Handel’s Easter Messiah performance Apr. 10

Handel’s Easter Messiah performance Apr. 10Christina MacGregor

News Review Staff Writer

Music once again fills the chapel and halls at the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, as members of different local churches and congregations are practicing together for their performance of Handel’s Messiah Easter portion.

The Church is hosting the event in coordination with the Ridgecrest Opera Workshop, and it is set to take place on April 10, 2022 (Palm Sunday) at 7 pm at the Church building on 1031 S. Norma St.

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints and the Ridgecrest Opera Workshop worked with churches in the Ridgecrest area to form the Community Interfaith Choir during the Christmas holiday season. That group then held a concert, where they performed classics like “For Unto Us a Child is Born,” as well as the “Hallelujah chorus,” written by the well-known George Frideric Handel.

Now the group is back together with new members in the choir, and they are excited to perform the next portion of Handel’s Messiah.

“I had the tradition of singing in performances of Handel’s Messiah around Christmas time. We wanted to bring this to our community,” explained Stacey Jensen, a coordinator of the event and performer in the choir. “This last December we had such an enjoyable experience that we thought it would be wonderful to do an Easter performance. There is so much to gain from the other, less often heard portions of Handel’s Messiah.”

“We also decided to do the Easter portion while we still had rights to the music,” said Natasha Chandler, another coordinator of the event and performer in the choir.

“Many may not be familiar with the entire Messiah; it has three parts,” Jensen went on to say, “Part one is typically sung at Christmas time (but often adds the Hallelujah chorus from part II). The Easter portion includes parts II and III. We are singing selections from both part II and part III. These two parts focus on the sacrifice, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ, including sharing His gospel and the resurrection and salvation of mankind.”

Jensen’s husband, John, directed the choir in December, and he is conducting now too. David Hodgson is the vocal coach for the soloists. There are 12 soloists who were selected from the Interfaith Community Choir or were involved with the Ridgecrest Opera Workshop. Some of the soloists performed in December, but some soloists are new to this performance.

This choir is unique for the fact that there are so many ages in it, and all of those ages are quite talented at singing.

“Some of the youth and teenagers will be performing solos as well,” explained Chandler.

The performance will last approximately an hour and a half. The concert is free for those who wish to attend. No tickets are required for entrance.

“For many, it will be a beautiful experience to hear music composed by a master that is beloved across the world,” said Jensen, “For some, the spirit of the music will touch their heart. It is a wonderful time to bring the community together.”

Coutrsey Photo: Soloist from a previous concert include Back Row Left to Right Jordan Covert, Geoffrey Brown, Alex Vargas, John Jensen Middle Row: Kirsten Jensen, Emily Ommen, Front Row: Deanna Belt, Julia Rindt

Story First Published: 2022-04-01