Blacksburg Master Chorale to Present Momentous Performance of Handel’s ‘Messiah’

The voices of more than 90 singers will fill the Moss Arts Center’s theatre when the Blacksburg Master Chorale presents one of the most iconic works of the holiday season. Joined by a professional orchestra and guest soloists, the ensemble presents Handel’s “Messiah” on Sunday, Dec. 17, at 4 p.m.

Featuring the glorious and resounding “Hallelujah Chorus,” the performance also includes Part I of the oratorio, as well as the closing “Amen” fugue. Part I consists of five scenes: Isaiah’s prophecy of salvation, the coming judgement, the prophecy of Christ’s birth, the annunciation to the shepherds, and Christ’s healing and redemption.

A German Baroque composer, George Frideric Handel began writing oratorios — operas about sacred subjects that are presented in concert instead of acted on the stage — after his opera season was canceled because of a lack of subscribers. He wrote 22 oratorios in all, composing “Messiah” in 24 days in 1741.

A magnanimous piece that uses texts from the old and new testaments, “Messiah” tells the story of the coming of Christ. The work gained popularity throughout the 1750s and, after Handel’s death, was performed all over the world with increasing adaptations and re-orchestrations based on the musical taste of the time.

For this performance, the Blacksburg Master Chorale is joined by an orchestra and soprano Alison Wahl, mezzo-soprano Kayla Brotherton, tenor Benjamin Bunsold, and bass-baritone Markel Williams. Conductor Dwight Bigler is Blacksburg Master Chorale’s music director and associate professor of music and director of choral activities at Virginia Tech.

For 35 years, the Blacksburg Master Chorale has performed creative and inspiring repertoire, sharing the beauty of choral music throughout the New River Valley. Members of the chorale represent a broad spectrum of the community, ranging from high school students to retirees. Former members now have musical careers with such organizations as the New York City Opera, the Metropolitan Opera, and Chanticleer.


Tickets for the performance are $25-$65 for general audience and $10 for students and youth 18 and under. Tickets can be purchased online; at the Moss Arts Center’s box office, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Friday, and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday; or by calling 540-231-5300 during box office hours.

Venue and parking information

The performance will be held in the center’s Anne and Ellen Fife Theatre, located within the Street and Davis Performance Hall at 190 Alumni Mall. Convenient parking is available in the North End Parking Garage on Turner Street and in downtown Blacksburg. Find more parking details online.

If you are an individual with a disability and desire an accommodation, please contact Jamie Wiggert at least 10 days prior to the event at 540-231-5300 or email [email protected] during regular business hours.

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