Indiana State University Newsroom

Masterworks Chorale to perform ‘Messiah’ Nov. 13

October 31, 2016

The Indiana State University School of Music Student Ensemble Series will present the Masterworks Chorale in concert at 4 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 13 in Tilson Auditorium of Tirey Hall.

The 50-member Masterworks Chorale will perform selections from Parts I and II of "Messiah" by George Frideric Handel, among the most famous and frequently performed works in the oratorio repertoire. Joining the choir will be an SATB solo quartet, all accompanied by keyboard/organ only.

Alhough Handel was born in Halle, Germany in 1685, he moved to England in 1712, became a naturalized British citizen in 1727 and composed this English-language oratorio in 1741. "Messiah" consists of a scriptural text created by Charles Jennens from the King James Bible and the Book of Common Prayer. It was premiered in Dublin in April 1742 and first performed in England nearly a year later in late March 1743.

Handel's compositional reputation during his early years in England was based substantially on his Italian operas, but due to changes in public opinion, he switched to English oratorio in the 1730s, composing five in that genre before "Messiah." While the structure of this work is similar to that of his operas and other oratorios, a mixture of predominately recitatives, solos and choruses, it is not in dramatic form; there are no character impersonations or direct speech.

The text is an extended reflection on Jesus the Messiah, called Christ, and begins in Part I with the prophecies of several, including Isaiah's prophecy of salvation. Continuing with the prophecy of Christ's birth, through the annunciation of the shepherds, Part I concludes with Christ's healing and redemption.

Part II concentrates on Christ's Passion, including his death and resurrection, ascension, the beginnings of Gospel preaching, the rejection of the Gospel, and God's ultimate victory. Part II musically concludes with "Hallelujah," Handel's most famous chorus and one of the most recognizable and performed pieces in all of choral literature.

Featured soloists for this performance include the following: Indiana State School of Music faculty members Colleen Davis and Yana Weinstein; Michael Boswell, a graduate of State and faculty member at St. Mary of the Woods College; and Christopher Seefeldt, graduate voice student in the Jacobs School of Music at Indiana University. Providing keyboard/organ accompaniment will be Martha Krasnican, director of the Indiana State School of Music accompanying program, with technological assistance from her husband, Dan Powers, also an Indiana State School of Music faculty member.

Tickets to the event will be available at the door or by calling the School of Music at 812-237-2770. Tickets cost $10 for adults, $5 for non-Indiana State students and free for State students with a student I.D. and children under the age of 10. Attendance by campus and community members is very much encouraged and welcomed.


Contact: Mark Carlisle, School of Music, Indiana State University, at 812-237-2761 or