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Local choirs to sing Messiah over next two weekends in Orangeville, Creemore & Alliston

December 6, 2018   ·   0 Comments

By Constance Scrafield

With the New Tecumseth Singers and  Dufferin Concert Singers set to sing Handel’s Messiah in Creemore, Orangeville and Alliston over the next two weekends, conductor John Wervers sat down with us recently to talk about music and Messiah.

“The longevity of people staying in choirs is understandable,” Mr. Wervers commented. “It may be the way certain want to use their leisure time. When people are raising their families, living their self-imposed busyness, they forget to feed their hearts and souls,” he opined. “Singing can bring people together. Music is very good for cognitive health. People have come to realize how important it ti to participate in music, both as a singer or player or audience.

In his choirs, “We have a full range of ages from 16 to the ‘golden years. Music can heal a lot of wounds in our life. In time of tensions and conflict, singing is bonding but very essential; people can always have it in their lives, in spite of what else is going on.”

As a part of a whole, one member amongst many in a choir, his remark was, “Singing also can give most people a sense of accomplishment, reasonably quickly; we accomplish singing this piece well, together. People come together from all walks of life.”

He observed that, “by and large, the vast number of singers are amateurs in our country. The creative spirit  is not as regimented as we think it can be.”

Handel wrote the Messiah in 1741 and the question concerning such great works is what makes them so enduring?

To Mr. Wervers, “Its universal appeal, meaning a certain energy, music combining with text can enter a spiritual realm.”

Even now?

“Absolutely. It’s the fire major works do have.”

Joining the two choirs as soloists are soprano Hanna Spencer, tenor Blair Spry, a music graduate of Wilfred Laurier University;  mezzo soprano Cara Cameron and bass, Lorne Derraugh.

The 18-member Waterloo Chambers Players Orchestra is accompanying them, along with Ben Brisby, on tympani a local student and Dr. Mark Lane-Smith, playing the violin.

“It’s important to use local performers as much as possible.,” said Mr. Wervers. “People need to hear music; they need to participate in it.

“Messiah can run three hours. We did it here and in Alliston a few years ago. I give an intermission part way through and, of course, it’s very exciting – very big in places and very dark in others. The vitality and rhythm make it so special. We are not dong that this year.

“Handel really brings you, the listener into the sadness  as much as he does the joy.

“It’s got the universal message.”

The two choirs are performing “selected choral highlights with piano” at Creemore United Church Sunday and the full oratorio with orchestra at Broadway Pentecostal Tabernacle, 556 Broadway West on Saturday, December 15, at 7:30 p.m., and at Banting Memorial High School in Alliston on Sunday, December 16, at 3:00 p.m.

For tickets ($20), BookLore in Orange-ville, Lloyds Papermoon or South Simcoe Arts in Alliston. Or call Keith at 705-435-7374 or Kathy on 647-483-2117.

         

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