Handel’s Messiah: the Tradition of Music Continues

The Orchestra of Southern Utah and Southern Utah Chorale performs their 71th concert of Handel’s Messiah Concert on Sunday, December 11th and Monday, December 12th at 7:30 pm in the Heritage Center (105 North 100 East) in Cedar City. This concert is presented FREE to the public thanks to the generous sponsorships of State Bank of Southern Utah and the Leavitt Group.

This year the Orchestra is hosting a food drive during the Messiah Concerts. All food will be donated to the Iron County Care & Share. “It’s tragic that in a society with such abundance our benevolence-oriented organizations struggle,” commented OSU President Pete Akins. “This year we have an opportunity to work together in cooperation with Care & Share. Will you help us stock their shelves?” Akins and the Orchestra suggest audience members donate one can of food per person to help our neighbors during this festival season.

The Messiah Concert is conducted by OSU Conductor and Music Director Xun Sun. The Chorale is under the direction of Adrianne J. Tawa. Soloists include Elise Reed, Jackie Jackson, Alex Byers, Mary Fox, Taliah Johnson, Janise Shaw, Greg Watts, Geneil Perkins, and Kim Padilla.

Due to the length of the Messiah, only portions of the oratorio to be performed. This year’s pieces include the Overture, “O thou that tallest good tidings,” “For unto us,” “Glory to God,” Lift up your heads,” “Hallelujah,” and “Worthy is the Lamb.”

George Frideric Handel composed the Messiah in 1741, completing the masterpiece in an astonishing 24 days, drawing inspiration from a libretto by Charles Jennings as well as Isaiah and Job in the Old Testament and Luke, Matthew, John, First Corinthians, and Revelation in the New Testament. The well-known and ever popular “Hallelujah” chorus, however, is taken from Revelation.

The now famous oratorio was first performed for Easter in 1742. It was not performed in the winter until after Handel’s death in 1759. Since then, Messiah has become an integral part of the holiday season all over the world. It has been performed literally countless times in December, though portions of the work are also heard at Easter.

The Messiah Concert is performed Sunday, December 11th and Monday, December 12th. Seating is on a first come, first choose basis. Arrive early for best seating. Doors open at 6:45 pm. No tickets are needed as concert is free. OSU suggests concert goers bring one can of food per person for the Iron County Care and Share.

OSU welcomes all children over the age of six with adult supervision. OSU requests that babies and children less than six years old not attend as the concerts are recorded.

For more information, please visit www.orchestraofsouthernutah.org or call Sara Penny at (435) 586-2286.