By Darla Shelden
City Sentinel Reporter
OKLAHOMA CITY, OK – October 28, 2019 – Canterbury Voices will perform “Messiah”, George Frideric Handel’s most beloved choral work on Sunday, December 8 at the Civic Center Music Hall, 201 N. Walker, in downtown Oklahoma City. The performance will begin at 7 p.m.
The concert will feature Canterbury’s choir of over 160 community singers from across the Oklahoma City metropolitan area, accompanied by an orchestra of 62 musicians from the Oklahoma City Philharmonic.
The grandiose orchestral arrangement of “Messiah” by Sir Eugene Goossens will be used for this concert. Audiences in attendance will also enjoy a “Hallelujah Chorus” sing-along at the end of the concert and a holiday reception in the lobby with cookies and a chance to meet Santa Claus.
“This performance of ‘Messiah’ is a step back into the Romantic sound that was common in the middle of the 20th century,” said Artistic Director and conductor of this concert, Dr. Randi Von Ellefson.
“This edition features the familiar vocal music of Handel but is supported and surrounded by an orchestra that sounds much like those of the nineteenth century,” Von Ellefson added. “Our audiences will hear glorious harmonies, crashes from the cymbals, bass lines reinforced by tuba and contrabassoon, and the rich ringing of two harps in this grand presentation.”
Because the piece does not end with its most well-known selection – the Hallelujah Chorus – Canterbury is giving patrons the chance to join the choir and orchestra in a sing-along of the classic at the conclusion of the concert.
Sheet music will be provided to all patrons courtesy of Canterbury.
Following the concert, attendees will have the opportunity to enjoy a complimentary Holiday Cookie Reception, in the Civic Center lobby, hosted by the volunteer singers of Canterbury’s adult chorus.
Mr. and Mrs. Claus and his elves will be on hand to meet children in attendance. Prior to the concert, Canterbury Youth Voices’ Moore Apprentice Choir members will perform carols in the lobby of the theater, under the direction of Susan Pendergraft,
Founded in 1969, Canterbury Voices began as Canterbury Choral Society, and met at All Souls Episcopal Church with 60 singers. The first concert outside was a sold out performance held at the Stage Center in downtown Oklahoma City.
Having just celebrated its 50th season, Canterbury Voices encourages the development of the arts through its large-scale choral music performances and multiple music education programs, attracting world-renowned performers to share their talents in Oklahoma City.
Canterbury Voices collaborates with other arts organizations, including the OKC Philharmonic, Oklahoma City University singers, Oklahoma City Ballet, and Oklahoma City Jazz Orchestra, as well as many talented singers and musicians from around the United States, including Kelli O’Hara, Sarah Coburn, and Ron Raines.
Messiah tickets start at $18, and can be purchased by visiting CanterburyOKC.com, or calling 405-232-7464.
The Canterbury Youth Voices annual Holiday Concert will be held on Saturday, Dec. 6 in the Petree Recital Hall, in the Wanda L Bass School of Music on the Oklahoma City University campus from 3 – 5 p.m. Over 200 singers in grades 2-12 will perform popular music of the holiday season. Tickets are available at showtix4u.com (search for Canterbury Youth Voices.