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Handel’s Messiah to hit the stage

December 7, 2018

HARLINGEN — Handel’s Messiah presented quite a challenge for its performance, but they accepted in grand style.

“ Usually in standard choir music there’s 4/4 time and simple whole notes. But in the Messiah there’s usually 16th notes,” said Sophia Lopez, 16.

She’s one of about 70 singers performing tomorrow in the Harlingen CISD Choral Music Department’s production of the famous seasonal classic.

Students and community members are participating in the show at the HCISD Performing Arts Center. Singers and orchestral players have spent the past six Mondays preparing for the show, said Ginger Wheelock, conductor.

“ We performed Handel’s Messiah two years ago and we’re doing it again this year,” she said. “We’re really liking the sound and we’re enjoying working together with the community.”

She said the last performance two years ago was so successful the district decided to do it again.

“ It’s kind of been in the works for a couple of years now,” Wheelock said. “We’re very excited. Our community loves it.”

One of the community members performing in the show is local attorney Jim Young.

“ We’re having a blast,” Young said. He actually brings some musical experience of his own to the show.

“ Before I went to law school I studied music for a little bit in college,” Young said. “I’ve always loved music. When I was in school I did play the trombone and sang in the band.”

When he heard that Wheelock was calling for community members to participate he didn’t think twice even though he hadn’t performed music in quite awhile.

“ It takes a lot to get your chops back, to get back into the flow of reading music and getting the voice back,” he said. “It comes back to you in spurts but it’s also really great to be singing with such wonderful and talented students.”

Bianca Lopez was too ill two years ago to perform in the first Handel’s Messiah, so she jumped at the opportunity to sing this year.

“ Messiah’s a very interesting experience because it brings the community together and it’s an opportunity for us all,” said Bianca, 17, a senior at Harlingen High School.

“ I love singing more difficult music,” she said. “I think it’s a great experience to sing with them because they might have sung in choirs when they were much younger and might have learned differently. It’s a learning experience for everyone.”

Handel’s Messiah offers singers a chance to expand their musical horizons, said Sophia, a junior at HHS.

“ It’s almost a higher level of education,” she said. “It gives you a better sense of music.”

Anne Marie Boeding, assistant choir director, is excited about her solo performance in the production.

“ I’m a little nervous because I’ve never done it before,” she said. “I’ve sung all the pieces from it but never with an orchestra. I have family coming in from out of town who want to see it and it’s going to be really fun.”

twhitehead@valleystar.com

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