The historic Church of St. Michael and All Angels in Anniston will be the setting for the Jacksonville State University A Cappella Choir and the Calhoun County Civic Chorale's joint performance of Part One of George Friedrich Handel’s Messiah on November 17 at 3 p.m. Guest soloists will be University of Montevallo faculty member and tenor Roderick George and JSU alumna and Mezzo Soprano Judy Holt Shealy. The choirs will be accompanied by an orchestra of JSU students, faculty and professional string players from the Birmingham area.
The choirs are under the direction of Dr. Patricia Corbin, JSU director of Choral Activities, and are accompanied by Ms Vicki Brock, organist at Parker Memorial in Anniston. Other featured soloists on the concert are Soprano Debra Mantua (Rockville, Md.), Pat Kirkland, (Weaver), David Lawshe (Jacksonville), and Ellen Abney, (Haralson, Ga.).
This is the fourth time that Dr. Corbin has chosen to have her choirs perform Messiah since joining the JSU music faculty in 1999. “Messiah is the most popular oratorio written by Handel and is beloved by singers and audience members alike,” says Dr. Corbin. “We always get a great turnout of singers when we do this work. It is so important for our college singers, especially the soloists, to learn this work because they will be called upon to sing it often throughout their performing years,” she continues.
The entire Messiah is in three parts and details the birth of Christ, his death and resurrection, respectively. The choirs will only be performing Part One, which includes all of the familiar Christmas selections such as “And the Glory of the Lord”, “O Thou That Tellest Good Tidings to Zion,” and “For Unto Us a Child is Born.”
The Church of St. Michael and All Angels has been a favorite performance venue for this work. “There is something about the beautiful and historic architecture of St. Michael and All Angels that creates a great atmosphere for this performance,” says Dr. Corbin. “We are lucky to have the opportunity to perform in such a glorious place.” The church is located at 1000 West 18th Street in Anniston.
A Cappella Choir and the Calhoun County Civic Chorale are two of five choirs sponsored by the David L. Walters Department of Music at Jacksonville State University. The singers in the choirs are college students, JSU faculty and members of the community.
Tickets for the performance are $8 for General Admission, $5 Youth/Children (16 ages and under), and $4 for JSU students with ID. Tickets will go on sale November 4t and may be purchased in person from the JSU Choral Activities Office in November, or at the door. This concert is expected to sell out.
For further information, please contact the JSU Office of Choral Activities (256) 782-5544.
CANNED FOOD DRIVE
The JSU student chapter of the American Choral Directors Association (ACDA) will also be sponsoring a canned food drive at the concert to benefit the St. Michael’s Food Ministry. Audience members are asked to bring food donations of non-perishable items to the concert.
Photo: JSU A Cappella Choir at the Church of St. Michael and All Angels (courtesy)