RUSSELL, Ky. — Greenup Arts Council is announcing the Fourth Annual Community Sing of the Christmas portion of Handel’s Messiah with soloists and live orchestra on Dec. 18, at 3 p.m. at the Plaza Community Church of the Nazarene (PCCOTN) 764 Diederich Boulevard in Russell.
The event is a partnership between the Greenup Arts Council, PCCOTN, and Ashland High School Orchestra.
The Community sing will be under the direction of Carl Taylor, who has been serving as the Minister of Music at PCCOTN since 1969.
“This is our fourth annual Messiah Community Sing, and we will be doing this with a full orchestra, 18 strings, brass, keyboard, and we’re expecting quite a large crowd, and about 40 or 50 people to be singing, and we’d love to have 60 or 70 in the choir,” Taylor said. “This is a volunteer-based effort, singers can come and sing if you know it, come and listen if you don’t, kind of a situation. Last year we had about 360 people who came to participate in the audience, and who came to enjoy the thrill of the music. It is an absolute glorious set of songs, very uplifting. For me, it just makes the Christmas season complete.”
Taylor said they have been working very hard for the upcoming event.
“We have had some rehearsals to work on parts for the people that are not too familiar with the music, and are having regular orchestra rehearsals, and the third one that I will be conducting will take place this afternoon,” Taylor said. “The young folks who are playing the strings are working very hard, and we will have final choral rehearsal on Saturday afternoon at three o’clock at the venue. Then on Sunday afternoon at 1:30 p.m. the orchestra and soloists will come in, and we will run through their parts, and attempt to fix any glitches that may have come up, though we almost never have any. Then, at 2:15, the choir will run through the choruses, and then at three o’clock we will have a welcome from our pastor and present the Christmas portion along with two songs from the Easter section which is, ‘Worthy is the Lamb,’ and ‘Halleujah.’
Very talented soloists will be taking part in this festive, musical gathering, and will be coming from variety places, according to Taylor.
“One of the soloists is a lady that has just completed her PhD from the University of Kentucky in Vocal Performance, and she is coming to sing,” Taylor said. “Three, or four of the local school teachers will be singing, a couple of students from Morehead are coming to sing. Also, the Honorable Judge Henry Wilhoit, Jr., a Federal judge that is retired from Ohio is coming to sing one of the solos, and he is a fabulous singer. We make it this as formal as much as we can, by the way that we dress, and by the excellence of the music, and we just welcome anyone who is familiar with the music. We will provide them with a book, and if they want to show up at two o’clock on Sunday, then they can come and sing with us.”
Anne Stephens, Greenup County Arts Council, said she is proud to be a part of this great celebration.
“This classic Christmas celebration in song has been a focus of communities all over the world for many years. I am proud to be a partner in this event with Carl Taylor and Dan Boyer. It will be a wonderfully festive afternoon,” Stephens said.
Anyone interested in being part of the chorus can attend the remaining rehearsals for singers at Raceland High School’s band room on Thursday, Dec. 15, at 6 p.m. and/or Saturday, Dec 17, 3 p.m. at the PCCOTN. Hard copies of the music will be available, along with rehearsal CDs and links to online rehearsal materials. For more information, contact Anne Stephens, Extension Agent for Fine Arts at 606-836-0201.
Reach Portia Williams at 740-464-3862, or on Twitter @PortiaWillPDT.