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Galesburg Community Chorus presents Bach’s Magnificat, Selections from Handel’s Messiah and Traditional Carols

Sunday, December 8, 2019 @ 3:00 PM

| $12

Galesburg Community Chorus proudly presents their first concert of their 75th season with Bach’s Magnificat, Selections from Handel’s Messiah and Traditional Carols. The perfect way to kick off the holiday season for the whole family, the concert will be presented Sunday, December 8 at 3:00p.m. at First Presbyterian Church, Galesburg, IL. Tickets range from $12 for seniors to $15 for adults, and admission is free for students. Tickets may be purchased at the door on the day of the event.

Bach’s Magnificat – the canticle of the Blessed Virgin Mary (Luke I: 46-55) – traditionally formed part of the ancient Roman Catholic service of Vespers. Bach’s setting was written in Leipzig for the 1723 Christmas Vespers. It is conceived on a grand scale, requiring, for its time, an unusually large orchestra consisting of three trumpets, two flutes, two oboes, strings and continuo. It begins with a brilliant orchestral introduction which leads directly into an equally impressive chorus, ‘Magnificat anima mea Dominum’ (My soul doth magnify the Lord). The ten verses and Gloria that comprise the Magnificat canticle form a continuous and homogenous whole. For the final verse, ‘Sicut erat in principio …. Amen’ (As it was in the beginning …. Amen), Bach appropriately mirrors the words by recalling the music that was heard in the beginning, the Magnificat therefore ending as exuberantly and dramatically as it began.

The Holiday spirit abounds in the center portion of the concert with settings of three traditional carols, the first of which is “O Come, O Come Emmanuel,” originally a plainchant melody from the Middle Ages with an air of mystery, in a warmly expressive arrangement for chorus and strings by John Rutter. Also featured will be Rutter’s dance-like arrangement of the 17th-century French carol “Bring a torch, Jeannette, Isabella,” and we conclude the concert with Dan Forrest’s rousing setting of “Angels from the Realms of Glory.”

In celebration of the 75th season of the Galesburg Community Chorus, former chorus members from any previous season are invited to join the chorus onstage for the final portion of the concert, selections from Handel’s Messiah. The Messiah is one of the world’s best-known and well-loved pieces of music. Even after hundreds of years and thousands of performances, people continue to be moved and inspired by this great music. The text is drawn from the Old and New Testaments, and the work is divided into three parts, describing Christ’s birth, death, and resurrection. The chorus and guests will perform two movements from the first section, sometimes referred to as the Christmas portion, as well as the rousing and uplifting “Hallelujah Chorus” that concludes Part II. It is said when London audiences first heard this chorus, they were “so transported that they all together with the King . . . started up and remained standing till the chorus ended.” This tradition has lasted until today.

The Galesburg Community Chorus, directed by Dr. Tim Pahel, is the oldest community music organization in the Galesburg area and is currently celebrating its 75th anniversary. It was founded in 1945 at Knox College, and the chorus retains its affiliation with the college, which provides rehearsal facilities.


Sunday, December 8, 2019
3:00 PM
Event Category:


First Presbyterian Church Galesburg
101 N Prairie Street, Galesburg, 61401 United States
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(309) 342-1200