News Releases

Four choirs to come together to perform Handel's "Messiah"

November 03, 2015

What might be the largest choir ever to appear in the Greenwood County area, 150 voices strong, will come together this month to perform G.F. Handel’s “Messiah.”

The production will feature the University Singers at Lander; the Greenwood Festival Chorale; the Laurens County Chorale; and the Chancel Choir of First Baptist Church, in Greenwood. Many local instrumentalists will be in the orchestra for the event.

First Baptist Church in Clinton will host a performance on Friday, Nov. 20, at 7:30 p.m., with a second presentation at the Josephine B. Abney Cultural Center Auditorium at Lander University on Sunday afternoon, Nov. 22, at 3:00 p.m.

Dr. Marion Smith, conductor of the Greenwood Festival Chorale, said, "If a larger ensemble has ever been assembled in these two counties, I suspect it was quite a while ago."      

Dr. Chuck Neufeld, associate professor of music at Lander and conductor of the University Singers and Laurens County Chorale, will share the podium with Smith. Neufeld said since Handel’s lifetime, there has been a grand tradition of very large choirs performing the oratorio. He added, “We are excited to revive that tradition in Greenwood and Laurens counties."

The combined ensembles, whose members range in age from 19 to 85 and older, will perform selections from all three parts of Handel's masterpiece, including the "Hallelujah Chorus,” which concludes part two.

Neufeld said some of the singers have performed the piece many times, while others are novices. “All share the common goal of delivering an excellent musical performance to the audiences who will hear them on Nov. 20 and Nov. 22.”

Tickets are priced at $15 each and are available for the Clinton performance at Elaine's, 106 Musgrove St., in Clinton, and Earl Thomason Jewelers, 102 E. Public Square, in Laurens.

Tickets for the performance at Lander are available at The Greenwood Arts Center, 120 Main St., Greenwood. Members of the Greenwood Festival Chorale and the Laurens County Chorale are also selling tickets to the event.

Chuck Neufeld (003)
Dr. Chuck Neufeld