Choral Union, Orchestra to Perform World’s Most Famous and Frequently Performed Musical Work


CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo., Aug. 8, 2003 — The Choral Union of Southeast Missouri State University will begin its fall rehearsal schedule on Tuesday, Aug. 26, for a Dec. 2 performance of Handel’s “Messiah.”

Regular rehearsals will be held on Tuesday evenings at 7 p.m. in 205 Brandt Music Hall.

The Choral Union is a non-auditioned, “open membership” choir that draws singers from the area-wide community, including University students, faculty and staff. The 100-plus voice choir specializes in the performance of major choral and orchestral literature. Performances of such significant works as Haydn’s “Creation,” Wilberg’s “Four American Folk Hymns” and Orff’s “Carmina Burana” provide the community with outstanding cultural events and provide area singers the opportunity to perform some of the world’s greatest music.

“The choral/orchestral concerts which we began over a decade ago have become major community ‘cultural events,’ said Dr. John Egbert, director of choral activities. “We would like to see an increase in community participation, but those who have joined us have thoroughly enjoyed their experience.”

“Messiah,” to be performed at 8 p.m. Dec. 2 in Academic Hall Auditorium, is the longest running musical work of all time. It is performed around the world, and has been performed annually for over two and one-half centuries. It was written in London in the summer of 1741 at an incredible pace. The complete work (the Choral Union will perform only Part I) requires approximately two and one-half hours performance time, and yet Handel wrote “Messiah” in its entirety in just 22 days. Reportedly, he worked without food or sleep–sometimes for several days at a time.

The Choral Union is currently recruiting new members of all voice parts, but is particularly interested in recruiting additional tenors and basses. Anyone interested in joining the choir can simply begin attending rehearsals or contact Egbert at 651-2342 for more information.