Sun, Dec 10|
Chattanooga First SDA Church
Messiah: Community Sing-Along
Time & Location
Dec 10, 2023, 3:00 PM – 6:00 PM
Chattanooga First SDA Church, 7450 Standifer Gap Rd, Chattanooga, TN 37421, USA
About the event
Each December nearly 400 people gather at Chattanooga First to welcome the holiday season with Händel’s masterpiece, Messiah. This is no ordinary performance, however. Those who gather also perform the role of the Chorus by singing the Messiah choruses of Part I plus the “Hallelujah” chorus. It’s a unique opportunity to welcome in the holidays for those who love good music and the Christmas season.
Under the direction of Laurie Redmer Cadwallader, Southern Adventist University’s Director of Orchestral Activities, professional soloists, chamber musicians and choristers all join together in the seasonal observance of Christ’s first advent to celebrate His life, ministry, death, resurrection and soon return.
This Chattanooga-area all-denominational event is always free and is offered as a community service. It’s a unique opportunity for audience participation in what has become the musical hallmark of the season. An offering will be taken to help defray expenses.
While most singers bring their own score, there are a limited number of chorus books available on loan for the event. Call for more information about this year’s event: (423) 605-2468.
- - -
The Birth of Messiah
Struggling to earn a living in London, German composer George Frederick Händel was nearing despair. Many days he could not afford to buy meals. One night in 1741, depressed and defeated, Händel wandered the lonely streets; it was almost dawn when he returned to his shabby room. On a table was a thick envelope from Charles Jennens, the man who wrote his librettos. On examination, Händel found the pages covered with Scripture texts.
Wearily, he tossed the pages aside and crawled into bed. But he could not sleep. Words from the texts kept reverberating:
“Comfort ye, comfort ye, my people, saith your God . . . The people that walked in darkness have seen a great light . . . For unto us a Child is born ... Glory to God in the highest . . . Hallelujah! Hallelujah!”
Too stirred to sleep, Händel rose and went to his piano. The music flowed from his heart – rich, majestic, triumphant. Feverishly, he began to write. Night and day for three weeks, forgetting sleep, food, and rest, he continued composing, refusing to see anyone. At last, on the day the work was finished, one friend managed to gain entrance.
The composer was at his piano, sheets of music strewn around him, tears streaming down his face. “I do believe I have seen all of Heaven before me, and the great God Himself,” Händel exclaimed.
Millions of listeners have shared Händel’s awe. The Messiah’s first audience, in Dublin in 1742, gave it the greatest ovation in the city’s history. Weeks later, it was again a triumph when London first heard it. Tradition has it that King George II was so impressed during the Hallelujah Chorus that he rose to his feet – a custom that prevails more than two centuries later.
Originally composed for Easter, Händel’s Messiah has since become the most popular music of the Christmas season. This holiday, in churches and concert halls around the world, millions will once again find hope and faith in the message of the Christ.