‘Messiah’ Comes to TAMIU on Dec. 11

Handel's 'Messiah' Concert at
TAMIU Sunday, Dec. 11

Come and enjoy the Laredo Philharmonic Chorale in its first concert with what has become one of the most renowned pieces of English sacred music, Handel's Messiah, among other holiday favorites, at Texas A&M International University on Sunday, Dec. 11 at 4 p.m. at the TAMIU Center Fine & Performing Arts (CFPA) Recital Hall.

The Laredo Philharmonic Chorale will perform its first concert under the leadership of Brendan Townsend in a collaborative performance that will feature musicians from Laredo Community College, TAMIU, Laredo Independent School District and United Independent School District.

This event is open to the public and free of charge.

"The Chorale has performed magnificently with the Philharmonic Orchestra over the past couple of years," said Brendan Townsend, conductor of the event.

"In the spirit of the season, we are thrilled to present Handel's Messiah and other holiday favorites. The concert will mark a new exciting beginning for the all-volunteer choir," said Gloria Flores, Laredo Philharmonic Chorale President.

The George Frideric Handel's Messiah is the most popular of oratorios that has survived and endured numerous revisions and reorchestrations for more than 250 years. Performances range from casts of thousands to today's emphasis on "authentic" performances employing period instruments and small all-male choral ensembles.

Handel, at the low ebb of his career and, as a consequence of a stroke, suffered partial paralysis on his left side; composed Messiah in the incredibly short period of 21 days. The composer had been invited to give a series of concerts in Dublin, some of which would benefit various charities. The premiere was met with considerable success and served to boost Handel's spirits for a return to London.

While it is true that King George II stood during the singing of the mighty "Hallelujah" Chorus at the second London performance, Messiah did not enjoy the popularity of many of Handel's other oratorios during the composer's lifetime. In fact, it was only through Handel's annual Easter time performances to benefit his favorite charity, the Foundling Hospital, that Messiah was heard at all.

Throughout the years, Handel's Messiah has achieved a wonderful blend of elegant, Italianate melody alternating with virtuosic vocalism for the soloists and, for the chorus, unmatched choral sonorities ranging from madrigal-esque lightness to the composer's characteristic ceremonial style, which endeared him to the British public.

For more information, contact Brendan Townsend at 956.326.3039, e-mail btownsend@tamiu.edu, or visit offices in CFPA room 216C.

University hours are 8 a.m. - 5 p.m. Monday - Friday.

Journalists who need additional information or help with media requests and interviews should contact the Office of Public Relations, Marketing and Information Services at prmis@tamiu.edu