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UWGB Chorale belts out Christmas classics

Betsy Shafer, Entertainment Writer
December 12, 2012
Filed under Entertainment

Preach it to the choir. UW-Green Bay’s Chorale, as well as local high school choirs, Green Bay Chorale Artists, Green Bay Symphony Orchestra and a variety of UWGB professors and community choruses, exemplified the sound of George Frederic Handel’s “Messiah” Dec. 1. Participating area high school choirs included Gibraltar, Sevastopol, Sturgeon Bay and Southern Door.

The UWGB Chorale performed Handel’s Coronation Mass with the Green Bay Symphony Orchestra. Then, the Green Bay Chorale Artists joined for the “Messiah” songs with soloists performing in between. The high school choir groups sang during the larger choruses like the “Hallelujah” chorus. This year, the high school choir groups performed half of the entire Messiah.

“The work starts with a large orchestral overture and then moves to the sung portion of the work,” said Lindsay Cummings, senior vocal performance and musical theatre major. “Then there were the soloist pieces and chorus pieces. UWGB Chorale and the community choir sang all of the chorus pieces and the high school choir joined in on some of the easier ones.”

More than 200 performers joined this year’s performance. There were several featured soloists throughout, including UWGB assistant professor of music Courtney Sherman and Sarah Meredith-Livingston, UWGB music and womens studies assistant professor.

“There were missing choruses such as ‘All We Like Sheep,’ but learning even one ‘Messiah’ song requires a lot of practice and skill,” said Amanda Abegglen, senior music history and literature major.

Abegglen is a soprano in this years “Messiah” performance.

“The last performance of ‘Messiah,’ I was an alto,” said Abegglen. “It’s great having to learn another part.”

Abegglen, who has been part of the chorale for three years, said it is so much more than just the “Messiah” performance.

“It’s an incredible opportunity to come and be a part of this, even as an audience member,” Abegglen said. “To see the fusion of a symphony and hundreds of singers could be a once in a lifetime opportunity for some.”

David Gallagher, senior music applied voice major and a baritone in the choir, said his favorite part of the “Messiah” performance was “Worth Is the Lamb” and the “Amen Section.”

Alex Stensaas, fifth-year applied music major, explained euphoria while he performs.

“When I think about what the text is saying while performing it, it gives me goosebumps,” Stensaas said. “It’s moments like this that make me realize why I sing.”

Money from ticket sales goes to scholarships for music students at UWGB.

“It’s a great way to keep the music alive,” Abegglen said.

The UWGB chorale provides an outlet for some students.

“My favorite part about being a part of the chorale is having the opportunity to sing something every week and, of course, being able to perform these songs,” Stensaas said. “Music has always been an outlet for me, and I know if I didn’t have a chance to sing every week, I wouldn’t feel like myself.”

Look for future performances at the Weidner Center website.