Handel’s Messiah

December 2, 2023

7:00 p.m.

Tickets are not required for this event.

The School of Music presents the 87th annual presentation of Handel’s Messiah. Dr. Jeff Bell and Dr. Neal Woodruff, conductors with the Olivet Nazarene University Orchestra, Choirs and featured soloists.

Featured soloists include:

  • Hannah Hudgins
  • Jemma Newby
  • Ana Quezada
  • Marisa Costantino
  • Tawney Minks
  • Jackson Doering
  • Philip Koerner
  • Cole Morris

Handel’s Messiah stands as one of the most revered and enduring compositions in Western classical music. Composed by George Frideric Handel in 1741, this monumental oratorio remains a cornerstone of the choral repertoire, known for its majestic choral movements and emotive arias.

Structured into three parts, Messiah recounts the story of Jesus Christ, from the prophecy of his birth to the resurrection. Its libretto, compiled by Charles Jennens, draws predominantly from the Bible, intertwining passages from both the Old and New Testaments. The piece is a fusion of exquisite melodies, intricate harmonies, and profound text settings, showcasing Handel’s mastery in composing for voices and orchestra.

Central to the enduring popularity of Messiah is its Hallelujah Chorus, a triumphant and iconic movement that concludes the second part. This majestic chorus, featuring the famous “Hallelujah” refrain, has become emblematic of the work and is often performed independently in various contexts. However, beyond its celebrated Hallelujah Chorus, Messiah comprises a rich tapestry of sublime arias, dramatic recitatives, and stirring choruses, conveying the emotional depth and spiritual significance of the biblical narrative it portrays.

Handel’s Messiah transcends time and cultural boundaries, captivating audiences worldwide with its grandeur and spiritual resonance. Its annual performances during the Christmas and Easter seasons, as well as its widespread acclaim in concert halls and churches, affirm its enduring legacy as a masterwork that continues to inspire and uplift audiences, uniting them in the shared experience of its timeless beauty and profound spirituality.