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Local voices sought for Handel's 'Messiah'
The Yuma Ecumenical Choir is looking for community members to join in song to perform the Christmas portion of Handel's “Messiah.”
With 120 singers in the choir last year, director Brandon Stroup said they are open to a choir of up to 200 people for this year's group.
“There really isn't a prerequisite to sing with the Yuma Ecumenical Choir. We just ask for individuals who are dedicated and willing to make the rehearsals as well as work on the music outside of rehearsal.
“Everyone is welcome, and no audition is required. The only people who need to audition are those interested in the solo portions of the oratorio.”
Stroup noted that they are looking for singers to be 15 years or older.
“With as large a group as we have, everyone brings their own unique experience and perspective to the table, and everyone learns from one another. It truly is a great way to bridge the gap between generations. As a director, it is encouraging to see such a variety of people that may never otherwise cross paths work together to produce such beautiful music.”
Rehearsals will take place at Connecting Point Church of the Nazarene (formerly First Church of the Nazarene), 1900 Ave. A., beginning Oct. 25 and continuing on Thursdays from 7 to 9 p.m. Stroup said there will be six rehearsals total in addition to a dress rehearsal.
Stroup added that the Yuma Ecumenical Choir will be partnering again with the Yuma Civic Orchestra, directed by Janet Jones, to put on the performance of Handel's “Messiah” and the “Hallelujah Chorus.”
“Janet and I continue to see the value of providing such a great and famous oratorio for the Yuma community. As we have said in the past, works of this caliber often are not found in smaller cities, so we are proud and excited to see it come to life once more. We feel that it will expand the musical skills and knowledge of those performing and also provide the community with another quality, professional performance to attend.”
The performance this Christmas season will mark the third year in a row that the concert has been performed in Yuma in recent years.
“We worried that after the excitement of bringing back ‘Messiah' two years ago, there would be less interest the second year,” said Stroup. “However, this simply wasn't the case. While it is a lot of work, we are excited for the third performance and feel that the quality will only continue to improve. We are also excited to see new and returning faces.”
Those interested in becoming involved in the choir should contact Ericka Nelson at YECMessiah@gmail.com or 580-1849.
“There is no deadline to let us know. We would appreciate knowing in advance, but will gladly accept anyone who shows up for the first rehearsal.”
The dress rehearsal will be Saturday, Dec. 15, from 9 to 11 a.m. and the performances Dec. 15 at 3 p.m. and Dec. 16 at 7 p.m., both at Gila Ridge High School.
Sarah Womer can be reached at email@example.com or 539-6858. Find her on Facebook at Facebook.com/YSSarahWomer or on Twitter at @YSSarahWomer.