Chorale to perform Handel’s ‘Messiah’

first_img“Messiah” is an oratorio that contains three movements, Bishop said. The Chorale will be singing most of the first two movements, for a performance that will be around two and a half hours. “It depends on how many solos we do,” she said. “We don’t do the entire piece, we kind of pick and choose.” This year’s performance is unique in that the Chorale will be accompanied by a Baroque orchestra, Bishop said. The orchestra is comprised of Notre Dame students and other musicians. “A lot of the people play with us for ‘Messiah‘ every year,” she said. “The string instruments have a different feel. We still sing with a harpsichord, but it’s really cool because it’s more historically accurate.”Director Alexander Blachly said in an email the Baroque instruments have a several advantages as accompaniment for works like “Messiah.”“Most notably, they make the phrases easier to play and easier to shape. Modern strings don’t let in enough lightness and air, and as a result the phrases tend to sound heavy and labored, even when played softly,” he said. “Certain effects, like sudden strong notes, also project better with Baroque instruments. The older instruments are not as loud as modern ones, and this has one advantage and one disadvantage: the advantage is that the sound is gentler, more voice-like.”The downside is that the Baroque instruments do not project as easily in a large hall, Blachly said, “and the players therefore have to take that into account and play with a little more projection than would be necessary on modern instruments.”“Perhaps the greatest advantage is that the Baroque instruments are pitched a half-step lower than modern instruments, with the result that the highest notes for the sopranos are easier to sing,” he said.‘Messiah’ is intended to retell the history of early Christianity, Blachly said, from the prophecies of Jesus’ birth, through the host of angels singing of his glory to the shepherds, then his Passion and suffering, and finally, the arrival of Christianity, with the anticipation of the Day of Judgment.“The Chorale sings virtually all of part one, the prophecies and birth, most of part two, Jesus’ Passion, and several numbers from part three, which looks forward to a future day in heaven when the souls will be united with Christ,” he said.  “The Chorale ends its performance with the final number of part two, the ‘Hallelujah’ chorus, which, with its trumpets, foretells the Day of Judgment.”Bishop said the piece is performed a lot at Easter time, as well, because parts of the second and third movements deal with the death of Jesus.“One of my favorite songs is a passage from the Bible that is commonly read at Christmas time, where angel comes down from heaven and there’s the shepherds watching over the flock and she announces the birth of Jesus,” Bishop said. “So there are a lot of those classic Christmas messages in it.”The Chorale has been rehearsing for the performances since November, she said. “Because we sing it every year, we normally learn it pretty fast,” she said. “The old members help carry the new members. … and it generally requires some outside time, especially for the new people.”Bishop said Chorale has a large number of new members this year. “It was really exciting to see them on Monday for the first time, get to hear us perform our choruses with the orchestra, and seeing it all start to come together,” she said. “This is my favorite thing we perform. I love it, I smile through the whole thing. I’m not normally a huge classical music person, but Handel’s ‘Messiah’ is something else.”Bishop said it has been “extra special” to sing ‘Messiah’ for the last time, especially as president of a group she loves.“I’ll probably tear up during my last ‘Hallelujah’ chorus,” Bishop said. “It’s a special group, full of my best friends. … We’re a really different group of people that are all brought together by our love of music, and I think that brings a lot of unique aspects to our group. … It’s one of those places where I always feel so comfortable, and welcomed and loved.”In addition to performing Handel’s “Messiah,” the official concert choir of the University has fall and spring concerts, Bishop said. On the last week of winter break, Chorale will tour the Midwest. “We’ll sing the ‘Hallelujah’ chorus at all our stops. I wish we got to sing more, but it’s not quite the same with just the piano. It’s when you add in the orchestra is when it really becomes something else.”Tags: chorale, DPAC, Messiah Courtesy of Mimi Michuda The Notre Dame Chorale performs Handel’s “Messiah” last year at the DeBartolo Performing Arts Center. The Notre Dame Chorale’s annual performance of Handel’s “Messiah” will take place at Leighton Hall in the DeBartolo Performing Arts Center on Friday and Saturday evenings at 8 p.m. Tickets are $3 for students, $2 if they are bought from Chorale members.“One of the reasons I decided to try out for Chorale is because I saw we were singing Handel’s ‘Messiah.’ And I just love the ‘Hallelujah Chorus,’ and I’ve really fallen in love with all of ‘Messiah,’” senior and chorale president Erin Bishop said.last_img read more

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Follow the Trace | Captain the ship is sinking!

first_imgSome serious hurt must have taken place for many-time national football coach, Carl Brown, to refuse the call to once again rescue the Reggae Boyz in a time of crisis; and to proceed to make the pronouncement – evidently aimed at the Jamaica Football Federation (JFF) and its current leadership – quote: “I want to have nothing to do with them again.” Brown has been the proverbial safety valve for the JFF over the last two decades, answering similar calls some five times before. But even those with reservations about his choice for stint number six, if Brown was actually offered US$100 per day to be the head coach of the national team even on a short-term basis – compounded by the insensitive and impersonal way the JFF sought to force this arrangement onto the veteran coach – one can understand Brown’s anger. Coach Brown’s decision to refuse the offer on a point of principle must be commended. Knowing the kind of dedicated servant he has been to Jamaica’s football for over four decades, it must have been difficult for him to turn his back with what appears to be such bitterness and absolute finality. Brown’s no doubt tough and painful decision now leaves us with second choice, Theodore ‘Tappa’ Whitmore, with the proverbial ‘basket to carry the water’, set to take charge of the team for the two must-win Caribbean Cup assignments against Suriname and Guyana. With Tappa back at the helm in such short order, vivid memories of his mysterious, sometimes baffling, team selections and puzzling tactical decisions are immediately rekindled. Whitmore was one of the most skilful and creative players in the history of Jamaican football, yet he inexplicably and adamantly refused to include any creative players in his teams. INSPIRATIONAL FORCE One got the sense that as a coach, Whitmore brought more of an inspirational dynamic to the fore by virtue of his reputation and achievements of a player and hero of relatively modern vintage. It is worth remembering that Whitmore was removed as the national senior coach, as well as the national Under-20 coach, within a two-year span. The task of putting the team together for these two big assignments within two weeks will require precision and tactical aplomb. There will be precious little time to organise and strategise chemistry and understanding among this mix of players drawn from United States and Jamaica. The big question that will be answered in a matter of days is: Is Whitmore up for this task? The current scenario has a feel of imminent disaster written all over it, adding to the multiple crises of an absence of a defined philosophy and an overall direction for the football, while the JFF endures the embarrassment of being caught with their pants down as it relates to the now infamous Winfred Sch‰fer contract and with all but the Under-17 boys’ team out of contention for international glory. I openly shouted the opinion recently that it was hard to envisage things getting any worse for Jamaica’s football. One erudite colleague was quick to remind me that things actually could get worse in a matter of days if either Suriname or Guyana knocks Jamaica out of the Caribbean Cup and effectively out of the CONCACAF Gold Cup. Taking the philosophical way, maybe it is necessary for things to get even worse before they get any better, and if what it takes for us to set the football on the right trajectory is for things to get even worse, then by all means, let us get knocked out of the Caribbean Cup and the Gold Cup. The last thing we need at this point is another Band-Aid solution, or another justification for a false sense of security. So while possible disaster looms in the form of Suriname or Guyana in the short run, it might very well be a blessing in disguise for that unthinkable worse to unfold as we continue to send out the SOS call loud and clear … CAPTAIN THE SHIP IS SINKING, AND IT IS SINKING FAST!last_img read more

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