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The Southeast Kansas Symphony Orchestra
Raul Munguia - Artistic Director & Conductor

2007-08 Season

Sunday, April 13th, 2008
~ 4:00 p.m. ~
McCray Recital Hall

Concert program (PDF)
Concert poster
Related Links

Concert Graphic

"The Messiah"
A Centennial Celebration

McCray Hall: 100 years of making music
Anniversary Celebration of the
Pittsburg State University Department of Music

A Tribute to Walter McCray featuring Handel's Messiah
With the Pittsburg State University Chorale

Stella Hastings & Susan Marchant, directors

The Messiah, A Sacred Oratorio (HWV 56)

George Frideric Handel (1685-1759)

Accompagnato ~ Comfort ye (tenor)
Air ~ Ev'ry Valley (tenor)
Air ~ But who may abide the day of His coming? (alto)

~ "Walter McCray - A biographical sketch" ~

Recitative ~ There were shepherds abiding in the field (soprano)
Accompagnato ~ And lo the angel of the Lord came upon them (sop.)
Recitative ~ And the angel said unto them (sop.)
Accompagnato ~ And suddently there was with the angel (sop.)
Chorus ~ Glory to God
Air ~ Rejoice Greatly

~ "The Messiah Concerts" ~

Chorus ~ Hallelujah
Air ~ I know that my Redeemer liveth


Air ~ The trumpet shall sound (bass)
Duet ~ O death where is thy sting? (alto & tenor)
Chorus ~ Worthy is the Lamb that was slain

First Performed:April 13, 1742 in Dublin
Libretto: Charles Jennens (1707-1773): from Bible and Prayer Book

"The Messiah" was written by Handel in the summer of 1741. He began the composition August 22, and completed it September 14 - in the incredibly short space of twenty-three days. No other fact in the great composer's life exhibits so clearly his genius as well as his power of concentration. He was at that time fifty-six years of age, and had suffered heavy financial losses in the management of an unsuccessful season in Italian opera in London - los ses so great as to leave him bankrupt. In this crisis he was invited by the lord lieutenant of Ireland to visit Dublin and present a series of musical entertainments; this he did very successfully during the winter of 1741-42, closing the season on April 13 with the presentation of his "new oratorio," which here received its initial performance. The proceeds of the entertainment we to be devoted to prisoners for debt in Dublin jails. The hall accommodated six hundred persons but the advertisement requested the ladies to come without hoops and the gentlemen without swords, thus saving sufficient space to admit an audience of seven hundred.

The theme of "The Messiah" is the foreshadowing, the advent, the suffering and final triumph of the Christ.

The first part of the work voices the longing of the world for its Redeemer, beginning with the word and ending in the birth of Christ, with the invitation of Isaiah, "Comfort ye, my people, saith your God," to follow him. "For His yoke is easy and His burden is light."

The second part describes the sufferings of the Messiah, closing with His victory over the grave, and ascension into Heaven, expressed in that greatest of all choral numbers, the Hallelujah Chorus.

The third part notes the effect of Christ's sacrifice upon the world and expresses the aspirations of religious faith, beginning with the famous aria for soprano. "I Know That My Redeemer Liveth," and closing with the numbers, "Worthy Is the Lamb That Was Slain," and the final "Amen" chorus, in which, untrammeled by words, the composer gives free reign to his intense religious enthusiasm and presents a stupendous climax.

Bulletin. Spring Music Festival & Interstate
High School Musical Contest. April 22 to 28, 1929. p.9

Scored for: 2 oboes, 2 bassoons, 2 trumpets, timpani, continuo, organ, strings. (chorus/SATB solos) [0202-0200-tmp-cnt,org-str]

Messiah Soloists

~ Katheryn Parke, soprano ~
MM Voice 1990, BM Voice 1987,
Pittsburg State University

~Kelly Samarzea, contralto ~
Assistant Professor,
Pittsburg State University

~William Vance, tenor ~
MM Voice 1971, BM Voice 1969,
Pittsburg State University

~Patrick Howle, baritone ~
Pittsburg State University


Special presentation by: Randy Roberts,
curator of Special Collections, Axe Library

Related Links

George Frideric Handel (1685-1759)

Messiah Links