Messiah Moments: Glorious and Profound

Click here for a brief piece from the Hartford Courant on our upcoming Messiah performance. Echoing the line that “For the singers, being part of ‘Messiah’ is profound,” a few more reflections from Chorale members:

“the great Amen, to me at a whirling cosmic peak… Particularly that last page, with its pedal D’s and A’s. When I first heard this performed, with the Haydn and Handel Society in Boston, the chorus (a chamber chorus by our standards) virtually EXPLODED into glory at this juncture” – Mark Leder, Bass I

“Between August 2013 through December 2013, my 84 year Father was very ill, and actually passed away December 23rd that year. I considered sitting out the “Messiah Semester” in 2013. I was exhausted and emotionally drained. But the voice within me said I needed to feel some joy; I needed to rehearse and perform Messiah, even though I had done so, dozens of times in my life. I gave it my all. But this time, Handel’s Messiah gave back to me. In all my grief, knowing my Father was dying, each rehearsal, as well as the performance, reinforced my own faith and reminded me each week of the hope and promise of everlasting life. With tears streaming down my face, I was happy there were so many singers facing forward, no one even noticed! It was a glorious, and brand new experience, delivering new meaning to me from a old masterpiece I have experienced so many times before, but never quite like this.” – Linda Steger Olbrys, Alto I

[After Donna LeMay, longtime beloved Chorale member and leader, passed away,] “we found her Messiah score in her music library. Her score was beautifully maintained after so many years of use; her score was professionally bound to protect it for many more Messiah performances – performances that, for Donna, were not to come. Inside the first page of her bound score, Donna recorded the date of each Hartford Chorale performance in which she sang… For those who knew her and loved her, we miss her spirit, her beautiful soprano voice and her humor. We honor her as well as other Chorale members and leaders who have passed. We remember Donna LeMay today and always but especially this time of year as we all dust off our Handle scores and get down to the business of creating an unforgettable Messiah performance. Donna – this one’s for you.” – Mary Ann Haar, Soprano II

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