The Friday evening, November 20, 2015 combined community and Lander University choirs presentation of the George Frederic Handel MESSIAH was a resounding success. The Clinton First Baptist Church was completely filled with over 150 singers and orchestra filling all parts of the main chancel. A record attendance filled the pews and balcony areas. This 1742 Baroque period oratorio is one of the favorite Christian holiday works. It is often performed by mass choirs and local orchestras, as was the performance on Friday evening in Clinton, SC. A mixture of young and older voices provided a rich and vibrant vocal experience for the audience.
The conductors, Dr. Chuck Neufeld and Dr. Marion Smith exposed the timeless beauty and provided a precision of the musicians interpreting the original work. Dr. Neufeld conducts the Lander University Singers and the Laurens County Chorale and is Associate Professor at Lander University and Dr. Smith is the Artistic Director and Conductor of the Greenwood Festival Chorale. The Palmetto Chamber Orchestra provided the accompaniment.
Singers from the Lander University Singers, Laurens County Chorale, Greenwood Festival Chorale and the Chancel Choir of First Baptist Church, Greenwood, provided the chorus’ 150 singers. Dr. Ron Davis, Harpsichord; Dr. Richard Thomas, Violoncello; Dawn Driggers, Clare Henry, Lindsey Webb, and Nickie Murphy, Sopranos; Destinee Simpson and Hannah Collins, Mezzo-Sopranos; Dr. Andrew Verdin, Tenor; Antonio Edwards and Will Johnson, Baritones; Bob Link, Bass; provided the principle solo contributions.
A second performance will be provided for the Greenwood Community in the Lander University Josephine B. Abney Cultural Center Auditorium on Sunday afternoon, Novembe 22, 2015 at 3:00 pm. A sold-out audience is expected there, also. A few rare tickets may be available at the door on a “first-come, first-served” basis. Lander University students will be admitted free with student ID. Concert ticket price is $15.
Pictures below are from the Clinton Friday night performance: