Mormon Tabernacle Choir Blog

Celebrate This Christmas Season With Messiah!

It has been 275 years since the premier performance of George Frideric Handel’s beloved Messiah oratorio in Dublin, Ireland. Although Messiah was premiered in 1742 during Easter celebrations, through the years it has become both a Christmas and an Easter tradition for Christians around the world. The Mormon Tabernacle Choir has had a long history performing Messiah and Handel’s music. 

Here are some ways to make Messiah part of your Christmas celebration:

Listen to the Choir’s Messiah recordings. The Mack Wilberg 2016 edition of the Messiah oratorio retains the aesthetics and sound of Handel’s original masterpiece but in a performance by a large chorus and orchestra. The Mormon Tabernacle Choir and Orchestra at Temple Square were joined on this beautiful recording by acclaimed soloists Sonya Yoncheva, Tamara Mumford, Rolando Villazón, and Bryn Terfel. Two versions are available: the Complete Oratorio, on two CDs with a bonus DVD, and the Highlights, with selected choruses and solos. The CDs are available for purchase or as digital downloads.

The Choir Notes weekly newsletter for December 8, 2017, contained a discount code for subscribers to purchase the Messiah Highlights CD. (If you want to be a subscriber to Choir Notes to get future Choir discounts and notices, click here.)

Watch and listen to Messiah excerpts from the Hallelujah! CD and DVD. During the 2015 Christmas concert, British actor Martin Jarvis and Metropolitan Opera soloists Erin Morley, Tamara Mumford, Ben Bliss, and Tyler Simpson recounted through dramatic and musical narrative the story of Handel’s composition and Messiah’s early performances. The CD and DVD are available online for purchase, digital download, or DVD rental.

Participate in a Messiah sing or concert. There are many opportunities during the Christmas season to participate in local school, community, or church Messiah performances and sing-ins. Some Choir fans have even had a Messiah sing in the privacy of their own home by singing with the recording of Messiah by the Choir!

Here are some resources on mormontabernaclechoir.org to help you prepare for your Messiah experience:

·      Learn how to sing the “Hallelujah” Chorus: Watch the Choir’s video to learn the soprano, alto, tenor, or bass vocal part of the “Hallelujah” Chorus with music and orchestral accompaniment and Mack Wilberg conducting. You don’t have to be a solo quality singer—just one who enjoys the exhilarating experience of singing this inspiring music.

·      Enjoy a free sample public domain score of Messiah in pdf format that can be printed or downloaded so you can become familiar with the entire oratorio. Participants typically arrive at a Messiah sing-in with their own score. (Please be aware that domain/copyright laws vary from country to country, so this work may not be free of known copyright restrictions in all jurisdictions.)

·      Read George Frideric Handel: A Brief History of the Man and the Early Days of Messiah to learn more about this talented composer.

·      Additional resource materials can be found on the Choir’s Messiah pages that will add to your enjoyment and understanding of Messiah. Learn about the history and importance of Messiah from its earliest days to the present time.

Plan now to join us for 2018 Messiah Easter concerts and live stream! Mark your calendars now to join the Choir and Orchestra at Temple Square to enjoy Messiah on March 22 and 23, 2018, in the Salt Lake Tabernacle on Temple Square. Join us in person or through the magic of internet technology. The Messiah concert will be live streamed over the internet on Friday, March 23, 2018, and will be available for viewing for the week following the concert from our website. If you haven’t already done so, please subscribe to the Choir Notes weekly newsletter for advance information on tickets and how to plan your own Messiah sing.

Enjoy making Messiah and the Mormon Tabernacle Choir and Orchestra at Temple Square part of your Christmas and Easter celebrations!