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Music City Messiah Festival
Music City Messiah Festival
Ring in the Holiday Season with this celebration of Handel’s beloved masterwork, Messiah. Musical events all day, leading up to the Messiah Sing-Along.
In conjunction with First Lutheran Church and the Big Blue Opera Initiatives at Tennessee State University, Early Music City will present the Music City Messiah Festival (formerly the Messiah Immersion Initiative and Sing-Along).
Designed after the Handel and Messiah Festivals of New York City, Dublin, Halle-Germany, and London, the Music City Messiah Festival aims to build vocal technique, music literacy, and performance practices in a unique, Nashville-way. George Frederick Handel’s Messiah is one of the most beloved and well-known works of the western art canon, revered by professionals, amateurs, and enthusiasts alike. Participants and attendees will receive instruction from educators, practitioners, and scholars in the areas of voice, choral conducting, music and world history.
Progressive early music ensemble, Early Music City, will serve as the orchestra joined by soloists from the W. Crimm Singers (aka Wakanda Chorale) such as soprano and winner of the National HBCU Vocal Competition Alysha Hinton and renowned baritone, recording artist, and vocal coach Elvie Williams. Additionally, the choirs from Tennessee State University and Trevecca Nazarene University will be featured; serving as the choral core, marking the first musical collaborations between the two institutions. Enhancing the traditional sing-along concert model, the Music City Messiah Festival allows participants unfamiliar with the work to engage it beyond just “come, sing your part, and leave”. Local and regional choral ensembles will also be featured in an afternoon choral festival at 3PM performing a wide range of repertoire from the western choral canon, composers of African descent, and contemporary styles.
The partner organizations have designed a day that includes the historic context of the work, traditions of Messiah beyond the concert hall, Nashville’s past engagement with the work in diverse communities, and even Handel’s own complicated history in art and investment. Historically, Nashville’s African American community and other groups of color once held stirring annual renditions of Messiah that have waned in recent years. The Music City Messiah Festival aims to reignite that tradition with a broadened scope. In recent productions of Messiah and other works like it, audience and performers have been those already privy to the art music canon. In speaking of the festival, recent America’s Got Talent featured artist and Big Blue Opera Initiatives founder, Patrick Dailey says “The Music City Messiah Festival will “de-class” and de-mystify this music and reorient it into the great community”.
The Music City Messiah Festival will take place on Saturday, November 12th at the historic First Lutheran Church, 113 8th Avenue South, downtown from 10AM to 5PM with the Messiah Sing Along beginning at 6PM. This program is funded in part by MetroArts, Nashville Office of Arts & Culture.