Without teaching in Carbon County for even a full year, USU Eastern Choir Director and music lecturer Larry Martin was given a heavy task that came in the form of countless pages full of black lines and circles: conducting the annual production of Handel’s “Messiah” by the USU Eastern Choir as well as the Castle Valley Chorale and Orchestra.
Through several months and many hours of practice, the chorale and orchestra will present the performance Sunday, Dec. 4, at 7:30 p.m. at Carbon High School.
“It’s been a good musical stretch for me,” said Martin. The performance will be a first for Martin, as he has never directed a performance with both an orchestra and choir.
Those involved in the production number approximately 67 persons in the choir and 35 in the orchestra, rounding the total number of musicians involved to nearly 100.
“There’s some really great musicians here,” said Martin. The musicians have been charged with the task of learning music separately, as an orchestra and choir, before coming together for a final three practices before showcasing the performance for the community.
Martin also explained the challenge of finding a way to mesh the orchestra, choir and a new director together to put forth the best performance possible. Martin, though, remains confident that the musicians will produce a professional performance.
Martin also praised Jana Hoyt, who helped much in the process, including ensuring that instrumentalists had music and that efforts were coordinated.
The concert is open to the public, though it is requested that children under eight years of age not be taken to the performance.
While the entire “Messiah” covers roughly two and a half hours of music dealing with various aspects of the life of Jesus Christ, Sunday’s performance will focus more on selections dealing with the birth and mission of Christ.
The performance is slated to last roughly an hour and a half and will feature well-known numbers including, “For unto Us a Child is Born,” “Glory to God,” as well as the well-known hallelujah chorus.
Martin also encouraged those who are interested to audition and participate in next year’s performance.