Hallelujah!!! -Handel’s Messiah

by Charlotte Noble on April 24, 2017

1 stage, 3 directors, 3 rehearsal pianists, 12 soloists, 16 scenes, 3 parts, 32 instrumentalists, 3 choirs, 155 singers… these are the numbers of Lawrence’s production of Handel’s oratorio: The Messiah. 

On Friday night Lawrence’s three choirs and Symphony Orchestra came together to perform the classic work under the direction of Mark Dupere. However, this was certainly not the first time the LU chapel’s walls has heard these notes, as each four years the oratorio is repeated, ensuring that no music student graduates without learning arguably one of the most popular works of classical music. And better yet, all performers (excluding Kathy Handford, who played organ and harpsichord) were students. This means each vocal soloist, featured instrumentalist, chorus singer, etc was a student, who took this as an opportunity to hone their musical skills–unlike the other three combined works I’ve participated in during my years at LU.

The work started as early as mid-March, and even before, when soloists auditioned, instrumentalists were cast, and the choirs first opened their thick scores. Between that moment and when the orchestra began tuning Friday night, literally countless man-hours went into the final product. The orchestra rehearsed during their regular time, as did the choirs, but as the performance neared, they began working together, putting in late night hours Tuesday and Thursday nights. Outside those times, soloists practiced alone, with Maestro Dupere, their voice teachers and coaches, the orchestra and each other.

One of the soloists: My roommate Clio Briggs, ’18!!!

 

I may be biased, but I must say the product of all this hard work was absolutely stunning. The chapel’s seats was filled with the people of Appleton, Lawrence professors and students and family members who traveled far to stand during the Hallelujah chorus. Besides those present, many (including my parents!) tuned in to witness the music via Live Stream. Personally, I was very moved both listening to or participating in each movement, and consider myself very lucky to have been there.

Jealous? While the moment to have been present may have passed, you can still have the chance to enjoy the music. While it was streamed live, the video was also saved in LU’s video library. And I would highly recommend you use this link to do so: https://livestream.com/LawrenceUniversity/events/7259572

All in all, it was an exhausting, beautiful, artistic evening that I’m so proud to have been a part of. And again, if you missed it, fear not; your chance will roll around again in about 4 years.

 

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