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MSU College of Music Presents Holiday Classics

By |2018-11-28T16:11:25-05:00November 28th, 2018|Lansing, Neighborhoods|

EAST LANSING – Michigan State University’s College of Music will bring a holiday tradition to St. Thomas Aquinas Church on Saturday, Dec. 8, at 8 p.m. with a performance of selections from Handel’s “Messiah” and other festive pieces inspired by old English carols.
MSU Director of Choral Programs David Rayl will lead more than 130 choristers from the MSU Community Music School’s Choral Union and the College of Music’s University Chorale. The MSU Symphony Orchestra and Hae Won Jang, an organist from St. Thomas, will accompany the choirs comprised of students and community members. Soloists include six vocal arts students from MSU: Jillian Brennan and Tianxi Wang, sopranos; Megan Magsarili, mezzo-soprano; John Henrikson, tenor; and Peter Boylan and Ben Reisinger, baritones.
“Performing the world’s greatest choral music is a blessing for all of us, but so is presenting these great works in concert and making them accessible to the larger Lansing community,” Rayl said. “I have so much admiration for the dedicated members of the Choral Union, who come to rehearsal every Wednesday evening to make this and other events happen with the MSU choral community.”
Since 2015, this annual holiday performance pays tribute to and extends the 26-year tradition of the “Messiah” concert that took place at the College of Music from 1978 to 2003. This year’s performance will feature the arias and choruses from the “Christmas” portion and the famous “Hallelujah” chorus from Handel’s Messiah.
Rayl said the audience will also enjoy the first movement of Bach’s “Christmas Oratorio” and two British works from the early 20th century scored for orchestra and organ. Ralph Vaughan William’s “Fantasia on Christmas Carols” and Gustav Holst’s “Christmas Day” are based on old English carols, some of which are from the more formal hymnal tradition, and others from the folk tradition that were sung in the English countryside.
“We’re thrilled to bring joy to our community by performing these great and masterful works,” he said. “Audiences never fail to connect with holiday music, especially Handel’s most famous oratorio.”
Tickets are $22 for adults, $20 for seniors (age 60 and older) and $12 for students with ID and anyone under 18. They can be purchased at the College of Music Box Office by calling 517-353-5342 or visiting [email protected]. Tickets can also be purchased at the door if available. Seating is general admission. For more information visit

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Between The Lines has been publishing LGBTQ-related content in Southeast Michigan since the early '90s. This year marks the publication's 25th anniversary.
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