Sunday, December 8, 2013


I fell in love with Handel's Messiah when I was in college.  Our choir joined the Southwest Chorale and Symphony under the joint direction of Dr. Kim and Dr. Caldwell, and the grandeur and majesty of the oratorio changed Christmas for me forever.  Since then, no Christmas has been complete without it: we did Messiah sing-ins at BYU, we soloed with Evanston's production, and on years when there was no formal performance for us, we sang along with the CDs.

Coming back to St. George meant coming back to the Southwest Chorale's production of Messiah.  TJ has soloed for the last two years, and I've been in the choir.  And I have to say, the sense of homecoming couldn't be more beautifully complete.  Dr. Kim is gone, but Dr. Caldwell still conducts.  Since he was also my Symphonic Band teacher (and a great one), it is a great thrill performing under his baton again.  And since he still has a knack for making each student feel like his personal favorite, TJ and I both just bask in the glow.

The only thing that could possibly be better than singing about the Savior's birth is singing about the Savior's birth full blast!  Forty-five minutes into the oratorio, your voice is nice and warm, your diaphragm is bouncy, and your vocal and dynamic range is through the roof--and then all those lovely choruses are lined up like desserts on a buffet.  Nothing could keep me away from such a musical treat.  Indeed, I spent all Monday in bed with a stomach flu, and wasn't even sure I'd be able to stand through the whole performance, but I wiggled into my concert black anyway and went.  I was a little short of breath and a teeny bit woozy, but it was absolutely worth it.  Definitely the musical highlight of the year.

TJ's solo was beautiful, although he wasn't entirely thrilled with it.  The Trumpet Shall Sound is an absolutely magnificent duet between solo trumpet and the soloist, and they both did beautifully.  In the words of Kaye Hinton "it thrilled us to our toes!"  I was so proud of him!