I attended the show with my wonderful 5th grade teacher. I liked "Messiah" performance more than I anticipated. I knew a couple of performers, so that made it even more interesting for me. Out of the four soloists, my favorite was the soprano. I hope that someday I sing the same part in this show. Some sopranos are able to sing a note, but they don’t fill it; they hold back their ability to hit the note. I have been taught as a soprano not to be afraid of letting my voice reach its full power. I paid special attention to the soprano at the "Messiah" and realized how she did this with no hesitation, and she sounded magnificent.
The musicians carried out the show so great that I got goose bumps. The audience was cheerful and the performance put everyone, including me, in the great spirit of Christmas. When the first few notes of the last song, "Hallelujah", were played we all stood up with smiles and enjoyed it to the very last second.
Before the show, I was reluctant to go (well, I had to go to write the blog!), assuming the show would be long and even boring. Now I am glad I went, and I actually had a good time, especially since I was with my favorite teacher of all! During the final song, I was trying to learn bits and pieces of the soprano part at the same time that my teacher was singing the alto part perfectly next to me! Memories made.
Handel's "Messiah" has been a part of The Arts Center Signature Series for the past few years. It is customary for many families to watch it every year. I’ve never seen it before, however, I know the song and I am familiar with Handel’s music. In fact, I am currently practicing one of his songs, “Music Spread Thy Voice Around,” at my school choir.
I think I will enjoy the orchestra and especially the chorus. It brings the spirit of the holidays to Brownsville. I like the idea of BISD, the UTB and TSC Music Department and The UTB and TSC Arts Center joining together to celebrate the holidays with this classic performance. After all, this is what holidays are about; getting together to make memories. I think many families will go to this show as a part of their holiday tradition. I am planning to invite my 5th grade teacher who has sung with the South Texas Chorale. She has always encouraged me to sing and I think she will enjoy the Handel’s "Messiah".
Brownsville's "Messiah" concert was elegantly prepared. The choir and orchestra did an outstanding job harmonizing and performing together. The opera soloists were skillfully wonderful singing talentedly on their own. There may have been moments when the event was a bore with some songs sounding musically alike and that curiosity of the ones in the spotlight on stage probably becoming exhausted and impatient standing or sitting awkwardly still waiting for their part in front of the audience, but overall, the show was agreeably pleasing.
I was able to catch up to one of the tenors (and one of my best friends), Carlos G. Vasquez, Jr., and conducted a mini interview about the performance:
KB: What did you think about the concert and what was your favorite piece, you as a performer?
Vasquez: "It was good. I think everyone sung and played beautifully. 'Hallelujah!' was my favorite song, not because it's 'Hallelujah!' and creates a standing ovation, but because it's such a powerful piece you can't help but emotionally get into it, for me, at least."
KB: What was going through your head just standing up there when it wasn’t your turn to sing?
V: "How could King George get tired of sitting down and make a tradition out of 'Hallelujah!' by standing up and misinforming his people to do the same when I'm getting weary standing up and craving a seat?! My feet hurt. [Laughs]"
I have to concur with him. Merry Christmas and happy New Year!
It's that time of the year again! The holidays have returned to spread the Christmas joy and spirit, and what better way to celebrate it this year by attending a Brownsville holiday tradition, Handel’s Messiah, a Rio Grande Valley concert with a full orchestra and chorus of a 100 singers from the city's school district and university music program.
Christmas has always been my favorite holiday, and I have always wanted to catch a choir musical performance during the winter season. Christmas carols are delightful, but there are no carolers whom randomly sing and harmonize them outside in the cold in front of residencies in the south; a group of attractive vocalists with talented voices must suffice. I was once in a chorale myself, and there was never a time when I did not enjoy synchronizing Yuletide songs and not have a giddy smile on my face afterward. I'm looking forward to this majestic show to be all ears for some holier Christmas tunes other than the typical seasonal "Jingle Bells" and "Deck The Halls." Also, I have always been more of a "Good King Wenceslas" type of listener from the medieval era giving these upcoming compositions their unique characteristic musical sound for old Saint Nicholas to possibly hear.
Handel’s "Messiah" was an incredible performance. I truly enjoyed not only the orchestra but the choir performances as well. I must admit that at first I was shocked at how small the orchestra was, but then I remembered that in the Baroque period, the orchestras were much smaller than modern orchestras of today.
Some of my most memorable moments came from the comments of my nine-year-old daughter. At several points in the performance, she would ask some of the funniest questions. "Where is Handel?" and "Is this classical music? Because it sure is making me sleepy." Thankfully for her, it was a shortened version instead of the three hour performance. I, on the other hand, would have loved to have experienced the full three hour oratorio. I loved it!
Some of my favorite pieces were the opening and closing pieces. The opening piece was "Comfort ye my people." This was my favorite because as soon as it started the baby in my womb began to move to the music. The finale was "Hallelujah." This is the only piece I can recall having heard before, but it was something else to experience with an audience full of people who had stood for this piece. After everyone stood, my daughter asked me, "Why is everyone standing?" Even though I had no answer, it was a sight to see.
Handel’s Messiah is a performance I’ve always wanted to watch but never made the time to go view it. Honestly, I am not even sure that I have ever heard this composition of music. I may have probably heard pieces of it, but have not realized to what I was listening. So, I am very excited to finally experience Handel’s Messiah.
Another reason I am excited to view this performance is because my daughter will be studying the Baroque period of music this coming semester and will be studying Handel’s Water Music. Handel’s "Messiah" will be a great preview for her and will help her truly understand the Baroque period. (Hopefully, she will not be as illiterate as me in the fine arts. I had to Google "oratorio" and Handel’s "Messiah” to find out what to expect from this performance.)
Since I have never witness this performance, it’s hard to know what to expect, but I’ve heard that this performance is not the three- hour composition that Handel amazingly composed in only 24 days. Instead, this is a shorten version of Handel’s Messiah. This is a great appetizer to whet the appetites of people like me who have never experienced this performance. Even though I enjoy listening to Baroque music, three-hours might have been a bit daunting to people who are not used to this type of music. Overall, I expect a great performance by both the orchestra and choir.
The concert was superb! For this year's presentation of "Messiah", I was able to take in the performance from a closer seat than in previous years, so I was interested in noting if I would hear the voices differently or be able to separate the instruments more. But I was pleased to know that, even close up, they sound like a complete orchestra and choir. The four soloists did a wonderful job with their parts and were easily understood and appreciated. And when everyone rose for the "Hallelujah" "finale", hearing the entire choir, orchestra, and the random accompaniment from the audience capped off a joyous evening. Thank you for the beautiful performance, and I look forward to next year!
A new part of our Christmas tradition here in Brownsville is to attend the yearly presentation of Handel's "Messiah" at the UTB and TSC Arts Center. Back when I was in junior high, the church I attended set up a performance of "Messiah", and I joined the choir as one of the tenors. Since then, I have always loved to hear the concert, and see if I can remember my parts as I listen along. The presentation at the UTB and TSC Arts Center is a very impressive selection of talents from Brownsville and across the valley. It is a beautiful way to begin the Christmas season and to get in the mood for the holidays.