April 28, 2011

School of Music plans performance of 'Messiah'

by Andrea Hahn

CARBONDALE, Ill. -- The Southern Illinois University Carbondale Concert Choir and Choral Union present Handel's "Messiah" as you might never have heard it.

The concert choir and choral union, along with the Southern Illinois Symphony Orchestra, will perform the “Messiah,” parts two and three, known as the Easter section of the “Oratorio.” The concert begins at 7:30 p.m. on May 3 in Shryock Auditorium. Tickets are $12 for general admission, $6 for students.

Susan Davenport, choirs’ conductor and the director of choral activities at the SIUC School of Music, said that the audience will hear the familiar “Hallelujah Chorus,” but also selections from Handel they may not often hear performed.

“Audiences usually hear it out of order,” she explained. “We will be singing the ‘Hallelujah Chorus’ in the place that Handel has it in the oratorio. Handel first performed the oratorio in April, and he usually did perform it in the spring -- which makes it fitting for us to perform it in the spring. The whole Christmas ‘Hallelujah Chorus’ tradition is a newer phenomenon.”

This performance features several solo artists. Davenport said she elected to use a different soloist for each solo, as Handel often did. Here is a list of the soloists and their hometowns:

• Sarah Besse, senior, Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio

• Lydia Dunmyer, senior, Du Quoin

• Cory Garmane, senior, Valier

• Rob Graham, graduate student, Minneapolis, Minn.

• Morgan Isaiah, senior, Centralia

• Louis Murray, senior, Centreville

• Laura Neal, research assistant, St. Jacob

• Renee Rybolt, graduate student, St. Joseph, Ind.

• Natalie Stephens, teaching assistant, Pleasant Garden, N.C.

• Ashly Thomas, graduate student, Park Forest

The Southern Illinois Symphony Orchestra is the region’s premiere orchestral ensemble, and features SIUC School of Music faculty, graduate and undergraduate students as well as area professionals and community members. SIUC Professor Edward Benyas is the musical director for SISO.

Tickets are $12 for general admission, $6 for students. Purchase tickets in advance through SouthernTicketsOnline.com or by calling 618/453-6000. Tickets are also available at the Shryock Auditorium box office during office hours and beginning one hour before the performance.