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Singers explain the joy, fun of 'Messiah'

November  21, 2011

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The oldest Christmas tradition in the Quad Cities area will unfold Dec. 10-11 when the 250-member Handel Oratorio Society and Chamber Orchestra perform Handel's Messiah.

In this video, singers explain the joy and fun of performing this masterwork. Some have participated for more than 50 years.

It will be the 131st annual performance at Augustana.

Performances are at 8 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 10, and 2 p.m. on Sunday, Dec. 11 at 2 p.m. in Centennial Hall.

Advance tickets are available online.

Soloists this year include Mary Wilson, soprano; Rebecca Ringle, mezzo-soprano; Christopher Cock, tenor; Gerard Sundberg, baritone.

Tickets are $20 for the general public, $16 for senior citizens (age 60+) and $10 for full-time students and children. This is a reserved seating event, so order early for best seat selection. A limited number of free tickets are available for area junior and senior high school students: Call the Augustana Ticket Office at (309) 794-7306 for details.

Video transcript

(Choir singing)

Jerry Johansen, a member of the Handel Oratorio Society: "This is the 131st year of Messiah at Augustana College. Every year when we do this it's a wonderful experience for not only the people in the audience but those people who are participating on stage."

(Choir singing Hallelujah chorus)

Kenzie Conner, class of 2012, Augustana choir member: It's beautiful and it makes me proud to be in the choir. In a group like this there's so many people, we have a lot of work to do but a lot of people don't realize how much fun we actually have.

Andrea Edelen, member of the Handel Oratorio Society: "There's one passage that starts out "All we like sheep have gone astray" and he (director Jon Hurty) encourages us to act kinda silly like, uh, we don't know what we're doing."

(Laughter and choir singing)

Kenzie Conner, class of 2012, Augustana choir member: "Well, music brings out every emotion"


Ray Carlson, in his 52nd year of singing in this production of Messiah: "It's hard to explain but it sets your mind in a sense of reverence to the season that's coming up."

(Choir singing, piano playing)

Dr. Jon Hurty, director: "The chorus is one of the strongest we've ever had. The orchestra's fantastic and the soloists are a group of singers that are not to be missed. I've worked with some of them and finally we've got a year when we got them all together. So I think the performance is going to be a really fine performance.

(Choir singing "Amen")