RSU and Claremore Choirs to Present Handel’s ‘Messiah’ Dec. 5-6

More than 60 voices from across Rogers County – including the Rogers State University Choir, Claremore Community Chorus, First Presbyterian Church Choir and others – will come together along with the Tulsa Symphony Chamber Orchestra to present Handel’s “Messiah” on Dec. 5-6 in Claremore.

The first performance will be held at 8 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 5, at the Robson Performing Arts Center, following the Claremore Christmas Parade, which begins at 6 p.m. in downtown Claremore.

A second performance, featuring excerpts from “Messiah” and a string quartet from the Tulsa Symphony Orchestra, will be held at 11 a.m. on Sunday, Dec. 6, at the First Presbyterian Church at 102 E. Fourth St. in Claremore.

Both performances are free and open to the public.

“‘Messiah’ is presented all over the world during this time of year and we hope to establish a new holiday tradition with an annual presentation of ‘Messiah’ in Claremore,” said Lonnie Liggitt, who is serving as music director for the performances of “Messiah.” “Adding the accompaniment of the Tulsa Symphony Chamber Orchestra to the voices of Rogers County will make this a very special event.”

Phil Womack, music director at Memorial Heights Baptist Church in Claremore, will serve as assistant music director for the production of “Messiah.”

In addition to the First Presbyterian Church Choir, individual members of several other area church choirs will participate in the production, Liggitt said.

The concerts are being underwritten by RSU, the Claremore Symphony League, Wal-Mart, Williams Companies and other private contributors.

“Messiah” is an oratorio composed in 1741 by German composer George Frideric Handel. It was first performed in Dublin, Ireland in 1742, and remains one of the most popular works in Western choral literature, Liggitt said. The production includes the very well-known chorus “Hallelujah!” at its conclusion.

The Claremore production will feature the first of three parts of “Messiah,” which is primarily concerned with the Advent and Christmas stories, and is often presented by choirs across the nation during the holiday season.

For more information about “Messiah,” or to audition for the performance, contact Liggitt at (918) 637-7954.