EVANSTON, Ill. --- The Northwestern University Evanston campus will celebrate the holidays early with two performances of Handel’s “Messiah” (Dec. 3 and 4) and a program of carols from the past six centuries (Dec. 4).
At 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 3, and 3 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 4, at Pick-Staiger Concert Hall, 50 Arts Circle Drive, the University Chorale and members of the Northwestern University Symphony Orchestra will perform the immortal oratorio “Messiah.” The best-known work of German composer George Frideric Handel, this holiday masterpiece was composed in London between 1741 and 1742. “Messiah” features dramatic sung narratives taken from both New and Old Testaments set against the sound of symphonic strings. Select members of the University Chorale will perform the solos.
Conductor Robert A. Harris, Northwestern’s choral director, is an active conductor and composer throughout the United States and abroad. He is a former member and co-chair of the choral panel of the National Endowment for the Arts, and a recipient of the School of Music Exemplar in Teaching Award and Alumni Association Excellence in Teaching Award. Tickets for the “Messiah” are $12 for the general public, $8.50 for senior citizens and Northwestern faculty and staff, and $5.50 for students with a valid ID.
At 10:30 a.m. Sunday, Dec. 4, the annual “Festival of Lessons and Carols” will be held in Alice Millar Chapel, 1870 Sheridan Road. The Alice Millar Chapel Choir, Northwestern’s Philharmonia and the Millar Brass Ensemble will blend talents for this holiday tradition that combines readings and musical treasures to portray the Christmas miracle. The program includes medieval to modern carol settings for brass, strings, organ and choir by Rutter, Vendervelde, Whitacre, Willcocks and others.
Stephen Alltop, director of music for Alice Millar Chapel, will conduct the program. Featured as a guest conductor across the country, Alltop has won the 2001 Community Orchestra of the Year award for Elmhurst, Ill., and the 1996 Programming of the Year Award by the Illinois Council of Orchestras. Admission to this event is a freewill offering.
To order tickets or for more information, call the Pick-Staiger Ticket Office at (847) 467-4000 or Pick-Staiger’s Hotline at (847) 467-PICK or visit the Pick-Staiger Web site at <www.pickstaiger.com>.