Huntingdon and First UMC Choirs Combine to Perform “Messiah”
Montgomery, Ala.—The Combined Adult Choirs of First United Methodist Church, Montgomery, Ala., directed by Jack Horner; and the Concert Choir of Huntingdon College, Montgomery, Ala., directed by Gene Davis, presented Handel’s “Messiah,” parts II and III, Sunday, March 1, to a large crowd in the church’s sanctuary. They were accompanied by chamber orchestra musicians, including a featured performance by Huntingdon professor of music Dr. Dennis Herrick on trumpet in the piece, “The Trumpet Shall Sound.” “Messiah” featured solo vocal performances by Alex Nishibun (tenor, Class of 2009, Huntingdon College), Jack Horner (tenor), Katie Hoffmaster (alto, Class of 2012, Huntingdon College), Lee Jackson (bass), Michelle Lott (alto), and Susan Adams Cooper (soprano, Class of 1999, Huntingdon College). The combined adult choirs of First United Methodist Church included at least 16 Huntingdon College alumni and current students, including present Huntingdon scholarship students Demetrius Tuck, Jenna Parish, and Mollie Adams.
According to Huntingdon adjunct music instructor James Conely’s notes in the performance program, “Messiah” was composed by George Frideric Handel and first performed in 1742. Most of the words are derived from the Old Testament, especially Psalms and Isaiah. “‘Messiah’ is the best known and most often performed large-scale music of Christianity,” wrote Conely. “It is an oratorio, meaning it tells an epic story through music on a grand scale, with soloists representing individuals, a chorus to respond, and an orchestra for accompaniment.”
Huntingdon and FUMC combined choirs for the performances of “Messiah,” part I, during the Christmas season, 2007, and of Mozart’s “Requiem in D” in the spring of 2006. Huntingdon College, grounded in the Judeo-Christian tradition of the United Methodist Church, is committed to nurturing growth in faith, wisdom, and service and to graduating individuals prepared to succeed in a rapidly changing world. Founded in 1854, Huntingdon is a coeducational liberal arts college. The College motto, “Enter to grow in wisdom; go forth to apply wisdom in service,” is inscribed in stone above the front door of John Jefferson Flowers Hall. Celebrating its centennial year in Montgomery this year, the campus is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.