Handel’s oratorio Messiah was completed during the twenty-four days between Aug. 22 and Sept. 14, 1741. Two hundred seventy-one years later, Dec. 2, 2012 we were privileged to hear the Christmas portion of Handel’s Messiah at the First Lutheran Church in Aitkin.
Directed by Bryan Johnson, the Aitkin Community Choir consisted of 46 voices, four soloists — Jake Frie, tenor; Bob Nelson, bass; Carolyn Macy, alto; Penny Fannemel, soprano — and six instrumentalists — first violin-Daniel Radosevich, second violin-Amy Eichers, viola-Clare Chopp, cello-Christian Eggert; harpsichord-Janet Orjala, and organ-Edie Orazem.
The entire performance was wonderful! From the Allegro Moderato by the instrumentalists to the tenor’s resounding “Comfort ye my People” to the bass’ powerful “Thus saith the Lord” to the alto’s “Behold, a virgin shall conceive” and the soprano telling us “And lo! the angel of the Lord” speaking to the shepherd. Then in the midst of these beautiful renditions by the soloists the choir sings “And the glory of the Lord” and “Unto us a child is born.” And with the whole sanctuary filled with PRAISE, the chorus sings “Glory to God!”
A powerful time of worship, indeed! We thought at the time, If the Lord walked in on us, He would be very pleased. In fact, He might just say, “Wow! This is really good!”
Then, to complete this wonderfully profound performance, the chorus with all hands and voices on board — organ, harpsichord, violins, viola, cello, and 46 voices — the director brings us to our feet to bask in the glory of the Hallelujah Chorus!
Thank you, Aitkin Community Choir, for your wonderful Christmas gift to us personally and to the entire community.
Clarence and Sandy Lundquist