, 'Messiah' was written for a choir of approximately Chamber Choir's size. The larger Chorale – numbering 69 singers – will sing three numbers, and then all 96 student singers will join on eight of the choruses," Brubaker said. "In addition to the 11 different student soloists, there will be three conductors rotating on and off the podium. Should prove to be an interesting concert both visually and aurally!"


Reserved seating tickets for the concert cost $10 for adults, $8 for seniors and students. They are available by calling the Goshen College Welcome Center at (574) 535-7566. GC students are free with ID.

Editors: For more information about this release, to arrange an interview or request a photo, contact Goshen College News Bureau Director Jodi H. Beyeler at (574) 535-7572 or



Goshen College, established in 1894, is a residential Christian liberal arts college rooted in the Anabaptist-Mennonite tradition. The college's Christ-centered core values – passionate learning, global citizenship, compassionate peacemaking and servant-leadership – prepare students as leaders for the church and world. Recognized for its unique Study-Service Term program, Goshen has earned citations of excellence in Barron's Best Buys in Education, "Colleges of Distinction," "Making a Difference College Guide" and U.S.News & World Report's "America's Best Colleges" edition, which named Goshen a "least debt college." Visit

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Goshen College
1700 S Main St
Goshen, Indiana 46526
phone: +1 (574) 535-7569
fax: 535-7660