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Handel’s Messiah to be performed Sunday

Photo submitted by Marietta College The Basilica of St. Mary of the Assumption will host for the 93rd year George Frideric Handel's Messiah Sunday at 7 p.m., sung by the Marietta College Oratorio Chorus.

Hannah Miller, 20, of Marietta, is kicking off exam week a day early Sunday with a performance she feels privileged to be included in.

Miller is one of the five soloists joining Marietta College’s Oratorio Chorus for its 93rd performance of George Frideric Handel’s Messiah on Sunday.

“There are some people I go to church with that have been singing this for more than 50 years,” she explained. “To get to perform a second year with them in the chorus and with the Christmas solos is incredible.”

The chorus is made up of approximately 60 members, only three of whom are students.

“This will be my fourth year conducting the performance,” explained Jay Dougherty, director of choral activities. “I always look forward to working with a professional orchestra and showcasing what the chorus has been working on all semester… It’s some of the best music ever written. It’s an oratorio–meaning it tells a whole story.”

The college’s showcase of the Messiah began in the fall of 1926 and has grown into the annual holiday tradition combining a professional orchestra with professional soloists, community members and students.

And retired members of the chorus still recall performing the Baroque-era composition originally written as an Easter offering.

“I love the Bible, and the Messiah is all scripture from the Old and New Testament,” explained Ruth Heidorn, of Marietta. “Where it says ‘I am the resurrection’ still fills me with joy.”

For Marion Kim, 84, of Marietta, listening for his old part with the bass and tenors singing together–and the memories attached to that music–is his favorite.

“As friends, we sang together there for at least 25 years,” he said.

Currently, the chorus boasts an age range of participants between 18 and 90, to be joined by four professional soloists (soprano, alto, tenor and bass).

The performance Sunday is scheduled to begin at 7 p.m. in the Basilica of St. Mary of the Assumption, 506 Fourth St., Marietta, and is both free and open to the public.

Janelle Patterson can be reached at jpatterson@mariettatimes.com.

If you go:

• What: 93rd performance of Handel’s Messiah by the Marietta College Oratorio Chorus.

• When: Sunday at 7 p.m.

• Where: Basilica of St. Mary of the Assumption, 506 Fourth St., Marietta.

• This event is free and open to the public.

Source: Marietta College

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