The Hillsdale College Music Department will perform “Messiah” Nov. 30 to Dec. 2. at College Baptist Church. The performance will last two and a half hours.
The music department performs Messiah every four years. James Holleman, Chairman and Associate Professor of Music, Choirs, and Orchestra, began the cycle in 2000. This ensures that every student who attends Hillsdale will see or participate in “Messiah” once.
“It is a coincidence that it always an election year. I am not trying to make any grand statements,” Holleman said with a laugh.
“Messiah,” written by George Handel in 1741 is an oratorio, or dramatic composition performed by an orchestra, soloists, and a choir. About 150 students will participate in the choir, 25 students have solos, and students hold all first chair positions in the orchestra.
Holleman said “Messiah” is a significant piece because it is a biblical narrative and has great meaning for the Hillsdale community.
For the first time, this year all soloists are students. Alumni Nick Nestorak ’10 is also a soloist.
“We wanted the performance to be a product of the department,” Holleman said.
In the first two cycles of “Messiah” the soloists were all faculty and guest artists. In 2008 the department felt it had enough talent to use students. Each faculty still had a cameo.
“There was a lot of buzz after the 2008 cycle. Students were excited to hear their friends,” Holleman said.
To audition, students had to be enrolled in voice lessons, but did not necessarily have to participate in chamber choir. The majority of soloists, however, are in chamber choir.
Thirteen hundred people have already reserved the free tickets for “Messiah.” Although the shows are already sold old, Holleman encourages students without tickets to arrive early at the performance as tickets may become available.