University chorale performs Handel’s ‘Messiah’

BY CATHERINE TROLL

The harmonies of Handel’s “Messiah” resonated through Christ the King Chapel on the evening of April 20 as the Franciscan University Chorale, directed by Paul M. Weber, an associate professor of music and director of the program in organ performed ten excerpts from the composition that focused on the death and resurrection of Christ.

Altogether, there were 29 performers, including Weber, who played the harpsichord and directed the music. The 21-member chorus was accompanied by a string quintet.

In addition, there were three soloists who sang their pieces at different intervals throughout the composition. Soloists included Marie Eger, mezzo-soprano; Kelsey Wasilewski, soprano; and Joseph Andreola, baritone. The chorus consisted of 19 students and professors Christopher Warwick and Alanna Keenan. Warwick accompanied Andreola on the organ toward the end of the performance.

The Biblical lyrics, harmonizing voices and instrumental accompaniments certainly raised the audience’s mind to God. The listeners stood up in their pews during the famous “Halleluiah!” chorus, which was the sixth excerpt performed, and hailed the Chorale with a lengthy standing ovation after the entire performance came to an end.

“We worked very diligently to put this together and to give the audience a chance to experience the beauty of classical music,” said Amanda Rodriguez, music major and member of the chorus.

The performers and the audience were touched by Handel’s “Messiah.” Rachel Meixner, a chorus member who has enjoyed her first semester in the Chorale, said: “The music and the voices all together just sounded like Heaven.”

Patrick Kornmeyer, audience member and freshman at Franciscan, reflected: “In my opinion, the concert was a proof of the soul’s immortality. One could experience the composer himself through his composition, animated by the chorale, even though Handel has long since passed away.”

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